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English Pirates and their Surveys

June 23, 2010

One thing that became very clear to me after reading the book “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” by Steven Gary Blank (Ooooo he opens with a plug!) was the importance of really proving a customer base before you ever begin to think about developing a product.  If no one’s gonna use it or buy it, there’s really no point.  In essence, a product must be built to address a certain problem in peoples’ lives.  They must be alleviated of some sort of pain.  Which begs the question, does anyone actually plan meals?  The entire point of my site is to allow people to plan meals in advance, figure out what to cook, create shopping lists, and get organized.  This is all great in theory, but do people do that?  Or do people just figure out what they want tonight, make a list in their heads, and head over to Safeway or QFC.

One good way to answer that question is to do a user survey.  Which I have done.  If you haven’t already taken this survey and you cook, stop reading this now and click on this link.  It’ll only take a few minutes and this blog will still be here when you’re done.

I made the mistake of thinking a survey would be the easiest way to collect user feedback!  And it probably is.  However, I was really blown away at how hard it’s been to get people to answer it.  I told all my friends, told them to tell their friends, posted on Facebook, posted on recipe boards, and still the best I could do was about 100 responses.

I really wanted at least 1,000 to get accurate data, so I decided to try advertising.  The two outlets I used were Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.  Both services allow you to type in how much money you want to spend per day, and they’ll display your ad to a set number of people.  I decided to spend $10 per day each, for 7 days.

The Facebook ad is shown to people who live in the US, are 18 years of age or older, have “cooking” listed as one of their likes, and speak any flavor of English (including Pirate, which – yes – is an option for targetted advertising; or ad-varrrrrrr-tising)

So far, the Facebook ad (which started running on the 20th) has been averaging over 76,000 impressions per day.  That’s a lot of eyes looking at my ad!  However, only  63 people have actually clicked on it.  Looking at the survey results, I’d guess less than half those people actually started filling out the survey yet alone completed it.

So how did Google AdWords do?  I paid the same amount, but only got 12,300 impressions so far, total!.  Out of that, only nine clicks.  I was paying over 3x the amount to get a click on Google!  Figuring it was a waste of time when Facebook was doing so much better, I decided to end that campaign early.

Still, it’s a little bit aggravating to have so few survey responses after hundreds of thousands people having seen the ad.  Is it actually possible to cheaply advertise on the Internet?  It seems the going rate is about a dollar for someone to click on your ad.  I’m sure not going to spend $1,000 on getting my desired number of respondents.  Maybe my ad sucks, but it was the best I could do with the allowed number of characters.  Is there a better solution?



From → Business

One Comment
  1. Carrie permalink

    Well, guilting them should work! :) Just kidding – I think I abandoned my survey last time, not uncommon in my house.

    Have you tried FB ads by clicks instead of impressions? My understanding is you only want to use impressions if you are trying to get your name out there, make people remember your company and associate whatever was conveyed with the ad.

    Good luck!

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