Pop Up Surveys to Measure Ad Effectiveness
Why Do Pop Up Surveys?
Do you have a web site? Do you know who is visiting, or how they found your
site? Whether you manage an e-commerce site or have a corporate identity site,
you need to know who your visitors are - and the only way to know is to ask
them using a pop up survey.
Many webmasters believe that all the information they need about site visitors
is available through log analysis tools such as WebTrends, NetTracker or
123LogAnalyzer. This is far from true. Although they can track page views,
numbers of visitors, search engine hits and downloaded files, they can never
tell you who your visitors are or what they think. In fact, many log analyzers
can only tell you IP addresses, which will be the same for everyone behind a
A pop up survey appears as a small, new browser window on your visitor's desktop
that opens when they enter a page on your web site. Use the pop up survey to
ask your visitors about their needs, interests, demographic profiles, product
usage as well as why they are visiting your site that day. You can use these
results to create effective marketing programs, design a better web site, or
expand your product offerings. The information you gather is only limited by
the questions you choose to ask.
Here is one example of how you can use pop up surveys to save time, money and
improve marketing return on investment.
Where Should We Advertise?
If you're in marketing, this is probably one of the most common questions you
hear. You have to assure that your advertising campaigns draw the right
prospects to your products and web site. Being sure that you invest wisely
takes a lot of planning and research before you spend a lot of money.
Step One: Identify your target audience
The first step in developing an advertising plan is to understand and profile
your current customers. A good profile includes demographic information,
purchasing patterns, interests and possibly geographic information about
customers. If you haven't created customer profiles, you should use eSurveysPro
(next month's Best Practices article will show you how).
After you have reviewed your customer profiles, you will know the types of
prospects you want to reach. If your customers are businesses, you'll know the
right size organization, the position, title and responsibility of key buyers.
If you offer consumer products or services, you'll know about household
demographics, geographic break down and personal interests.
Step Two: Measure your current audience
The next step is to find out who is currently visiting your web site and compare
their profiles to those you have developed about your customers. This is where
you create and implement your pop up site visitor's survey.
Step Three: Create the pop up survey
What questions should you ask? Below are several questions you might find
valuable on your pop up site visitor survey. These are designed for
business-to-business environments, but can be modified easily for consumer
Is this the first time you've visited our web site?
Why are you visiting our site today? (Browsing the web, looking for a
particular product, evaluating your product, are a customer, etc.)
What television station/magazine/trade shows do you watch, read or attend?
(Choose one and give options. I recommend using a multi-select format, since
most people don't just refer to one information outlet).
Are you the decision maker on this type of purchase (valuable especially for
business to business surveys)? If not, what is the title of the person who is?
What is your budget for the purchase?
When do you plan to purchase?
What additional information do you need before making a decision?
Which competitors have you considered?
Are you currently using another product (i.e., are they looking to replace
something they have already or is it a completely new purchase)? If so, whose
product are you using currently?
What is your title?
What department do you work in?
How many employees are in your company?
Once you've got your questions, create and publish your survey to pop up
automatically from your home page (see this month's technical tip). You may
want to configure your pop up so that it opens the survey window randomly, as
well as places and reads a cookie so that visitors only see the survey on their
Step Four: Get the pre-campaign data
Collect responses for a period of time. How long depends on how much traffic
your web site gets. I usually look at my results on a daily basis, and when the
charts remain the same, I know I have enough data to start my evaluation.
Now, analyze your results. To identify advertising venues, filter your results
so that you only look at responses from visitors who most closely represent
your customer profiles. How do they answer question 3? Do they say that they
are the decision maker? Do they have a budget to purchase? When do they plan to
buy? Are they replacing a currently used product or service, or will this be
their first purchase of this type? This analysis will tell you how well you are
currently doing to reach your target customers.
Step Five: Launch your program
Now select how you will advertise your products and launch your campaigns. You
can justify your selections with the objective results you've collected, and
can confidently choose the right places and times to advertise your products
and services to the people most likely to purchase them.
Step Six: Measure Effectiveness
Next, you need to see how effective your programs are by keeping your site
visitor's survey active when you launch your advertisements. You can compare
pre- and post-campaign site traffic. As new visitors come to your site based on
the ad activities, they will respond to the same set of questions and you can
track changes in interest level and likelihood to purchase.
To compare your pre- and post-campaign responses, filter the data using the
"Date Received" field. This data point is automatically created each time a
survey response is submitted. Are the demographics of your site visitors better
matching your customer profile? Are a higher percentage of them reporting that
they read or rely on the information source in which you've advertised?
eSurveysPro will give you the answer!
This model is scalable, too. Do you spend money on television, print media,
trade shows or other types of advertising? Frequently, site visitors follow up
on advertising by visiting the company's web site rather than by calling. Now,
if you ask site visitors where they go for information or where they heard
about your company, you'll know which programs are the most effective and can
fine-tune your marketing plan to reach more of the people you want.
Ok, so how does it work in real life?
eSurveysPro has conducted more than forty pop up site visitor surveys on our
home page over the last three years. We know who is visiting our site, why they
are visiting and what their survey goals are. Although I keep our demographic
questions relatively constant, I can easily add questions to gather information
I need at a specific time.
Recently, my focus was to identify where I should invest my advertising budget.
Since I wanted to introduce eSurveysPro to potential users as they researched
solutions, I decided to focus on search engine placements. To identify where I
should advertise, I added a survey question about search engine preferences. I
always ask how seriously respondents are considering survey solutions. I
collected several thousand responses. By filtering on interest level, budget
and responsibility, I knew which search engines that subset of visitors used
most often and could invest my budget confidently.
If I had only looked at available search engine comparisons, such as Search
Engine Watch or Jupiter Media Metrix, I would not have known how MY target
audience searched the web. I would only have known overall statistics that
would not have been valuable for my purposes. Although my survey results are
confidential, I will share that by surveying our site visitors, I avoided
spending a lot of money to reach the wrong people.
After putting my new programs in place, I reviewed my ongoing visitor survey to
see how the visitor profile had changed. Simply put, the number of site
visitors increased dramatically, and those who matched my customer profile more
Another valuable data point is that I can see which advertisements bring in the
creative, I included a hidden field in the survey to identify which ad the
respondent had clicked. I can now cross-tabulate which ad (both venue and
creative) results in the best prospects - further refining my message and
getting the most out of my budget!