I am developing a new website that is a kind of world-wide directory of widget establishments. It is NOT a resturant review site, but it would be something along those lines. I think it is a good prospect, because there is no good, well-recognized site for this. There are a handful of printed yearly guide-books (a couple with weak or for-pay-only websites), as well as online directories that are an incidental part of sites that have a different focus.
I'd like to fine-tune my vision by running a survey of people who are searching for widget establishments. I know I can reach people doing this search, as a search for individual establishments is the best somebody is going to do online right now to get information. The primary search term has remarkably few ads (only 5), so I am essentially guaranteed a placement.
I want to ask people to complete a survey, asking them how they locate and choose widget establishments, both when they travel and in their home town. (i.e. have they used the available guide books, web sites, phone book, etc.) I also want to ask them some questions about desired features for the site. I don't want to waste my time building features that people don't need or want, and I hope to also get ideas for features that I haven't thought of.
I'd like to hear of others' experiences using adwords to solicit for surveys - whether or not for an existing website. Of course, I'm particularly interested in hearing of cases where people have done this for a website that does not yet exist. (The domain is registered, the survey will be on the site, but there will be no other content.)
Is is necessary to offer an incentive? I can't really offer a concrete incentive. I can offer a free "premium membership", but whether or not there will BE a premium membership (basic membership will definately be free) and what might be included in a premium membership is at this time undetermined, and in part will be determined by the outcome of the survey. I do want the survey to be confidential, and so taking an email address (necessary for offering the incentive) will call into question confidentiality. Anyone have experience with response rate and accuracy with and without an incentive?
I do not want to annoy respondants any more than necessary. I know they are looking for a guide to widget establishments, and there isn't a good one. I know I am diverting them from their primary purpose of finding a widget establishment. Should I offer up a list of the best of the existing widget establishment directories at the end of the survey? (And/or for those who choose not to take the survey after the read an introduction?)
I'm also thinking of including an Adsense block for either of the two scenarios above (either they choose not to take the survey, or they have completed it.) This might generate a little income (but probably not much, as I will probably stop after 1000 responses) but at the same time might give me some indication of what kind of advertising the site might attract.
Of course, I intend to be completely honest, and have the ad say something like "take our widget establishment (or widget establishment guide) survey".
All gotchas and suggestions appreciated!