“I hate these damn pop-up surveys!” a colleague cried earlier this week as she tried to complete a transaction on a Web site. And understandably so!With market competition up and the economic outlook down, it seems like pop-up surveys are bombarding us with increasing frequency. But in this age of permission marketing, it seems as if pop-up surveys too often cross the line.
Indeed, loyalty-measurement guru Fred Reichheld has underscored how surveys, when abused or improperly executed, can quickly become a negative ad campaign for a product or company brand. Still, online retailers frequently unleash them to ambush you as you attempt to fork over your credit card and hard-earned money. A lot of publishers are guilty as well, flashing them in front of your eyes, introducing a new layer of clutter on top of the ads beneath. Yikes!
To gauge sentiment on this issue, I recently polled my followers on Twitter (a highly opt-in interaction venue): “What do you think of Web site pop-up surveys? 1) Love them 2) Indifferent 3) Hate them. Please reply with your sentiment.”
During my 24-hour data collection cycle, 25 people responded. The tally? Fully 60% (15) replied that they hate pop-up surveys, while 40% (10) are indifferent. Not one single person voted “love them.”
I know, this was not a scientific poll (if there even is such a thing). Nonetheless, it provided convincing guidance that pop-up surveys are disliked, and tolerated at best. Moreover, the majority who replied “indifferent” commented that they most often ignore them, or answer them only if relevant and there is direct benefit.
Therefore, it is my theory that pop-up surveys are becoming far less effective and even more damaging over time. Still, collecting insights from actual customers as they use your products is critical.
Which begs the question: What is the most appropriate way to solicit feedback from customers? Are pop-up surveys ever appropriate? What methods do you use for your type of business?
Please let us know. You can vote in the comments.
(This also was my last MediaPost column.)