Interesting fact: in most cases, in-app polls actually increase retention. Put another way – even without changing the product, people are more likely to return when they are asked questions from a developer.

Human after all

Interesting fact: in most cases, survey tools and in-app polls actually increase retention.

Put another way – even without changing the product, people are more likely to return when they are asked questions from a developer.  And of course this is before any improvements to the product resulting from the feedback.

Let’s take an analogy to help explain why.
survey tools make happy users
In everyday life, it’s common to have restaurant servers ask how the food is. Or have retail staff check in on you while you’re browsing in the shop.

Last weekend I had a great experience at a Nordstrom store. I must have had the “lost” look at the time – the staff proactively approached me to help find my way to the right department. I left with some purchases and a smile.

These are the businesses you build an attachment to and also tend to refer to friends.

And yet engaging in that way happens so rarely in today’s apps and websites.

Try to remember the last time an app proactively asked for your input on new features? Or checked in to see how you were doing?  If your experience is like mine, very few if any examples come to mind.

Sometimes developers forget users are human beings, not only data points in an analytics dashboard.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Like us, users appreciate being heard.

A better poll experience

When we hear the word “poll” our first thought might be back to those old web forms we’ve all experienced, that seem to last forever. Or annoying third party popups distracting our browsing. We’ve all been there and felt the frustration.

If you were to take the same old approach and cram it into a mobile screen, you’d guarantee an annoying experience and drop in retention.

That’s why at polljoy we started with a clean slate. We made design choices to encourage better user feedback in today’s mobile centric, short attention span world:

Traditional surveys Polljoy
Many questions per page One simple question per screen, and no need to scroll
Many multiple choice options Only 4 choices on a screen at most
No limit on surveys per session Default of 1 poll maximum per session
Text heavy Less text. Strict character limits for a better UX
Lack of images A poll image is encouraged to make it appealing
Generic / third party branding Beautiful style to match your app’s unique look
Web based Native mobile as well as HTML 5 for web apps
No way to reward users Optional support for virtual currency rewards
Designed for desktops Designed for today’s mobile first era

5 anti-spam tips

Although polljoy is designed to be a much better user experience than traditional surveys tools, it’s important to use it well to get the best results.

The following are 5 tips for reducing the “spam factor” when using in-app polls:

1. Pick the right place

The best places to put polls are the transition points such as menus, loading, after task completions etc. Minimize interruptions in the middle of an action or whilst playing a game.

2. Don’t over poll

polo running a survey

With such a powerful tool at your disposal, the temptation may be to ask too many questions to the users –  multiple questions per session etc.  It’s best to restrain, and gather feedback over time.  One way to tell if you’re over polling is when your question answer rates start to drop – you can see these in the polljoy console.

3. Minimize personal probing

Treat polls like you’re having a conversation with a new customer, face to face. Don’t ask for too much personal information like credit rating or household income – that isn’t going to make them feel especially comfortable using your app, especially if they just met you!

4. Avoid the default style

Experience has shown that users are far more willing to engage the more “native” the poll looks and feels. Avoid defaults and make use of polljoy’s easy style customization to make the polls fit your own colours and textures, and add a great image to your poll.

5. Know who to target

Some questions users love to answer like “which of these should we add next to this app?” For these it’s best to go broad and ask as many users as possible – they increase retention. Others are less interesting, like “what age range are you”, and in these cases it’s best to get just enough data to reach a conclusion, rather than to force all users to ask it – a representative sample is statistically significant.

Go forth and prospersurvey tools increase retention

Used thoughtfully, polls will raise your retention rate and help foster even closer relationships between you and your users. All whilst giving you the valuable feedback to improve your product. Everyone’s happy!

If you need any advice with what to ask and how to use our survey tools, drop a note to hi@polljoy.com – we’d love to help!

Caroline Lee

Written by Caroline Lee
Community developer at polljoy - the in-game ratings and player feedback SDK. I'm passionate about helping devs make their games even more awesome. Reach me at caroline@polljoy.com