Using Humor to Create Fun Surveys

A survey is only as good as the responses it receives from the responders. One way to increase the number of survey responses is to use humor to make your surveys fun. You can easily do that in one of two ways:

  1. Adding humorous questions among your standard survey questions, or
  2. Asking your standard survey questions in a humorous way.

The benefit to your responders is that they enjoy taking the survey more and the benefit to you is that you get more responses.  These rules apply to just about any survey you could think of: employee surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, training surveys, surveys about surveys–you name it, humor can help.

Ready to make your surveys fun? Here’s how to do it.

Adding Humorous Questions Among Standard Survey Questions

The easier way to add humor to your survey is by adding interesting questions to it, just for the sake of humor. This is as easy as picking a question or eight (such as any from 50 Questions to Get to Someone) and adding them in between your “serious” questions.

The key to doing this effectively is to design it in such a way that it doesn’t cheapen your survey or negatively impact its results. To accomplish this,

  1. Use a 4-1 ratio of 4 serious survey questions for every 1 humorous one. This allows you to have fun survey questions without detracting away from the most important questions.
  2. Where possible, use humorous questions that are related to or inspired by your actual questions. This keeps people from straying too far away from your subject matter. If this isn’t possible, keep the humor questions simple so they don’t require too much thinking (you don’t want to wear out your responders).
  3. The humorous questions should be appropriate and upbeat for your audience. You don’t want your responders to be offended (or in a bad mood) while they’re answering questions about employee satisfaction or your site design.

As for specific survey questions to use, there are countless, just use your imagination. If you’re lacking inspiration, take the Humor That Works Survey for some sample survey questions, or adapt a few humorous questions from 50 Questions to Get to Know Someone.

The added bonus to this method is that it will make the analyzing your survey results that much more fun, because in addition to getting the survey research you wanted, you’ll also learn your responders’ favorite colors or hear a humorous one-liner.

Asking Standard Survey Questions in a Humorous Way

The other option for adding humor to your surveys is through spicing up the serious questions you want answered. This keeps the focus on what you want to know but does it in a way that is more engaging to the responders. To do this,

  1. Include humorous measures along with real ones.  Instead of using a standard scale of 1 to 5 in your training survey, try using a scale that draws on your subject matter (such as a scale of Ha (1) to Hahahahaha (5)).  You still accomplish your goal, but it’s more engaging than the typical approach.
  2. Use humorous examples to demonstrate what you’re looking for.  This is a perfect time for the comedy rule of 3, allowing you to have two real examples and a third humorous one.  You accomplish your goal of giving an example while at the same time injecting humor into your survey.
  3. Provide humorous responses as possible answers.  The last option for any given question can be one that is included for humor, not for a legitimate response.  The key watchout here is that people may choose your humorous answer instead of an actual one, so only do this on survey questions you would be OK not getting a serious response on.

Using Humor to Create Fun Surveys

Adding humor to your surveys can go a long way in improving your response rates and can help you get more engagement from the responders. As the responders realize you’ve sprinkled humor throughout, they’ll start looking forward to the upcoming questions to see your use of humor instead of dreading the questions to come. Do it consistently in each survey and they’ll start looking forward to answering future surveys.

If you want to see a sample survey that uses these tips, and wouldn’t mind helping me better address the humor needs of you as a reader, fill out the Humor That Works Survey.  It’s guaranteed to make you laugh (or at least smile (or at least click the mouse a couple of times)).

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8 thoughts on “Using Humor to Create Fun Surveys”

    1. Thanks for the feedback David, it should be working now. Note: it’s possible the survey won’t show up on mobile devices.

  1. Pingback: Using humour in online surveys: Are we having a laugh? | Austin Research - Market Research Consultants

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