Demographic survey questions you should be asking

Do you consider demographic questions to be an old, outdated and irrelevant component of market research? Think again!

Understanding who your customers are is important for your success. If you don't know what your customers' character traits are, segmenting and targeting them effectively may become difficult. Here is where demographic survey questions come in handy.

Demographic survey questions assist in the creation of a strong buyer persona or customer profile. They fill in the blanks and help you identify the types of people who purchase products or services from your business. This then allows you to segment your target audience more easily, making it easier to target them later.

As a marketer, you want to target people who are interested in your message rather than those who are annoyed by it. When you begin sending out surveys with demographic questions, you can narrow your marketing efforts and advertise effectively. Continue reading to find out more about the best demographic survey questions to ask.

What are demographic survey questions?

Let's begin by unraveling this question. Firstly, demographics are characteristics of a population. When designing a survey to discover the demographics of a person, you’re aiming to discover their characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, profession, occupation, income level, marital status and interests, to name a few.

By collecting this data, you can gain a better understanding of the identity of your business's current customers. You can also identify patterns, trends or purchasing behaviors that allow you to make more informed marketing decisions.

Best demographic survey questions

You may have seen a few common demographic questions to include in your survey mentioned above. Let’s take a look at why these questions are actually important to ask.

1. Age

One of the most common demographic questions asked in surveys is age. Requesting information about age is useful for marketing campaigns and determining how your target audience will react to your products and services.

Knowing your customers' age range will help you better understand their ways of thinking and how to engage with them appropriately. Different age groups have different life experiences, which ultimately influence their thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. For example, when a survey about consumer electronics is conducted, a respondent in his twenties will most likely answer the question differently than a respondent in his seventies.

However, many people are self-conscious about their age. So, consider asking this question like this:

Question example: What is your age range?

  1. Under 18
  2. 18 to 24
  3. 25 to 34
  4. 35 to 44
  5. 45 to 54
  6. 55 and above
  7. I prefer not to answer

2. Ethnicity

Another common demographic question is asking about a respondent's ethnicity or race. Demographic data that involves ethnicity is usually quite valuable because it contains a wealth of information about culture, attitudes, and behaviors. However, avoid boxing people. Some people don’t identify as one ethnicity, so be open to allowing people to identify as multiracial or declining to answer.

You can ask this question like this:

Question example: What is your ethnicity?

  1. Asian or Indian
  2. Coloured or Mixed-race
  3. Black or African
  4. White/Caucasian
  5. Other
  6. I prefer not to answer

3. Gender

Don't be afraid to ask about gender but make sure you have a good reason for doing so. Gender is an important demographic question that should not be avoided. While a lot of people may not conform to gender stereotypes, trends and patterns are still linked to gender.

You can ask this question like this:

Question example: What is your gender identity?

  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Other (then allow them to specify if they want to)
  4. I prefer not to answer

4. Location

Asking about customers' locations is a very useful question for your survey because the answers will show you where your target market is located. You might be surprised by where your business is thriving and discover new opportunities to expand your offering.

Here, you can have a drop down that asks:

Question example: Where do you live?

Then they can be prompted to select:


For those who’d rather not reveal where they live, you can include “other” below the drop down field.

5. Education level

Asking about one’s education level can be quite industry-specific, but it’s an important question to ask. By asking this question, you can gain a better understanding of your target audience's likely income level and lifestyle habits.

You could ask about the highest level of education obtained as follows:

Question example: What is your highest level of education?

  1. High school
  2. University degree
  3. Master’s degree or above
  4. Other (Allow them to specify if they want to)
  5. I prefer not to answer

6. Occupation status

A person's job title or current employment status can reveal a lot about their consumer behavior. So, this is a question not to miss. However, do give your subscribers an opportunity to skip this question if they want to.

You can ask this question like this:

Question example: What is your current employment status?

  1. Employed full-time
  2. Employed part-time
  3. Seeking opportunities
  4. Retired
  5. I prefer not to answer

7. Marital status

Again, this is quite an industry-specific question, but it’s really useful to ask. One’s marital status reveals who your customers interact with on a daily basis. If they are married, their purchasing decisions may be influenced differently than if they are not.

You can ask this question like this:

Question example: What’s your marital status?

  1. Married
  2. Single
  3. Widowed
  4. Other
  5. I prefer not to answer

Now that you know what questions to ask and what not to ask in a demographic survey, you must decide how your survey will be presented. If you’re not sure where to start, then our built-in survey feature might be just what you need. We’ve created a web-based survey as well as a one-question email survey that you can use in your campaigns. You can start off by reading our article on how to create a survey with Mail Blaze to get a better understanding of how this will benefit you.

Demographic surveys are an excellent way to learn more about your customers. In order to improve your products and services and increase customer satisfaction, you must ask the right questions. Since some demographic questions are sensitive, always offer the respondent the option to refuse to answer a question by selecting 'I prefer not to answer.'

Demographic survey questions are an excellent way to show customers that your company is as invested in them as they are in you.

It’s time to gather your team and decide on your survey goals. Successful demographic surveys include questions that are relevant, efficient and all-inclusive. If you master those three, you'll be well on your way to improving your email marketing efforts.


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