People who create online surveys or conducting some researches, usually want to have as many respondents as possible. To make it happen, they should be encouraged accordingly. The most important are here: the length of the survey, its aesthetic and orderly appearance, and, above all, the access to the questionnaire. This is the place where (as in the invitation to fill in the questionnaire) you present the reasons why you are asking particular questions and convince the respondents that it is worth taking part in your research.
Encouraging to complete the survey is just one of the functions of the introduction. This part of the survey is also used to:
- determining the purpose of the study,
- presenting the person of the researcher or institution that conducts the research,
- in case of complicated questionnaires – explaining of how to complete the survey (short instructions),
- determining how much time the respondent will have to spend on completing it,
- ensuring anonymity,
- specifying of what will be used and where the test results will be published.
How to write an introduction to the survey?
We already know that introduction is the part of the questionnaire, on which the attention of the respondent is focused first. The question is: how to write it? Below we present an example of the content of the introduction that we created for the needs of research conducted by the Startquestion team.
Remember about good style
You can not allow spelling or language errors to appear in the survey! This is the representation of your study. Here we present some tips on the style and appearance of the survey introduction:
- say hello to the respondent, eg Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues,
- split introduction into several paragraphs, even if the text isn’t very long,
- apply the line spacing and justify the text – it will look much more aesthetically,
- do not forget to thank for respondents time and attention,
- do not lengthen on strength – it’s an introduction, so it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 short paragraphs,
- finally, check the text for spelling mistakes, capitalization or typos!
Introduction to the survey is not just a text!
What you write and how you do it is most important in the introduction. However, graphics appealing to the respondent’s eyes are also very welcome. Remember: more is not always better. Due to the limited space, you can not overdo it with the number of pictures. Of course – graphics must be matched to the subject of the survey. Do you create a sports survey? Insert photos of players. Are you asking respondents about healthy eating? In the introduction you can place graphics with a basket full of apples.
For sure, at this stage you already understand what is the main purpose of introduction. If the survey is about your company, the introduction is a great place to put a logo or photo of the office. You can also ensure that the color scheme of the entire questionnaire is maintained in the same tone as for example a website or company logo.
In fact, you can see that the introduction is very similar to the invitation sent to the respondent’s e-mail.
Does every survey need an introduction?
The simple answer is: yes. It is always worth, even in a few words, to welcome the respondent or explain the purpose of the survey briefly. However, if your questionnaire is very short, its purpose is obvious, and the completion does not require explanation, you can only write a greeting and one short sentence to encourage respondents to take part in the survey.
For some surveys the introduction is absolutely necessary. Certainly these are:
- questionnaires for master’s or bachelor’s theses – in the introduction it should be explained that the data are collected for the purpose of work,
- long questionnaires – in the introduction, the respondent should be warned that he has to find more time to fill in the questionnaire (he will not be irritated then and probably won’t give up halfway),
- questionnaires with a complicated layout or method of completion – this is a place for an instruction manual,
- specific types of research, such as Net Promoter Score or 360 Degree Feedback, where the explanation of purpose and principles is of key importance.
In addition, it is always a good idea to use good habits for creating online surveys.
How to create an introduction to the survey in Startquestion?
- First go to the „Create” tab (1).
- Then click on „Add an introduction or question (2).
- Then from the question templates provided, click on the question ” Introductory text” (3).
- After doing this, a field will appear for you to enter text, which you can edit using an advanced text editor – just click on the wand icon (4).
- After clicking this icon, an advanced text editor will appear. Thanks to which you can edit the text you type (5), and add links directly from the website (6), pictures (7), YouTube videos, videos from Vimeo (8) and even formatting HTML source code (9).
- Below is an example:
What if my questionnaire is almost ready?
In this case, first add the introduction to the questionnaire at the end of your questionnaire, and then move it to the very beginning by following these steps:
- Add a blank page at the end of the questionnaire.
- Add introduction text here just as you did above.
- Turn on page sorting option.
- Catch it and drop at the beginning.
- Finish the sorting by re-clicking the button.
And… it’s done.