Creating the perfect product-market fit questionnaire

You must have seen social media posts about product-market fit. While many preach it is the key to success, not everyone tells you how you find a product-market fit for your startup. In this blog, we will cover a simple way to reach out to prospects (plus a product-market fit questionnaire) to get you started. 

Remember, sending a PMF questionnaire survey should be your priority as a founder. It helps you listen to the customer’s voice and helps you set up a product-market fit framework for success. 

Benefits of using a product-market fit questionnaire. 

Achieving product-market fit is really crucial for any early-stage startup, as it tells how well you can solve a problem for your audience and how much they appreciate you.

Startups are advised to listen to their customer and conduct periodic surveys to understand the net promotor score and the product-market fit. 

There are many benefits of using a PMF questionnaire to reach out to your audience, starting with a better understanding of your audience. Here are some other advantages: 

  • You get to know your customers better.
  • You get clarity of opinion — a documented questionnaire is better than asking random questions from your audience. 
  • Your customers appreciate ‘being heard’ and feel like valuable stakeholders in your product journey. 
  • PMF questionnaire results help you improve your product positioning and pricing strategy 

Using a PMF questionnaire is very similar to conducting market research, the difference being that a PMF survey is done much later in the product journey. Market research usually happens before you start with product development. 

Read More: Market Research Compared to Different Strategies

The perfect PMF questionnaire template: Sean Ellis test. 

PMF questionnaire is a weapon that every business owner must keep close — you really need to use it well to win the battle. 

While there are a million ways to conduct a PMF survey, you must use a proven template to improve your understanding of the situation. 

The PMF questionnaire has one crucial question — How disappointed will you feel if you cannot use [product name] anymore?

According to the Sean Ellis test, if more than 40% of users respond with ‘Very Disappointed’ to the PMF question, you can assume you would have achieved product-market fit. This is also known as the 40% rule of PMF. 

Sean Ellis test or the PMF questionnaire tries to evaluate the product-market fit with perfection. This test is a standard metric for startup companies aiming to achieve PMF. Many variations of this questionnaire have seen the light of day, and a popular PMF experiment was by Hiten Shah for Slack

He used the Sean Ellis test to conduct a PMF survey among slack users. Here are the questions and the responses: 


You know how popular Slack is among its users. The PMF survey conducted in 2015 was probably the first sign of PMF for the tool. If you are looking to conduct a PMF survey, here are some questions you should definitely ask:

  • How disappointed will you feel if you cannot use [product name] anymore? 
  • How did you find out about [product name]? 
  • Have you recommended [product name] to anyone? 
  • What type of person do you think would benefit most from [product name]? 
  • What is the primary benefit that you have received from [product name]?

Asking these five questions and analyzing the responses is an excellent measure to reach your PMF goals. Ideally, 40% or more users should feel disappointed when you send them the Sean Ellis test. You can use the PMF framework to start an engine for gathering feedback at every stage of your PMF journey. 

Tips for creating the perfect product-market fit survey.  

You already know the questions you must ask in the PMF survey. But still, here are five tips to get the best results from your PMF survey: 

  • Send it to 40-50 daily active users: You should have a decent sample set, even if you are an early-stage startup. Also, do not try to send it to everyone. Filter out the most active users. 
  • Diversify your respondent: Try to shortlist a diverse set of respondents when sending a PMF survey. You should not be biased toward sending the PMF survey to only happy users. It is not a competition or SAT score. You really need to know what people feel. 
  • Experiment with timing your PMF survey: Ideally, you should send a PMF survey when you introduce a big update, aiming for scalability or facing any growth obstacles. But that does not mean you should not listen to your users in real time. 

Need more tips and suggestions? Check out our detailed blog on market research surveys to get insights on how to improve any outreach survey for your business. 

Next steps: Gather user insights using GapScout 

You must have come here trying to find a way to speed up your PMF journey. Did you know there are a million ways to test your product and gather insights about your customers and their opinions? One proven way is to use online reviews to gather user insights. 

GapScout helps you automate the process of gathering customer insights that will add context to your PMF survey journey. Use GapScout to support your PMF journey now. 

Also, in case you need more context into how to use online reviews for PMF, here are a few resources: 

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Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol is an independent content marketing consultant who loves to write actionable pieces on small business growth, marketing automation, market research, and growth as a solopreneur. Reach out on Twitter.

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