Know Your Audience

Everyone likes to laugh, and once in a while you may take a stab at being the funny one by the water cooler. We’ve all been there — a situation mirrors something from your favorite TV show, and you take a stab at a funny anecdote. But if your audience isn’t familiar with the reference, your joke falls flat.

Whether you’re telling a joke, providing instructions or helping a client troubleshoot an issue, you have to know your audience.

Recently, we received a call from a client who thought something was wrong with the system because she had only received a couple of responses to her survey — despite sending it to 10,000 people. After reviewing the technical side, it was determined that many people were receiving and opening the survey, but they were dropping out after a short time.

So then we took a look at the survey itself. It was cluttered, wordy and completely unappealing. The worst part — the target audience was senior citizens in assisted living facilities. Not only was it likely that these participants were unfamiliar with computers, but there’s a good chance many are visually impaired as well.

It became very clear why so few had completed the survey.

So, before you start designing your survey, know your audience. Then choose font, color and wording accordingly and watch your response rates soar.