Growth October 22, 2020

Let's force users to answer a survey when signing up?

Masatoshi Nishimura @massanishi

What do you guys think of having a mandatory survey when the users are signing up?

Companies like Hubspot does it. They ask for your company size, job role, etc. It is more or less a mandatory questionnaire. I myself is indifferent to answering these short questions as a user.

The response rate must be much higher than sending a survey separately on an email afterward. Given the crucial importance of getting as your customer information in your early journey, maybe it is a valid and recommended strategy.

Share your thoughts/experiences.

  1. 3

    I do that. I have found no negative effects and several valuable outcomes. Especially when it comes to prioritizing outreach and targeting job-titles in advertising.
    The key is to make it super-quick and easy to fill out.
    So all questions on one page, and responses in a few clicks.

    1. 1

      It's nice to hear of a positive outcome from this. Can you share more details? What kind of things were you asking?

      1. 2

        We ask the following questions. Some of them are specific to the audience we serve:

        1. Your organization - In one or two sentences, what does your company/organization do? (free text)
        2. Organization size - How many people are there in your company/organization? (radio button)
        3. Organization type - What best describes your organization? (radio button)
        4. Where would you consider bidding for contracts? Select all that apply. (checkboxes + free text if "other" is selected).
        5. Bidding Experience - on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 is very experienced - how experienced is your team in bidding for public contracts. (selector)
        6. Your role - what best describes your role? select all that apply. (checkboxes + free text if "other" is selected.

        I basically worked out the questions by asking myself the question "what would I really like to know about people who sign up and what information would alter my approach to engaging with them"?

        It sounds like a lot, but I can see customers spend around 15-20 seconds. There is no skip option.

        We "sell" the questionnaire to the user by headlining the screen "A few questions that will help us identify more opportunities for you".

        I implemented the questionnaire myself. The data is displayed on a dashboard that shows the answers, as well as activity data generated from usage.

        The questionnaire is #3 of 4 sign-up screens.
        #1: email and password
        #2: Name, job-title and organization website.
        #3: Questionnaire
        #4: Payment details entered and 7-day free trial starts

        It may sound like a lot, but it works well and almost nobody has ever stopped in the onboarding process. Also, we have never had anyone raising any issues regarding the onboarding process.

  2. 2

    It depends whether you're surveying them ("how are we doing?") or profiling them ("tell us more about you"). I imagine - but I don't know - that in Hubspot's case, it's more about helping them set the right features for you.

    In that instance, where there's a tangible benefit to the user completing the information, you can get a mix of useful information for you as well as something you can do for the user (configure templates, make certain settings for them, to support their size business, for example).

    As others have said, keep it as short as you can, and demonstrate the value of doing it. If it's purely for your benefit and you have to do it during onboarding, at least make it optional and track how many people complete it.

  3. 2

    It's fine but,

    1. Make sure you do it after the initial email/name input.
    2. Make sure you collect the data to track the dropoff.
    3. Keep it to 5 questions max.
    4. Maybe offer them a way to skip so that it's optional.
    5. Keep it as simple as possible by using dropdowns etc.
  4. 2

    Email survey is now a passive method! Not my top option, I would say as a startup try to make it quick, short and to the point so users would not navigate away and would have the chance to check your product!

  5. 2

    I actually like these, especially when they are only ~3 clicks to answer and lead to experience being personalised (starter templates based on role etc)

    I think the most important question is “what is your goal” because you can then adjust the rest of the onboarding to help them achieve that goal

    1. 1

      What your goal is, is definitely the most important question but a difficult question to use for customization I think.

      1. 1

        It depends on the product. I've been through loads onboarding flows for pageflows.com and quite a few ask what your main goal is, give 3-5 options, then provide templates/tasks based on the goal you pick.

        E.g. Some language learning apps use the goal you select to suggest the amount of sessions you should do per day and what default reminders you can turn on or website builders show you templates for personal "business card" type sites vs blog-heavy templates based on your goal

        I like this approach because the benefit for the user is clear. It's clearly not just a data collection step for the company, but it actually helps the user have a better experience and saves them time when signing up.

        Of course, it only works for certain types of products.

  6. 2

    Depends how long the survey is. My last startup we just asked 3 short questions (1. role, 2. their goals using our platform, and 3. how frequent they do certain things (dropdown)), so that we know more about the "user persona", and ~90% will fill in. This data is super important for our Customer Success team to reach out and help.

    But don't ask long open-ended questions and ask for feedback (well they haven't even tried your product!) when they first sign up, that turns them off.

  7. 2

    As a startup any friction you add will lose you sign ups.

    1. 5

      True. But startups also want to qualify early users.

      1. 2

        Surveys help if you are scaling, and there is a huge inflow of signups every day. But at an early stage, qualification could be done by having conversations with the early adopters.

        1. 2

          I got 40-50 signups a week and I think with this volume, qualifying within the product is key, cause I cannot have convos with everyone.

          And I also agree about friction, don't make it so difficult. Make it a quick 15 second form for only the most important thing you need to know for validation.

  8. 1

    Signup is often the first piece of engagement that signals someone is not just browsing but actually interested in your product.

    You want this to be as frictionless and quick as possible so that you have a baseline on who is interested.

    If you replace that with a huge amount of fields for users to fill out, you'll never really know the difference between a user who wasn't interested in your product VS a user that had an issue signing up. That issue could be many things which is why it should be frictionless: too long and was in a hurry, annoyed at how much personal info you're asking for, didn't want to answer one field you made mandatory etc etc etc

    Hope this helps.

    PS: HubSpot can do this because they've already proven their product to the world. People will do almost anything to sign up. It's important to not follow in the footsteps of already large companies because their strategy is completely different.

  9. 1

    Personally, when I get forced to fill a survey after signup, I get extremely discouraged and just leave it. It's better to ask for it in a seperate email sent after registration.

  10. 1

    Here's how I'd behave as a customer
    It depends on the context really. If it's like a LinkedIn situation where I would benefit from completing the survey, I really don't mind.

    If it's an eCommerce site or a service site then I'd probably get annoyed and close my browser.

  11. 0

    Personally, I think it's a very stupid idea. Perhaps when you're really well known, that may be a not-so-bad idea, but at the beginning will make something that is initially small into something really really really small.

    People are so hesitant at giving feedback - i have a feedback "survey" consisting of 2 things: a rating (1-5) and an optional "more details" field. The rate this is filled with something useful is probably 0.1% . And by the way, I show this when the user closes the app, and I've made it optional.

    1. 1

      I don't know your user flows but you probably shouldn't show the survey when your users close the app. You are interrupting their exit: in their mind they are getting out, not willing to do other actions.

      Try showing it when they successfully complete a task, if possible in a way that doesn't disrupt a lot their experience.

      1. 1

        Thanks! I do get where you're coming from. I will change this in the future - as I originally said, I wouldn't call it a survey (it's just a rating + optional extra info), but it does give me a general feel of how the users feel about my app.

        One idea would be be to show this while user is exporting the final project.

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