Shorten Your Online Survey for a Better Response Rate

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Create higher response rates with proper online survey length

A streamlined online survey is more efficient and can yield a higher response rate. The shorter the online survey, the more likely respondents will complete it. The length of your online survey depends on many factors. Ideally, the length of your online survey is based on the number of relevant questions asked and the optimal length that will convince someone to respond. Beware that using extra questions in your survey may have a negative effect on your response rate, so only develop questions that are pertinent to your survey research objectives.

There are 3 things you can do to shorten online surveys

1.     Use Routing to limit what questions are displayed in an online survey

Routing allows you to display questions depending on respondents’ previous answers. In Snap Survey Software, there are three types of Routing:

  • Conditionally Ask Question. This only displays a question if certain conditions are met, e.g. if the respondent has given specific answers to one or more previous questions.
  • Goto On Answer. This moves a respondent through the survey depending which answer is selected. It’s normally used to jump sections of a survey according to the response to a single-response question.
  • Goto After Question. This moves respondents through the survey after a question has been answered. It’s normally used to jump irrelevant sections of a questionnaire.

View our worksheet on how to use Routing to limit the grid questions displayed.

2.     Question types do affect survey length

There are a variety of survey question types, including: single-response, multiple-response, open-ended, and grid questions. The choice of questions, question styles, and overall design can potentially make or break your survey. Certain question types use drop-down and scrolling menus to save space and increase convenience for your respondents. Grid format questions allow survey respondents to answer several similar questions within one question type. Consider using image questions, which use pictures or graphics to describe survey questions and answers – making the experience fun and engaging for respondents.

3.     Pre-populate data

If you have sent an online survey to your customers in the past, it is likely that you have previous data stored. Use this data to pre-populate data right into their online survey or use Routing to route respondents around questions that do not pertain to them. This feature allows you to shorten survey length by inputting any relevant or known information about your respondents (name, gender, age, company name, address, etc.) directly into the online survey. The information will still be collected in the data set ready for data analysis and reporting. Pre-populating data shortens the time it takes a respondent to complete your survey. Pre-populating data also gives you the advantage of adding a personalized touch because you can identity respondents by name and other personal information.

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