Learn from the mistakes of others, they say. So here’s a list of five most common survey mistakes. No matter how you collect feedback or what tools you use – making any of the mistakes described below will prevent you from achieving maximal results and might even skew them.

Mistake #1: Too many questions in one survey

Your respondents are not machines. They’re humans, they don’t want to waste half of the day answering irrelevant questions. Make your survey as concise as possible.

Survey contains few questions that are not actually useful or is far too long.

If you’re not able to figure out what you’ll do with answers received, then the question is probably useless. Here are three hints:

  • Get rid of questions that aren’t essential.
  • Divide long survey into few shorter surveys. You can show them, when your visitor returns.
  • Utilize skip logic, to ask in context, making sure that only relevant questions appear to your respondent.

Mistake #2: Bad choice of question type

What’s the difference between single choice and multiple choice question? Make sure you know the answer to that question before using them. In simple words, answers to a single choice question are radio buttons, whereas multiple choice answers are checkboxes.

Confusing multiple choice question with a single choice question.

Here’s how to distinguish multiple choice question form single choice.

Single choice questions are those where the participant can only pick a single answer. Many options, yet only one to choose. With Survicate you can ask your visitors to leave additional comment to single-choice answer as well.

Multiple Choice is a simple, closed-ended question type that lets respondents select one or multiple answers from a defined list of choices.

Mistake #3: Skipping the introduction

Regardless of the audience type, introduction to survey plays a key role in persuading your visitors to complete your survey. According to our analysis based on thousand of surveys of our users correct introduction is one of the most important factors that help lift engagement and completion rates.

Not adding introduction to your survey question – without providing the reason for the survey your respondents may feel uncomfortable or even suspicious.

Use simple, clear language to briefly explain purpose of the survey. You may also include following information:

  • The goal of the survey or what you’re trying to find out
  • How you’ll be using the responses to make a difference
  • The expected time to complete the survey

Mistake #4: Too many choices

Providing respondents with a variety of choices for a particular question is generally a good idea, but, too many choices can confuse your visitors and only complicate the post-survey analysis.

Survey question has too many answers, making it difficult for  respondent to make a choice.

It’s important not to add too many answers to your survey. It’s always a good idea to make use of an “Other, please specify” choice. Here’s how to add it to your survey.

Mistake #5: Question addressed to everyone

It’s tempting to get as many answers as possible. However, you should also make sure that the respondents to your survey are relevant. A simple example: asking all visitors leaving an ecommerce website why they didn’t buy doesn’t make much sense because people who actually bought something will see this survey as well. It will make you look unprofessional and visitors will be confused.

Surveying all visitors of your website, instead of creating segments of relevant respondents.

Create engaging and personalized surveys by building custom visitors segments. Reach your targeted audience by targeting based on criteria of your choice. 


By avoiding these five common survey mistakes, collected data will be more accurate. Creating clear questions and having an understandable and complete set of answer choices lead to valuable feedback. Do you know any other survey mistakes you recommend avoiding? Let us know in the comments!