CCAH Blog: Industry Voices

What is it that makes surveys so irresistible?

Posted by CCAH Admin on May 6, 2013 11:52:00 AM

By Dan Kamas, Digital Sr. Strategist | We all have opinions and when invited to share them, to talk about ourselves -- we simply can’t say no. Questionnaires are a terrific tool for:

1. Cultivating your base
2. Gathering information, and
3. Educating participants about your efforts.

The best part – they work in the mail, on the phone, and online.

But, before you sit down to write the questions you must consider your goals. Set expectations up front and explain to participants why you are doing a survey, what type of questions to expect, and how the information will be used. It also helps to set a deadline for when the responses are due.

The Questions - Asking the right questions is the key to success. Here are a few tips.

•    Try to avoid open-ended questions. While they may provide interesting insights they can be difficult to analyze and quantify. They also require more work for the user – which may decrease the likelihood of responding.

•    How many questions? The respondents’ willingness to complete questions will depend on how closely they are connected to your organization and cause, how interesting and engaging the questions are, and how easy it is to move through the questions.  To draw a line in the sand, for the purposes of surveys we recommend 5-12 questions.

•    Keep It Clear. Numerous response options and complex directions can be confusing to the user. If responding to a survey makes your audience anxious, they may decide to quit half way through the survey.

•    Fair & Balanced. To ensure the integrity of the information you gather, be sure to provide balanced response options. For example, these response options skew positive “Excellent, Good, So So” while a more balanced design would be “Good, So So, Poor.” Leading questions that only provide one alternative for consideration or assume a particular response will also skew results.

Beware that the order of responses can also introduce a bias. First responses, especially in a drop down menu, or default options, can unconsciously steer responders.  

•    The order of questions. To maximize your response rates, begin with easy questions and then move to progressively more complex ones to prime your respondents and get them more invested in the process of taking the survey.

After the Survey

All too often, survey findings are relegated to collecting dust. How you plan to use the information should be a part of your goal setting process. Here are a few tips to evaluate results and map out the next steps:
    • In order to turn data into actionable information, first review findings. Do some simple cross tabulations and if possible a deeper statistical analysis.
    • After you’ve mapped out next steps, add to your calendar a date to revisit the findings and how they are used a month from now or at a later date. 
    • Share what you’ve found with colleagues. In addition to the numbers, be sure to share some of the key insights and how you plan to use them in the future.
Do you have any questions about surveys? What tips do YOU have?

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BACON, the new SPAM?

Posted by CCAH Admin on Apr 27, 2012 1:56:00 PM

By Dan Atherton, Interactive Department 

A few weeks ago at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (#12NTC) in San Francisco, I gave a presentation on predictive donor value metrics along with CCAH's own Brenna Holmes, Mathew Grimm of Environmental Defense Fund, and John Clese of Avectra.

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It's Not Easy Being Green. Or is it?

Posted by CCAH Admin on Apr 23, 2012 1:08:00 PM

by Val Hutcherson, Production Director

Many people may think that incorporating green practices when producing direct mail campaigns will increase their production time and cost.

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Green Premiums - Oxymoron or Actuality?

Posted by CCAH Admin on Apr 11, 2012 12:45:00 PM

by Sandra P. Bishop, Vice President of Fundraising

When you think of premiums – upfront or backend – you may think “what a waste! Why do organizations – especially environmental organizations – send me these things?!”

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Using Media to Implement Global Change

Posted by CCAH Admin on Mar 21, 2012 10:22:00 AM

by: Katherine Rainone, Interactive Department

It was early December of 2011. I stepped off the plane, expecting to breathe in dry, hot, stale air of Southern Africa. What I got was a face-full of pouring rain that didn’t stop for 24 hours.

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Secrets to Success: Nonprofits and Online Video

Posted by CCAH Admin on Mar 12, 2012 12:09:00 PM

By Arielle Kilroy, Interactive Department

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Many Nonprofits struggle with video. They either under-use, over-use, or misuse the medium.

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Will your email win best dressed at this year’s Oscar party?

Posted by Admin CCAH on Feb 23, 2012 5:28:00 PM

By: Evan Rochkind, Interactive Department

In online marketing, the devil is in the details. A well-crafted email is like an Oscars gown: every seam is hand stitched, each bead is hand applied.

And just like that designer item about to be photographed on the red carpet, you must consider every aspect that will affect how an email is viewed.

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The $5,000 Question: Finding the Right Ask Using Predictive Data Analysis

Posted by Thomas Pruitt on Jan 23, 2012 5:31:00 PM

We are thrilled to cross-post this great piece from our very own Dan Atherton, published on  the NTEN blog. Enjoy!

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It’s not easy being green: sustainability and you

Posted by CCAH Admin on Nov 21, 2011 9:44:00 AM

By Pete Carter, Sr. Vice President + Principal
Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey

As a direct mail marketer of many years, I continue to search for ways to both serve my clients as well as preserve the environment. This is, of course, no easy task.

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It’s Never Too Late to Integrate

Posted by CCAH Admin on Sep 27, 2011 10:08:00 AM

By Amy Morrison, Senior Strategist, Interactive Department
Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey

Today we live in a world of seemingly limitless communication choices.

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