A soft launch refers to gradually sending out email invitations for a survey so that any teething issues can be addressed before all of your contacts are invited.
This is not a replacement for testing your survey thoroughly first. It is an additional precaution you can take that can be a real life-saver in case your testing missed something. You often only have one shot with respondents. If they can, for some reason, not complete your survey, they probably will not try again later.
Some of the common issues that can be identified with a soft launch are things like response options that are missing. For instance, a simplified example, you ask the respondent to select their country and it is not in the list or you set up some branching based on a custom field, which is not working for some of the contacts.
A soft launch usually has three rounds
- Day 1: invite 5% of your target group. Any teething problems can now surface and you’ll have the time to resolve these.
- Day 2: invite 20% of your target group. It’s a safety net to see if your measures will hold when a larger audience accesses your survey.
- Day 3: invite the rest of your target group.
You can, of course, always leave more days between each new round. That is entirely up to you. We do recommend to leave at least a day in between, though, so you have enough time to make the necessary changes.
Setting up a soft launch in the CheckMarket platform
- Create separate excel files for each soft launch round. For each round, include only those email addresses you wish to send invites to.
- Import the first file and launch the survey.
- Wait for the results and verify these. Make changes to the survey where necessary
- Import the second file of contacts.
- Again, wait for the results to come in, and make changes where necessary.
- You may want to add another soft launch round at this point in time. If so, repeat the above steps for each additional round.
- If all is going well and you are ready for the full launch, import the rest of the sample. If the survey is live, the invitations will be sent immediately. Optionally you can add an invitation date so that the invitations are sent at a certain date and time.
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