25 Tips to Increase Online Survey Response Rates

Want to increase your survey response rates? Follow this helpful advice.

7K0A0664The success of your survey depends greatly on a good response rate. The higher the response rate, the more representative of the total population. Ideally, a higher than anticipated response rate will bring more assurance and reliability to the survey results. A higher response rate also allows more robust statistical calculations to be performed. In contrast, a response rate that falls short of anticipation may bring into question the dependability of the survey data. Receiving a low response rate from your survey will skew the results due to response bias, as certain types of respondents are more likely to respond to surveys than others, so certain views may triumph.

Want to increase your response rates? Here are 25 tips you can use to increase your survey response rates.

  1. Keep your survey short, covering only the topics you need to satisfy the objectives of your research. Don’t overload the survey with unnecessary questions. Keep the goal of your survey in mind when creating your questions.
  2. Send an email notification notifying participants that they will be receiving your survey, and to be on the lookout for its arrival. Explain how you value their feedback and appreciate their time to complete the survey.
  3. Explain to respondents what the purpose of the research is and how their valuable feedback will be used.
  4. Be considerate of respondents’ time. Let them know how long the survey will take to complete.
  5. Speaking of time, show a progress bar. Respondents want to know how much longer the survey will take.
  6. Use a powerful subject line in the email invitation.
  7. Change the ‘From’ name in the email invitation to an actual person. Allow respondents to respond to that person with questions.
  8. Double check that all links are working correctly in the email invitation.
  9. Send 1 or 2 quick email reminders to those that have not completed the survey.
  10. Optimize your surveys for all devices – from desktop PCs to mobile devices with various screen sizes.
  11. Check on the usability of your survey. Is it easy to access and complete?
  12. Check on the question wording. Is each question easy to comprehend?
  13. Use survey logic such as randomization to show more relevant questions or relevant options within questions.
  14. Use piping logic to feed any answer from a previous question into any subsequent question or text area.
  15. Don’t ask questions that you already have answers to. If you must ask them, take the database of answers from the previously gathered information and set-up a database link to pre-populate the information into the survey questions.
  16. Don’t use random jargon or abbreviations that respondents don’t understand.
  17. Consider using more interactive and engaging question styles like rating scales and sliders.
  18. Provide an open-ended question so respondents can share open comments.
  19. But, don’t ask too many open-ended questions. They take longer to complete.
  20. Check the format and flow of the survey. Does the sequence of questions make sense?
  21. Increase the frequency of your surveys. Survey repetition gets your participants to recognize your brand.
  22. Decrease the number of one-off surveys and focus on surveys that collect data that is inline with your goals. Too many surveys may deter your participants.
  23. Offer an incentive. Incentive examples include a coupon or discount, an entry for a prize drawing, or copies of the final research report.
  24. Brand your survey. Participants want to see that the survey is coming from a reputable brand.
  25. Consider conducting your survey anonymously. Participants appreciate anonymity especially when sensitive data is being transferred.

What else would you add to this list?  Leave a comment below.