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A survey no-no

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday January 10, 2010 )

If you’re requesting customers to participate in a survey; be sure the request at least appears to comes from you.

Some of the world’s biggest brands make the mistake of outsourcing surveys to other companies who don’t give much thought to reassuring potential respondents.

For example, I received a note requesting feedback on an Apple product I purchased recently. The link went to a URL and the request came from a company I had never heard of. Sure, they were likely authorized by Apple to do this, but I wasn’t going to spend any amount of time in researching the company to ensure they were legitimate. A request to complete a survey shouldn’t involve any sort of jumping through hoops on the users’ part.

Surveys usually request all sorts of demographic information, information that can be used by would-be identity thieves. When you think about it, the survey angle is a phisher’s dream.

Companies need to be able to quickly reassure their customers that any request for information is coming from them and one of the best ways to do so is to ensure all related email communications and all outbound links include the company’s domain name. Links should not be encoded in HTML, but just be plain text to assure the recipient it’s not just some sort of redirect.

Without those reassurances, companies could be missing out on a lot of useful information from the more wary and Internet-savvy among their customers – and if you’re spruiking technology or online services, those are the folks whose input is very valuable.

Learn more about running surveys and survey software

Reassuring your site visitors


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