4 Basic Components of a Market Research Survey

As a customer survey firm in New York, our team writes a lot of surveys. We enjoy the science of survey writing and share our thoughts often about the strategy and design of survey on our market research blog. Today is no different as we tackle 4 basic components of a market research survey.

To some, these may almost seem too basic while to others with little experience in survey writing, these tips may help you structure your next project. We break down the 4 components of your market research survey into: (1) introduction, (2) screener, (3) survey questions, and (4) conclusion.

Each of these are detailed below.

4 Basic Components of a Market Research Survey

Here are our 4 basic components to a market research survey.

Component 1: Introduction

This introduction can come in many forms. If you are sending a customer survey through email you'll likely want to include the introduction to the survey in the email invitation and reminder. This email gives you an opportunity to explain what the survey is, why it is important, and what will happen with the results. In this scenario, it is better fit it in the email than the opening screen of the survey.

Best practice teaches survey writers to jump right into the survey rather than waste another click through the introductory screen. When a survey participant is ready to take part in a survey, the quicker you can get them started with Question 1, the better. This is often the case with a panel survey or customer survey where once the respondent clicks on the link to take the survey, it starts with the first question.

What if you are sharing the survey on social media such as Facebook or Twitter? These platforms do offer a brief opportunity to share information about the survey in the message screen. This may include the length of the survey, sponsor of the survey, or a reward for participating. Obviously, this needs to be brief. Much shorter than an introduction listed in a customer email invitation.

The key takeaway here is list the basic information in whatever way you can but get the survey started as quickly as possible. Respondents have a small window to decide whether they are participating or not and you'd rather have them answering questions and moving along in the survey than reading introductory paragraphs.

Component 2: Screening Questions

These screening questions are the first few questions of your customer survey. These questions determine whether or not the respondent qualifies to take the survey. If you only want to survey those 18 to 34, a screener question about age would disqualify those under 18 and over 34.

Or perhaps you want to survey only those who have purchased from your company in the past 6 months? Include a screener question which asks frequency of purchase and disqualifies those who purchased longer than 6 months ago.

These screener questions are always asked at the beginning of the survey. This section may include 1 or 2 questions or a handful more. Some surveys do not include any screener questions which means all those interested are able to participate.

Component 3: Survey Questions

This section is the core part of your customer survey or any market research survey. Here you ask and address your main objectives of the market research. These survey questions might touch on areas such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), customer effort score (CES), or other areas of interest.

It always helps to write a survey outline before you jump into your survey draft. Having an outline ensures your survey follows a proper flow, your objectives are addressed in the right order, and you can prioritize topics.

Component 4: Conclusion and Thank You

Even if it is just a sentence or 2 at the end of your survey, always thank the respondent for his or her time. The thank you typically reads something like: "This completes our survey, thank you for your time and responses." If the survey is not blinded, you can also mention: "On behalf of Drive Research and Company ABC, thank you for your time today."

Many surveys route respondents to a follow-up thank you page. If you choose not to do so respondents are often left wondering if their responses were submitted properly. Taking them automatically off-site to a thank you page lets the respondents know everything is finished.

Contact Our Team

Drive Research is a customer survey firm in New York State. We serve many clients in Upstate NY but also work with clients across the country. No matter where your business is located, our team can assist. Have questions about your upcoming customer survey project?

Contact us at info@driveresearch.com or call us at 315-303-2040.

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