Create Surveys and Make a Difference With Eval.me

If you’ve had to get feedback on a product/service or learn about people’s needs/opinions, you’ll agree that web-based surveys are the easiest way to poll your audience – but do you get the most of your efforts? Many people ignore online surveys and a large number also rush through them in order to quickly qualify for any incentives that are offered for filling them out. Is there a way to optimize the survey exercise for marketers and researchers to get more participants and better-quality responses?

Eval.me believes it has found the answer, in people’s innate desire to do good. The app aims to help you build surveys easily and get more people to take them by offering a unique incentive – for every survey filled, the surveyor will donate US$1 to a charity selected by the respondent. The approach to getting a higher number of responses is certainly interesting, but does it really work? And how does the app stand up to the competition? Let’s build a survey or two and find out.

Overview

Eval.me allows you to build simple surveys and offer your respondents to pick a charity to which you’ll donate US$1 for their time. You can select the charities to allow your participants to choose from and send out invitations to fill out your surveys via email. It’s nice to see an app trying to solve an old problem with new thinking. The app has a fresh look but is low on features and is better suited for basic users.

Eval.me looks pretty neat

Eval.me looks pretty neat

Getting started

You don’t have to pay to sign up for Eval.me – just fill out a short form and you’re all set. After you’ve logged in you can start creating your first survey. There aren’t any options to customize the look of your survey or to add custom branding, and there aren’t any templates to help you along either. So you’ll just have to dive into the process and add questions.

Creating a survey

Eval.me feels very basic when it comes to building surveys. There are just five types of questions you can work with – multiple choice (only 1 answer or multiple answers), rating scale, short answer, long answer. There are no parameters to set up skip logic (where a user who has entered a particular answer on one question can skip the next question if it doesn’t apply to him/her), require mandatory responses on questions, response filtering or other such question-related features present on more powerful survey tools. The rating scale looks and feels a bit wishy-washy – it’s a slider on which you can set the rename only the maximum and minimum values, which isn’t great for when you need serious metrics.

Adding questions to your survey

Adding questions to your survey

Working with charities

Once you’re done creating your survey, you can select (from a list of 20) up to 5 charities that your survey will allow respondents to choose from. Options include American Red Cross, Save The Children, The Nature Conservancy, CARE, Mercy Corps and more. It’s worth noting that these are most of these organizations are based in the United States and if you’re not from there, you and your respondents may not be familiar with them. The selection page has short descriptions explaining what each charity is concerned with, along with a link to their sites so you can make an informed decision as to which charities to feature on your survey.

Picking charities to offer your audience a selection

Picking charities to offer your audience a selection

Getting responses

Once your survey is ready to send out, Eval.me will ask you for email addresses of your respondents. You can supply these manually, by uploading a CSV file, or by importing them from Gmail or MailChimp. The email sent out by Eval.me can’t be customized and unfortunately resembles a spam message and could easily be ignored, thus falling prey to the very problem the app attempts to solve – the ‘from’ name is just hello, the email body features no branding or professional graphics and mentions the name of the account holder (which may be less ideal than the name of the company for whom the survey is being conducted). Keep in mind that you can’t share the survey link via IM or social networks.

Sending out your suvey (via email, only from within the app)

Sending out your suvey (via email, only from within the app)

The survey presented to respondents looks a bit clunky and features all its questions on a single page – quite similar to a number of surveys that I’ve left unanswered in the past. PopSurvey does a much better job of displaying questions with its sleek survey player and customizable inte As the app doesn’t allow for any branding or even an introductory message, you can’t even explain to the respondent who you are, your reason for taking this survey or how you’d like them to approach it.

A sample survey I built using eval.me

A sample survey I built using eval.me

Viewing responses

After your respondents have taken your survey, you can visit the Eval.me dashboard to see how many people have responded. Here’s where things get interesting: if you want to view the responses, you’ll have to donate the promised amount to participants’ selected surveys. There’s a set rate of US$1 per response that goes to each selected charity and additionally US$0.25 goes to Eval.me for every response.

So if you’ve got, say, 100 responses on a survey, you’ll need to pay a total of US$125, of which US$100 goes to the charities respondents chose and US$25 goes to Eval.me. That’s fairly expensive even if you discount the entire amount that goes to charity – Surveymonkey charges roughly US$16 per month for unlimited responses and many more features, while PopSurvey charges US$24 per month for up to 10,000 responses.

Having said that, the results are displayed nicely, using easy-to-read graphs and charts with design cues from Microsoft’s Office 2007 suite. You can also download a Microsoft Excel-compatible spreadsheet of the results. I created a survey to find out what people thought of my fictional band, for which Eval.me’s survey builder was adequate. However, this is hardly the app you should consider if you’re looking at doing serious market research or need detailed feedback from your audience.

Survey results on eval.me

Survey results on eval.me

Conclusion

Eval.me is built on a noble idea but the execution isn’t up to the mark. The core app is weak, there’s no documentation or even a guide to explain how things will work. There are too many glaring gaps, such as the lack of branding on surveys, no way to promote surveys via social media, no personalized email invitations and the lack of a receipt for your payment (and similarly there’s no acknowledgment from the charities for your contribution), for one to even consider using this app for commercial purposes. It’s also way too expensive for personal use.

At this point, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking to build a survey. However, there’s some merit in the underlying idea, so perhaps in the future if the app’s feature set is expanded and the pricing is streamlined further, it’d be worth looking into. Until then, you’re better off using something like PopSurvey or Surveymonkey, while donating to your preferred charities directly.


Summary

Eval.me is an online survey tool that allows you to create a survey, email it to your customers, collect the responses, and make a donation to charity while you're at it.

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