Asking questions is what we do best at Opinary. We’ve been doing it for a long time, and we’ve spent a lot of time assessing the results, so we’ve learned a few things about what makes users more likely to engage with a poll.
To ensure your readers are as empowered as possible, we’d like to share a few tips on how to optimize your Opinary polls. There are some exceptions to these suggestions, but these best practices are recommended in the majority of cases.
1. Keep your answers short, snappy, and simple (but still interesting)
We recommend keeping the answers to your polls down to less than three lines (which can be checked in a preview), but they should always be more than a simple “yes” or “no” to give a little flavor. This encourages users to vote and gives them more orientation to better place themselves on the arc.
2. Look to the future
According to our studies, the most engaging questions are those which pose a question about the future — for example, “Do you intend to buy the new iPhone?”, “Should Scotland have a second independence referendum?”, “Would you support tax increases to support the NHS?”. So, when phrasing your questions, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if there is any way you can alter it to be more focused on the future rather than the past or present.
3. Make questions accessible
If a question is heavily convoluted, too long, too complicated, or full of confusing words, people are less likely to vote. Make your questions more appealing by avoiding boring words, keeping things snappy, and being clear. You want your readers to already have an idea of their answer as soon as they finish reading the question — they shouldn’t need to think about what the question means before they start to formulate an answer.
4. Don’t overdo it on the opinion bubbles
A key part of our tool is helping readers to see opinions from outside of their usual zone of influence that can be propagated by social media, but if the speedometer polls are too cluttered, it can reduce the engagement rate. Aim for a maximum of 3 or 4 bubbles per poll unless the debate is heavily contested with multiple varied viewpoints.
5. Embed as much as you can (and then some)
As you embed more polls, readers will become more used to seeing them, and therefore more likely to interact. It’s a good idea to integrate as many polls as possible across different articles, even if it’s the same poll multiple times — one article about a certain topic might be viewed by an entirely different group of readers than another post bearing the same poll.
6. Frame the question with the reader in mind
7. Formatting the opinions
The aforementioned opinion bubbles are best used to denote where a celebrity, analyst, or person of importance stands on the debate. Based on the strength of their stance, they can be placed in a specific place along the opinion spectrum.
This is the best way to format the text within the opinion bubbles:
Give some background and provide a link to the context of the quote, then include a full quote. Making sure all of the opinion bubble texts are formatted similarly is always helpful.
Have other questions about Opinary polls?
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!