Whether you are an academic, a market researcher, or just a plain old marketer, you have come across the term questionnaire. A questionnaire is one of the most common instruments to garner information from target respondents. There are also distinct types of questionnaires people use to collect data from their audience.
In marketing and research, a questionnaire is a set of forms that help to gather information from respondents. Questionnaires are an essential part of any study. Questionnaires are used in market research, political polls, social surveys, opinion polls, and quality control, such as in manufacturing, health care, and education research.
Would you like to learn more about the various types of questionnaires? Read on.
What is a Questionnaire?
Questionnaires are used by marketers, pollsters, researchers, and other professionals to obtain information from large groups of people. A questionnaire can be used to assess what people think about a product or service, how satisfied they are with it if they would recommend it to others, and many other things.
They can be administered via mail, the Internet, or in person. Some questionnaires are short and simple, while others may be lengthy and complicated, depending on their purpose.
The types of questions asked to vary but may include demographics about you and your family, your likes or dislikes, or your opinions about various topics.
SEE: The ultimate guide to paid online surveys
What Are the Major Types of Questionnaires?
1. Structured questionnaire
Structured surveys are questionnaires that have a fixed layout and format. They’re designed to cover a specific topic, and the answers to particular questions are selected from pre-determined lists of response options.
For example, ‘yes/no’ or ‘agree/disagree’ may be answers to a particular question. Additionally, there might be several dozen response options for each question, such as numbers from 1 to 5 (1=strongly agree, 5=strongly disagree).
Benefits of structured questionnaire
- Great for survey research and market testing
- Enables participants to get instant feedback
- Encourage higher completion rates
- Decisions can be made while the survey is being filled out
- An entire database can be created in minutes
- Makes decisions faster and cheaper
- Straight to the point answer (no room for fluff)
- Helps ease clients into market research projects and pay per click campaigns
When is the best time to use a structured questionnaire?
A structured questionnaire is often used when the entire research project is focused on the same topic or area of interest. You should also use it when the sample size is large. For example, if your survey is looking at media consumption habits across age groups and genders, then you would use a structured questionnaire.
2. Unstructured questionnaire
Unstructured questionnaires require respondents to answer questions in their own words and are usually used for qualitative research. They have a free format and do not require any specific format for their answers. The questions can be asked in any manner and in any sequence.
They may be open-ended requiring essay-type answers, or closed questions with a set number of possible answers from which the respondent must choose.
Benefits of an unstructured questionnaire
- Freedom to discuss topics you feel strongly about
- Enjoy greater flexibility
- The data will be in-depth and more meaningful for you
- You are equally likely to get a wide range of responses, creating a better sampling frame
- A source of entertainment
- It broadens the number of topics covered
- It assesses whether the reader can differentiate between items
- Can modify questionnaires to cater to the audience
- Applicable for a variety of market research and surveys
When is the best time to use an unstructured questionnaire?
One of the best times to use an unstructured questionnaire is when you are trying to collect a lot of information from your audience. An unstructured questionnaire is an easy and quick way to gather a broad range of information about your target market. It’s an ideal alternative to traditional marketing research because it’s less expensive and you can use it as a platform to ask more specific questions later on.
Learn More About Questionnaire Question Types
1. Open-ended questions
Open-ended questions are the types most commonly used in surveys and polls. These types of questions can be answered in different ways and are not limited to choices. These questions allow people to express opinions, experiences, and beliefs through responses that can range from a single word to several paragraphs long.
Many participants feel free to give their honest opinions on these kinds of questions because there are no right or wrong answers. Open-ended questions usually begin with words such as, “Tell me about…” or, “What is your opinion of?” These types of questions allow you to ask more in-depth, thought-provoking questions.
2. Closed-ended questions
If a survey asks you to respond to a question with just a “yes” or “no,” or only allows you to choose from specific options, then you are dealing with closed-ended questions. This is the simplest way for researchers to understand how people think and feel about different topics.
Closed-ended questions are those which have a limited number of answers to choose from. In the past, this meant answering with a number, choosing from a checklist, or rating something on a scale—for example, Likert scales.
With modern technology now widely used to create surveys, options such as drop-down menus and radio buttons are also widely available.
3. Dichotomous questions
Dichotomous questions are survey questions that require the respondent to select one of only two possible responses. Some examples include: “Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke?” and “Do you like designer brands or inexpensive brands?” These types of questions are applicable in marketing research, customer satisfaction surveys, and opinion polls.
Dichotomous questions are used to assess attitudes and decisions and are based on a respondent’s yes or no answers. These questions can be answered either with a single tick or not at all. Dichotomous questions can also be answered by selecting the extreme option (e.g., strongly agree) or by selecting an intermediate answer using the scale provided (e.g., slightly disagree).
4. Scaled questions
Scaled questions are a type of questionnaire question that has scales ranging from “never” to “often,” for example, or from 1 to 5. In addition to rating the frequency with which you engage in certain behaviors, scaled questions can be used to evaluate your attitudes toward topics and issues.
Questions that ask you to rate your level of agreement with a statement also require you to use scaled responses. The idea is that all questions have the same set of answers that appear on a consistent scale from not at all to extremely.
Scaled questions are very easy for opinion poll consumers to understand and use because they don’t need to guess what answer goes with each number. It is popularly used for product testing and app ratings.
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Questionnaire?
First of all, understand that there is no right or wrong in terms of writing a questionnaire. However, it is important to be as clear and accurate as possible. The purpose of a questionnaire is to gather information, so the quality is determined by how useful the questions are.
The quality of your results will suffer if respondents have trouble understanding what you want from them. The following are the major characteristics of a good questionnaire;
- Variety of question formats
- Easy to read and understand
- Clear instructions
- Clear language and vocabulary
- Straightforward and follows a logical sequence
- Short and precise
Lastly, the structure of a questionnaire has a substantial influence on how successful it will be. Think about the answers you want to get from your respondents so that the questions are clear and the answers are easy to give.
What is the Difference Between a Survey and a Questionnaire?
In general, the term “survey” describes marketing research activities in which you will provide your opinion on or judgment of a product or service.
On the other hand, the term “questionnaire” is one particular type of research instrument that has been developed to collect specific data by asking questions in a structured format. A questionnaire consists of a series of questions.
Furthermore, it may also include an introductory section, background information, a statement of purpose, and instructions for completion.
SEE: Compare GTP sites, PTC sites, and survey sites
How Does the Type of Questionnaire Affect the Quality of Results?
Determining the type and format of a survey can be tricky. The type of questionnaire you use can have an impact on the quality of your results and, ultimately, their usability. For example, closed-ended questionnaires can only provide you with a limited amount of data.
This is because there are obviously right or wrong answers, and it is difficult to decide whether those answers are correct or not. Open-ended questions allow you to give enough information, but this does depend on how well participants understand the questions.
The best way to get accurate data is through open-ended questions. This way, respondents can answer freely without being constrained by several preset options.
How can you make the most out of your questionnaire?
There are many types of questionnaires and different ways to use them. You can use feedback from your customers, employees, or even your website visitors (if you have one). To make the most of your questionnaire, it should be relevant to the research topic. The questions should be precise to get meaningful answers from the participants.
Why are questionnaires effective in research?
A questionnaire is a type of survey method that helps to collect data from a sample of people. They help to gather information about the attitudes or opinions of the participants or about their knowledge of specific topics. The advantages of using questionnaires in research include that they are usually inexpensive and easy to administer. Also, they do not require much training and yield useful results quickly.
Can you make money by giving opinions online?
Yes, you can. Many companies want to find out what you think about products and services and pay you for them. Surf the net, answer surveys, and win rewards. All you need to do is sign up at a GPT site, then complete surveys to earn money.
SEE: Explore ways to get more money for your opinions
In conclusion, a questionnaire is a form of survey that helps to collect information for research. Through a set of questions, the results can give insights into the opinions, wants, and needs of its target group. Each type of questionnaire has its advantages and disadvantages, so expect that your survey results will vary somewhat depending on which type you choose.
This article aims to give an overview of the main types of questionnaires you can find on paid surveys and GPT sites. These are not all necessarily present on every site, but they are very common. Look for the right surveys.
Know which type of surveys are more likely to give you cash. Some of these could be very profitable, while some take time and effort. So make sure you’re grabbing the ones that give you the biggest pay.
Questionnaires or surveys are ways for people to gather information about one thing or another. The information gathered is used for decision-making purposes, and as such, the data must be valid.
One way to ensure that data is valid is to answer honestly, especially when it comes to questionnaires. To learn more about the importance of honesty in surveys, read the article on paid surveys honestly.
Thanks for reading.