Demographic Questions Overview

Demographics are characteristics of a population. Characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, profession, occupation, income level, and marital status are all typical examples of demographics that are used in surveys.

Demographic questions are an important aspect of any survey. Demographic questions are designed to help survey researchers determine what factors may influence a respondent’s answers, interests, and opinions. 

Collecting demographic information will enable you to cross-tabulate and compare subgroups to see how responses vary between these groups.

We'll walk you through the best practices for creating a survey flow that includes two common demographic questions (race and gender), as well as how to segment your respondents into groups based on their response for data export and analysis. We'll also include a downloadable version of this flow at the end of the article that you can upload to your own account to edit. 

This article assumes you're already familiar with the process for uploading contacts to our platform. If not, please review the Introduction to Contacts article before continuing. 

Building Your Demographic Survey Flow

We'll use a customer satisfaction survey as an example:

1. Start by accessing the flow creation tab and creating a new flow.

2. Click to create your first message. This message should introduce your organization (assuming this is the first time you've reached out to this contact) and provide an overview of why you're asking them questions and how long the survey will take. This is a best practice to build good relationships with clients and ensure good response rates. 

3. After writing your first question, click on the “+” icon (the icon will appear if you leave the mouse arrow on the box) and add the second message, which will be the first question of your survey. 

When writing multiple-choice questions, you should always give simple choices for responses (like the A, B, C, D, and E in this example) and explain what each option means.

4. Now create a "wait for response" rule to handle all replies to your first question. 

When creating message response logic:

  • Always choose a value for the "save result as" field that will help you identify the question in reporting
  • Think in advance to predict how your contacts will reply, including grammatical and spelling mistakes
  • Start with the most narrow logic ("has all of the words") for a particular answer and then work your way to the most broad ("has the phrase")
  • Use "has the phrase" if you expect a multi-word response to a question, like "very likely"
  • Multiple logical expressions can be categorized into the same answer category ("Very Likely") for reporting 

5. Click and drag to create your second message, which will be your question about the contact's race. We'll use a standard matrix of responses for our example, but you can modify to meet your needs. 

As before, we've provided simple choices for responses.

6. Create a "wait for response" rule to handle all replies to your second question. 

Our logic is mapped with the same process we used before, but here there's an additional step, because respondents may identify as a race that we didn't provide as a category. 

7. To address this, click the 'Other' category in the flow editor and drag to create a new question. Add an open question asking the respondent to describe their race in their own words:

8. You'll then save the result of this question into a new result:

9. Now you need to save the responses to your race question to the contact record so you can use them to segment future reporting. To do so, drag all response categories to an "Update Contact" step. You'll have two steps: one for your original question and one for your question that asks for the respondent's race in their own words:

When setting up the Update Contact step, create a "Save to field" for Race (if you don't have one already, and as the "Value" select the @flow.Race.category or @flow.OtherRace variable for that particular question. 

10. Your next step is to create your question about the contact's gender. Use the same response logic and updating contact steps as for your previous question. End your flow with a thank you — you're done!


 Sending Your Demographic Survey Flow 

When you are ready to send your flow, click "Start Flow" in the flow editor. For other ways of starting your demographic survey flow, see Starting a Flow

Exporting Your Demographic Data 

When you've collected your responses, you may want to export your data for analysis. 

1. Next to the "Start Flow" button in the flow editor, click on the "Settings" icon and navigate to "Results." 

2. On the Results page, you can see a high-level breakdown of responses graphically or download your data. Click "Download."

If you're interested in data from other contact fields for your contacts that wasn't collected during your Demographic Survey, you can include those contact fields in your export. This may be useful if you're looking to segment previously collected data by age or gender. Click "Ok" and the data will be sent to your email for download. 

Download the Example Flow

1. Click here to download the example flow.

2. Follow the instructions here to import the flow to your account.