Polling best practices

How to craft strong questions and choose the right audience

Updated over a week ago

Poll question

We suggested keeping the following 5 tips in mind when building out your questions on every poll.

  1. Remove bias. Avoid using assuming words and tones. A question such as “How much do you love this?” implies that the consumer loves it, when they may not. Instead, ask “What do you like/dislike about this?”

  2. Give a clear directive. Ask a specific question rather than simply providing information about your product/service. If you don’t provide a directive, you leave room for interpretation or assumptions to be made by respondents about the feedback you’re looking for.

  3. Stick to one topic. Don’t stack multiple questions into a single poll because your audience will likely only focus on the one that resonates most with them. Pricing feedback, design input, and function or feature preferences should all be their own polls. When you break them into separate polls, the responses you get will be more helpful and detailed, which makes it easier to know your next steps.

  4. Provide context. Your audience can't read your mind. Include any information they should know about your product or service so they can give their most informed opinion.

  5. Use common terms. Poll respondents are a sampling of consumers. Think of keywords the general public, i.e., your target market would use to describe and search for your product or service, not industry jargon. Even terms like “hero” for an Amazon listing or “keyframing” in game development may not be familiar to them, other than through experience with our polls. For example, you may know your product is a “depilatory” when you order it from your manufacturer, but your customers might not. They’re more likely to call it “hair remover cream”.

Poll formatting

The type of poll you run depends on what you're testing and how many options you need feedback on.

  • If you have 1 asset to test:

    • Open-ended is the default poll format. You have three variables for the type of feedback respondents are asked to submit: written responses; written responses with star ratings; or written responses with a Click Test.

  • If you have 2 options:

    • Head-to-head (H2H) is the default poll format. Respondents compare two options and choose their favorite. H2H polls are useful as tiebreakers for the leading options in a Ranked poll.

  • If you have 3+ options:

    • Ranked format asks respondents to rate the options from most to least favorite and explain why. This is typically the lowest-cost multi-option poll.

    • Round robin format pits all the options in 1:1 matchups (A vs. B, A vs. C, B vs. C, etc.). Respondents vote and provide written comments for each matchup. A Round robin poll yields the most comprehensive feedback and is the most expensive format.

    • Click Test (using a single collage of images, which would be an open-ended poll format) shows where respondents click on an image and in what order. This format is good for comparing images and seeing what your audience gravitates toward. Pricing varies depending on clicks; you can request up to 10 clicks per respondent.

Poll creative assets

These are the options you add/upload to your poll and can include images, videos, URL's, audio and text/copy.

  • Provide distinct options. There should be clear differences between your uploaded options, whether in color, font, or wording, so that your audience can tell them apart and choose accordingly. Keep in mind: too many variables can skew the results. If every image is a different size or design, it’s hard for respondents to discern what they like or dislike about each.

  • Keep video and audio short. Video and audio clips should be under 1 minute in length. Think in terms of 15-second and 30-second advertising slots.

  • Get feedback on early drafts. Test anything your potential customers will interact with well before you launch: ad campaigns, product features, keywords, mood boards, book cover design, and more. Use the feedback to drive your creative process.

  • Keep iterating. Consumer testing is never one and done. Optimize your text (copy), images, videos, URLs and website, and audio with continuous feedback to maximize your ROI.

Poll audience

Choosing the right audience is just as important as collecting feedback from consumers.

  • Use targeting traits. If your product skews toward a certain demographic, choose those audience-targeting traits when building your poll. If you’re not sure about your target market, run a larger general population poll, then look at the detailed demographic reports in your poll results to understand who you should be marketing to.

  • Find your audience size. You can choose between 15 and 500 respondents per poll. In our experience, a 50-person poll offers the perfect balance of cost-effectiveness, quick turnaround, and actionable data. You can always add more respondents to your poll at the end. Go bigger if you're polling a general audience and need to identify your target market, 200 respondents as a baseline. When you just need quick validation to guide your workflow or resolve an internal disagreement, choose a 15-person audience.

Here's an easy-to-read graphic of suggested audience sizes:






200-500 responses

Fitting in limited budgets


Quickly directing workflows


Resolving internal disputes


Iterating on designs


Meeting short deadlines


Confirming assumptions


Establishing baselines


Discovering target markets


Running higher-powered studies


Did this answer your question?