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The Mobile App Survey Targeting Ultra Manual

User feedback helps us make informed choices about our mobile app development process. So how do we get awesome feedback — and lots of it? Experience shows that in-app surveys get higher response rates than other survey methods, but what else do you need in order to get the best answers? A survey targeting strategy. You'll need to use the right tools, ask the right questions, and target properly for maximum impact.

This guide features specific tips for Instabug users, but anyone can learn from the targeting tips and principles shared here. Consider this your introduction to survey strategy for mobile apps. We’ll start with setting goals, and then learn how to target the right users, and then we’ll look at how to send perfectly-timed mobile app surveys.

Contents

  • Setting goals for your surveys
  • Getting started with segmentation
  • Targeting the right users
  • Perfectly-timed surveys
  • Survey knowledge resources

Setting goals for your surveys

While I’m not going to jump into the specifics of how to write the ultimate survey questions (we have a detailed survey creation guide just for that!), it’s important to approach your segmentation and targeting processes with the right frame of mind.

Surveys need goals to be successful. Think about what you want to accomplish with your next survey. For example, say you’re trying to identify the cause for a low checkout completion rate. That’s the goal for your next survey. But now it’s time to think about how you’ll best reach those goals.

Are you looking for quantitative or qualitative data? Are you going to get the answers you want from multiple choice questions or open text fields? Once you know what kind of data you’re looking for, you’ll start thinking about which questions would help you understand what’s happening and which users will give you the most relevant information. When you have a basic overview of what you’d like to achieve and what questions you’re going to ask, it’s time to jump into segmentation.

Getting started with segmentation

Segmentation is your first step to sending ultra-targeted surveys. Split your users into multiple groups with shared core features, such as purchase history, usage patterns, acquisition source, or other categories that are relevant to your organization.

By sending surveys to specific groups of people, you’ll gather valuable information about how your specific user personas and user behaviors are related. By putting your survey results into context with the user’s identity, behaviors, and other information gathered from Instabug (such as conversations, devices, versions, etc.) you will better understand how to optimize your product for different groups of people.

How to segment with Instabug

Start by creating custom tags for the attributes you’d like to isolate. Some examples of these might be paid vs. free, demographic details, usage frequency or patterns, or something else specific to your needs. Creating and assigning attribute tags with Instabug is quick and simple; you can get the details for iOS, Android, and cross-platform apps in our Documentation.

Once set, you’ll find user attributes on display in user profiles, bug and crash report filters, and in your targeting options for surveys.

survey-targeting

Targeting the right users

All right, so you’ve set your attribute tags and segmented your users. What happens next?

It’s time for you to choose which segments will be seeing this survey. This is a function of your survey content — you started with setting goals. When you know what you’re trying to accomplish with your survey, choosing who to send it too becomes straightforward.

In addition to segmenting by custom attributes such as the ones you made in the last section, you can also choose from preset attributes like app version, session count, last seen, country, or more. You’ll select one or multiple conditions in the WHO field on the survey targeting page.

survey-targeting
Target your surveys to one or more specific segments, either pre-set or custom.

Targeting examples by segment

Survey Topic Segments Surveyed
Which paid features your users want to see Paid and free users (surveyed separately)
What users like or dislike about your newest feature Has most recent version installed
Communication method preferences (support or marketing) B2B users segmented by field, role, or organization
...value perception. How would you rate the value for the price of this app/in-app purchases?
App’s value for the money, or which features are most or least useful Users who recently upgraded or downgraded their subscriptions
Find out if there are missing or incomplete-feeling features Longtime free users who haven’t converted to paid yet

Perfectly-timed surveys

Sending well-written questions to a well-chosen group of people isn’t the only thing you need to launch a successful survey. You’ll also need to approach them at strategic times so you can ask questions in context when they’re most relevant to your users’ experience. Increasing relevance increases the response rate and quality of your results.

So how do you choose your strategic moments? Take a second to think about your overall survey goals from the first section. What are you trying to learn more about? Now think about the user behaviors that are relevant to your goals and when those behaviors occur. When timing your surveys, you want to connect the user behavior with the most relevant moments.

For instance, if you’re a rideshare app, when do you send satisfaction surveys to the user? After the user completes a ride. Connecting the behavior (taking a ride) with the right moment (as soon as the ride is completed) means that the experience is fresh in the mind of your user, increasing their inclination to respond and relay important details about their experience.

You’ll also want to sync up “happy moments” in your app with the times you ask for app ratings or reviews. Tinder is a prime example of this idea in action. When a user makes a match, they typically experience a small dopamine kick. That’s the perfect time to ask them how they feel about your app — because that’s when they’re most likely to feel happy with it.

When you’re creating your survey, you’ll encounter the event targeting step on the survey targeting page. After you’ve completed the user targeting (WHO), you’ll move on to event targeting (WHEN). You can choose from a list of custom events specific to your app after you’ve added them to your custom event list. More details on how to do this are in our Docs.

survey-targeting
Your custom events will appear in the dropdown menu and can be chosen as survey triggers.

You can explore this topic in more detail in our event-based survey guide.

Targeting examples by event

App Type Survey Topic Survey Trigger
E-commerce Optimizing your checkout conversion rate, user satisfaction with the checkout process User completes a purchase, after a user leaves the order confirmation page
Mobile Game Playability and challenge level for users After the user finishes a level
Rideshare Satisfaction with the driver or ride overall When the ride is completed
...value perception. How would you rate the value for the price of this app/in-app purchases? hnfg
Dating Satisfaction with app or app store review After a user makes a match (a “happy moment”)
Any User satisfaction, general feedback, likes or dislikes After the user has logged in X amount of times (your “X” varies based on your app)

Survey knowledge resources

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