The 'How did you hear about us?' survey is one of the most fundamental customer feedback tools that businesses use to learn more about their customer base.
By knowing how customers are discovering the brand, organizations can focus marketing, sales, and customer service efforts on channels and audiences that are best for the business.
In this guide, we'll explore how to create the perfect 'How did you hear about us?' survey along with some examples and alternatives you can use at your company.
Continue reading or jump ahead:
- How to Create a 'How Did You Hear About Us' Survey
- How Did You Hear About Us Examples
- How Did You Hear About Us Options (and Alternatives)
- Sample Answers to How Did You Hear About Us
How Did You Hear About Us?
'How did you hear about us?' surveys gather feedback that businesses use to improve customer acquisition. This question is often featured in a feedback form before or after a transaction. Asking customers how they discovered your company helps you identify effective communication channels to engage existing customers and nurture potential leads.
Next we'll review how you can create this survey on your own.
How to Create a 'How Did You Hear About Us' Survey
'How Did You Hear About Us' forms are relatively easy to create since they're only one question long and you typically provide the customer with a set of multiple-choice answers.
The tricky part is mastering the timing and positioning of the survey as this usually dictates whether visitors will participate or navigate past your form.
It's also important to use the right survey set up. You'll want to use a form creator that provides multiple-choice answers instead of rich text.
Rich text will permit the customer to write any answer they wish, but it will be more difficult to analyze later.
Limiting answers to a list allows your team to use quantitative analysis which is faster and more consistent than interpreting qualitative responses.
If you're not sure what a 'How did you hear about us?' survey looks like, read on for some examples below.
How Did You Hear About Us Examples
How you position this survey question will likely be determined by when and where you're triggering your survey.
It's important to consider its timing and phrase the question so that it fits naturally with the rest of the questions the participant is answering.
Here are a few examples.
1. Basic 'How Did You Hear About Us' Survey
This is a fundamental example of a 'How did you hear about us?' survey. It asks how the participant discovered the company and provides five general answers to choose from.
Best for: Gathering information before a purchase (e.g., during the checkout process) or after a purchase (e.g., in the order confirmation email).
2. 'How Did You Hear About This Job?' Survey
If you're hiring, this question is a great way to learn more about your recruitment process and improve your hiring strategy.
Best for: Job applications or communications during the hiring process to determine how job prospects landed on your listing.
3. Lead Capture 'How Did You Hear About Us' Survey
This form builder includes additional fields that capture lead information with the inclusion of the 'How Did You Hear About Us' survey question.
Best for: Embedding on a webpage or blog to obtain information about your customer base while simultaneously adding a new contact to your CRM.
4. 'How Did You Hear About This Event?' Survey
This event-focused 'How Did You Hear About Us' survey helps give your marketing team information on where to engage customers when advertising for future events.
Best for: Signup and registration forms for events or as one question in a post-event survey satisfaction survey.
5. Customer Behavior Survey
Rather than directly asking the customer how they discovered your brand, you can ask how they typically find out about companies or products in your industry.
Best for: Lead acquisition forms, focus group questionnaires, or customer feedback surveys where you want a more general idea of where customers are the most.
Along with these examples, there are also some alternatives to the 'How Did You Hear About Us' question that you can use in surveys.
We'll look at these options next.
How Did You Hear About Us Options (and Alternatives)
Below are a few other 'How Did You Hear About Us' options that you can use depending on the goal of your survey.
"Who referred you to us?"
If your employees work face-to-face with customers, this is a question they can ask while still keeping the discussion casual and conversational.
Whether it's during checkout or making conversation during a sales pitch, your employees should take notes on how customers answer this question and update their contact information after the interaction.
"Was it easy to find us?"
If you're less concerned about where your customers are coming from, you may be more interested in how they're finding you.
If they're spending a lot of time searching for your business on search engines and social media, it can deter people from working with your company.
This question can help you determine how accessible your business is and whether you need to adjust your SEO or content strategy.
"How would you rate our sign up process?"
One way you can indirectly find out how customers found your business is by asking them to review your signup process.
If you include a comment box, customers might explain how they discovered your business and how you can improve its accessibility.
Now that we've looked at some question options, read on for some sample answers you can use in your 'How did you hear about us?' survey.
Sample Answers to How Did You Hear About Us
Use these answers for some inspiration for your form.
For a simpler survey, use the headers above the paragraph. If you're looking for more detailed results, try adding some additional answers provided in the bullet points.
If your marketing team is building this survey, they might be curious to know if an advertising campaign is working or not.
Instead of using a blanket response like "advertisement" or "marketing," you can use more specific responses to see exactly how a customer responded to your content.
Advertisement Sample Answers:
- Promotional Videos
2. The Internet
The internet allows consumers to access information as quickly as they can type a question into a search bar.
Search engines have created powerful algorithms that help people find exactly what they're looking for which makes it easy for users to share information online.
If you're a cloud-based or SaaS business, it's important to narrow down exactly how customers are finding your website.
Internet Sample Answers:
- Search Engines
- Social Media
- Another Company's Website
- Job Listing
- Customer Review Sites
- Organic Content (videos, pictures, stories)
3. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is a powerful way for customers to refer a business.
While a peer recommendation may not reach thousands of people, word-of-mouth referrals are four times more likely to convert compared to leads from other sources.
Word of Mouth Sample Answers:
- Peer Referral
- Customer Testimonials
- Employer or Coworker
- Community Forum
Some businesses rely on events to meet new clients and develop sales connections.
While your team might not get the chance during the event, you can include a 'How did you hear about us?' question in your event registration form.
Event Sample Answers:
- Corporate Outing/Social
- Networking Event
- Training Seminar
You should always include the option, "other" in your survey. This gives participants the option to omit an answer or provide one that might not have been included in the multiple-choice.
You also have the option to allow participants to describe what their "other" source is. This provides you with some additional qualitative information that you can use to recategorize the answer.
The More You Know
While the 'How Did You Hear About Us' question may seem simple, it's clear that there are major benefits to including this as part of your customer outreach strategy.
Whether it's in an email or on your website, make sure you're asking how your customers found you. After all, there may very well be more prospects waiting there too.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.