Businesses of all kinds rely on surveys to find out about their clients, employees, constituents and audiences. A key component of this valuable insight is based on demographic surveys. But the problem is, if these surveys aren’t conducted strategically and thoughtfully, they won’t get you the kind of information you need in the best way.
Today, we’re going to share everything you need to know about creating demographic surveys. From how to create them, what questions to include, and what to do with the results.
What are demographic surveys?
There is a survey or online poll option out there for just about everything. In addition to demographic surveys, you might take part in or conduct customer service surveys, brand awareness surveys, or job satisfaction surveys, among others.
Each type of survey serves a unique purpose and it also takes a unique strategy to get them right. Perhaps more than with any other survey type, demographic surveys need to be conducted with particular care and attention to detail. These surveys often collect personal or sensitive information from respondents. Demographics help you get to know a population (or a population subset) based on a number of characteristics.
Chances are, you’ve taken part in these surveys yourself, and they can be done for a number of reasons in a variety of industries.
Here are just a few:
- Government agencies
- Broadcast media
- Private research firms
- Consumer surveys
Now that we’ve covered what these surveys are and where they can be used, let’s get into demographic survey questions you should (and shouldn’t) ask.
Demographic survey questions: What to include
If you have ever taken part in a survey about your demographics, chances are it included questions about some of these seven demographics:
- Your age
- Marital status
- Education level
Often, these surveys will also include questions about your household income level, sexual orientation, religion, and political affiliation. For many of these questions, it’s wise to include a “Prefer not to answer” option. Some respondents will be reluctant to share certain pieces of information, and this helps them participate regardless of not answering one question.
Additionally, rather than requiring specific answers to these questions, demographic surveys often include the option to select from brackets. For example, respondents could choose “$50,000 to $80,000” for their income level, rather than typing in $65,000. Offering respondents these ranges to choose from not only helps them feel more comfortable answering your survey questions, but they also make these surveys go much quicker!
So, we’ve covered some of the questions you should include in your demographic surveys. But what about questions and topics that should be avoided?
What not to include
There’s a way to ask just about anything in a survey if it’s done right. But there are some topics and questions that will always be more sensitive than others. In many cases, it’s worth avoiding these topics all together or you risk scaring off your respondents!
Here are some examples of questions and topics that are usually best left out of surveys:
- Date of birth: Unless you need this very specific information, stick to asking for a general age range instead of DOB
- Respondent names or family member names: Whenever possible, offering your respondents the option for total anonymity is the best choice. It encourages more honest feedback and higher response rates.
- Home address or workplace address: It’s no big surprise most people don’t want to share their exact location.
Now, as for creating these surveys? We’ve got everything you need to get the job done!
Conduct demographic surveys and more with Swift
If you’re ready to create and conduct a demographic survey, Swift Polling is here to help. With just a few clicks, you can ask questions and start collecting the feedback you need. Do this via web polls, SMS polls, PowerPoint polls, or collect live polling data directly from your website.
Once you create an account with Swift Polling, you will simply log-in, click “Create New Poll” and before you know it, your demographic survey will be ready to go!
Most demographic surveys use multiple choice questions, but you can also choose from word cloud or open-ended responses depending on your needs.
You can choose from customization options like limiting the number of responses per device, picking from different templates, customizing your survey to your brand, and even choosing whether you want to display results with your audience in real-time.
As you collect responses, they will be organized and stored on your user-friendly dashboard so you can refer to them whenever you need. You can also export your results to use elsewhere, and pause or start surveys when appropriate.
And it isn’t just demographic surveys Swift Polling is here to help you with! In addition to live polls, we offer Q&A features, gaming and quizzes, live video integration, and so much more.