Tag Archives: segmenting

Infographic of the Week: 7 Steps For Keeping Your Email Lists Clean

They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and the God in the Machine that is our online ventures requires the continuous cleaning of our cyberworlds. Less poetically and more to the mark, email lists used for business or research should be kept orderly for the best possible outreach. As marketing guru Neil Patel stated, “Email is by far the most effective marketing channel we have today…the average return on $1 spent on email marketing is $44.25. Nothing else comes even close.”

The sanitizing information for this week’s infographic was provided by qSample contributing writer Alex Ivanovs, who has written for many lauded publications including The Huffington Post. As he explained in his research:

Email subscribers are most frequently lost as people either lose interest, change their work places, in some cases because of closing their accounts, but quite often due to overly spammy newsletters. Anyone who has built their list for several years, will know how important it is to keep the list clean, if only to be able to get rid of poor marketing metrics.

In his article, Alex provided five tips. We’ve expanded his findings to seven and presented them in visual steps we hope you find purifying. Keep it clean and keep reaching your target audience:

Tips Your Email Marketing Lists Clean


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What is Response Bias in Online Studies? (and how to slay it)

Business man tempted by angel and devil on his shoulder, signifying response bias

You’ve got it all ready: vetted panel, crafted questionnaire, and an even enterprise software platform from a trusted provider. You’re ready for that data that will forward your market research to blissful success. Everything should be fine, right?

Wrong. A lot can go wrong.

One is response bias, or respondent bias. It’s a major issue in any survey methodology.

The other issue is respondent fatigue—addressed fully in our article Empathy for the Devil that is Writing Survey Questionnaires, which also addresses how to remove this other potential adversity for methods of data collection.

But back to the first issue. What exactly is response bias?

In Personality and Individual Differences, Adrian Furnham states:

Response bias is a general term for a wide range of cognitive biases that influence the responses of participants away from an accurate or truthful response. These biases are most prevalent in the types of studies and research that involve participant self-report, such as structured interviews or surveys.

The Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods further explains:

Response bias is a general term that refers to conditions or factors that take place during the process of responding to surveys, affecting the way responses are provided. Such circumstances lead to a nonrandom deviation of the answers from their true value. Because this deviation takes on average the same direction among respondents, it creates a systematic error of the measure, or bias. The effect is analogous to that of collecting height data with a ruler that consistently adds (or subtracts) an inch to the observed units. The final outcome is an overestimation (or underestimation) of the true population parameter.

In brief, response bias is the reality that participants bring a lot baggage to surveys (and attempt to hide a lot of this baggage by playing it safe alongside the proverbial pack). Furthermore, respondents have the innate desire to please studies they’re participating in, and therefore have the tendency in answering questions as the researcher might want instead of answering honestly.

Even briefer, humans are humans: complex in public as they are in private.

Yet there are research techniques that can decrease response bias. Some of these procedures paradoxically mean being more human and less scientific!


Don’t Lead Your Respondent



In the law arena, it’s akin to the prosecutor loaded question: “Where were you on the night you murdered your wife?”

In a subconscious way, researchers frequently do the same. It’s also referred to as inherent bias. As one researcher wrote:

For example, a satisfaction survey may ask the respondent to indicate where she is satisfied, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. By giving the respondent one response option to express satisfaction and two response options to express dissatisfaction, this survey question is biased toward getting a dissatisfied response.

The answer to this is ensure that your questions are balanced. In addition, verify every questionnaire with other colleagues to always ensure no personal partiality contaminates the study.


Give Them a Way Out



As mentioned, respondents have a natural desire to assist the studies they’re involved in. They also naturally will put pressure on themselves to offer the best possible answers. This pressure may (naturally AND mathematically) create skewed answers. Alleviating this pressure will ensure more honest responses.

An op-out choice is an effective manner way to relive any pressure. As one authority on surveys explained:

That is why it is imperative that every question has an opt-out choice. This is usually in the form of a “Don’t Know,” “Not Sure” or “Undecided.” Not only will adding the opt-out choice eliminate a lot of inaccurate answers from your study, but it will also provide you with valuable information.

The same source states that a notion called “social desirability” is potentially present in surveys—and that is the resistance of respondents to answer sensitive questions due to an intrinsic fear of being exposed to society. The solution is to stress the anonymity of the study beforehand, as well as reminders throughout the survey in the form of text reminders on the screen before a section (as an example).


Offer Questions in a Dynamic Manner



When respondents are presented with a steady pattern of inquiry, they typically answer based on the previous question or subject arrangement. (This can likewise cause respondent fatigue.)

Researcher Sam Mcfarland found that: “When you start with a closed question, you may affect how the respondent will answer a subsequent open-ended question on the same topic because the earlier question has primed them to focus on that issue.”

A White Paper dealing with response bias in surveys, issued by the University of Jerusalem, further stated solutions:

Other ways of circumventing or revealing response bias could be, for example, presenting items on separate screens when using computerized versions, instead of presenting all items simultaneously on one page. The same can be done with traditional PP questionnaires, though the procedure is much more cumbersome. Moreover, the use of a computerized questionnaire enables simple manipulation of the visual presentation of both items and scales. For instance, the computerized questionnaire can present a small number of items simultaneously. Using such techniques might reduce response bias by hindering participants’ attempts to rely on answers to previous items, or on the visual pattern of their answers that is visible when using PP questionnaires. This predicted reduction in response bias is expected to result in lower measures of internal consistency for the computerized versions of questionnaire.

To wit, keep it exciting, mix it up and scatter the topics in the questionnaire.

Most experts on survey procedures, including most of the ones quoted in this piece, agree that these additional techniques can go a long way in mitigating response bias:

–  Use clear and simple language in market research questions.
–  Do not used loaded/lightning rod terms or words unless necessary (e.g.: environmentalist, terrorist, politician, etc.).
–  Avoid negatives like “not,” or at least highlight them so the respondent understands their context.
–  Be as transparent and communicative with the panel throughout the process.

With all if this in mind, response bias can be alleviated to much less than a malady. Just as positive, humans can be humans while research data can become divine for market research.



Microsoft and Sony Battle for Consumer Attention at E3

E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, is one of the biggest gaming trade shows in the world. It will be held at the L.A. Convention Center in California this week from Tuesday June 10 – Thursday June 12, and will undoubtedly feature some exciting news from the industry. The two biggest console manufacturers, Microsoft and Sony, have already made some important announcements.

While Microsoft has focused on damage-control after the disastrous launch of the Xbox One, Sony has announced some very ambitious projects in an attempt to maintain a lead in console sales. With 7 million units sold, the PS4 has been the popular choice for consumers, but Microsoft is not far behind with sales of just over 5 million. These are relatively small numbers which represent the beginning of each console’s product life cycle. For example, the Xbox 360 has surpassed 83.7 million units sold since it was released in 2005, and Sony has sold 80 million PS3 systems since 2006. A recent survey indicated that 58% of gamers haven’t even purchased one of the new consoles, and 82% of those that have a PS4 or Xbox One own less than 8 games. This means that the new console war has only just begun, and the upcoming holiday season will be crucial for Microsoft and Sony.

Microsoft entered E3 with a focus on software. Among the titles announced, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was predictable but effective in reminding the public of one of Microsoft’s most popular series. It also served as a distraction to those wishing to see Halo 5 gameplay footage, which was not featured. Trailers for Dragon Age: Origins, The Division, and Forza Horizon 2 were shown, but with all of the games showcased, many noted a lack of updates in hardware. The Xbox One has always been an ambitious system with a focus on advancements in physical technology, yet one piece was conspicuously absent from the Microsoft Press Conference: The Kinect. The motion control device was originally bundled with the Xbox One, and advertised as a key accessory for gameplay, but public reaction to the device has been less than spectacular. Microsoft has announced that the Kinect will not be bundled with lower priced Xbox One systems anymore. This could mean that Microsoft is shifting its focus away from motion control for the time being.

Unlike Microsoft, Sony showcased both hardware and games. They announced a white version of the PS4, which will be bundled with Destiny, a sci-fi shooter on September 9. This is the first hardware update Sony has announced for the PS4. Other notable mentions include updates on Project Morpheus, a headset for virtual reality gameplay, and Sony’s new streaming box: PlayStation TV. Although neither project has a release date yet, it was announced that Project Morpheus will be available for demo with two games at Sony’s E3 booth, and Playstation TV will have a $99 – $139 price tag upon launch in North America. Survey results showed that only 12% of gamers use their consoles solely for games, meaning that PlayStation TV may be launched to a receptive market.

The future of console gaming is as uncertain as ever, and manufacturers must integrate high quality gaming experiences with new features and hardware. In a survey fielded by qSample, 44% of consumers indicated that, “quality of games”, was the most important factor in buying a new console. Only 16% chose price as the key factor, which suggests that many consumers are willing to pay for a better experience.

In an industry filled with tech-savvy people, it is crucial to listen and respond to the attitude of the consumers. Public opinion shifted dramatically towards the PS4 during the console launch last year, and Microsoft is still fighting to recover its image. When Sony responded to Microsoft’s controversial announcements with conservative messages that catered to the public attitude, they took advantage of those mistakes and won the hearts of many consumers. Since then the company has fought to maintain its position as king of the consoles, and E3 2014 will be no exception.

qSample offers many great services and specialty panels for data collection. One of those panels is Gamers. You can find more information here, or contact qSample at www.qsample.com/contact

Going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup? It’s Going to Cost You!

According to the U.S. consulate in Rio, more than 187,000 tickets have been purchased by American credit cards and 80,000 U.S. visitors are expected to attend the Cup.

In the infographic below we break down a few of the costs Americans can expect to spend if they’re planning to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in just one week. Would you be willing to pay the price?

FIFA World Cup

Infographic on travel costs for FIFA 2014

Choosing The Right Paint Color For The Right Room


The number of people planning to take on home improvement and decorating projects this year has increased by more than 12 percent from this time last year.

More people are fixing up their homes with the intent to live in them longer than ever before. For most homeowners, they are simply starting with the color of paint on their walls.

Paint has the power to transform a room.

Understanding the power of color flow allows homeowners to create both a beautiful and harmonious living atmosphere. The colors that you choose to put on your walls affect your mood and perception, so choosing the right color for the right room is essential.

For bedrooms, it is best to stay away from high-energy colors like deep red or bright green. Bedrooms are a place for relaxation so more calming colors like blue and grey are often more suitable.

We suggest “Kyrpton” from Sherwin-Williams.

Yellow is a great color for kitchens because it is friendly and welcoming, yet not too loud or disturbing. Yellow is also known to complement most times of kitchen cabinetries.

Red is frequently used in kitchens because that is a color known to cause hunger. So if you’re going on a diet, we wouldn’t recommend painting your kitchen or dining room any shade of red.

We suggest “Canary Song” from Glidden Paint.

Neutral colors that reflect well on skin tones are great for bathrooms. It’s also important to choose colors that give off a clean and refreshing feeling.

We suggest “Manchester Tan” from Benjamin Moore.

Home Office-
If you google “the most productive color” the results will show that blue is the answer. Blue is a color that is known to stimulate the mind and increase focus, which makes it a great color for painting a home office.

We suggest “Sea Rover” from Behr.

Living Room-
Using dark tones in a living room can create a warm and cozy feel. Stay away from over stimulating colors like red or bright yellow, because a living room is meant to be a place of relaxation.

We suggest “Sea Wave” from Valspar.

Remember, the paint on your walls sets the tone for the room. What tone are you trying to set?