Want to increase your survey response rates? Follow this helpful advice.
The 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Explain to respondents what the purpose of the research is and how their valuable feedback will be used.
- Be considerate of respondents’ time. Let them know how long the survey will take to complete.
- Speaking of time, show a progress bar. Respondents want to know how much longer the survey will take.
- Use a powerful subject line in the email invitation.
- Change the ‘From’ name in the email invitation to an actual person. Allow respondents to respond to that person with questions.
- Double check that all links are working correctly in the email invitation.
- Send 1 or 2 quick email reminders to those that have not completed the survey.
- Optimize your surveys for all devices – from desktop PCs to mobile devices with various screen sizes.
- Check on the usability of your survey. Is it easy to access and complete?
- Check on the question wording. Is each question easy to comprehend?
- Use survey logic such as randomization to show more relevant questions or relevant options within questions.
- Use piping logic to feed any answer from a previous question into any subsequent question or text area.
- 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.
- Don’t use random jargon or abbreviations that respondents don’t understand.
- Consider using more interactive and engaging question styles like rating scales and sliders.
- Provide an open-ended question so respondents can share open comments.
- But, don’t ask too many open-ended questions. They take longer to complete.
- Check the format and flow of the survey. Does the sequence of questions make sense?
- Increase the frequency of your surveys. Survey repetition gets your participants to recognize your brand.
- 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.
- Offer an incentive. Incentive examples include a coupon or discount, an entry for a prize drawing, or copies of the final research report.
- Brand your survey. Participants want to see that the survey is coming from a reputable brand.
- 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.
Explore some useful survey design tips from the expert at MRXplorer.com
As market researchers or those that are new to the field, we are always looking for much needed tips for better survey design with the ultimate goal of increasing respondent engagement and survey response rates.
Zontziry Johnson of MRXplorer.com, an expert in the field of survey design and market research, uses her blog as a way to discuss the evolution taking place in the market research industry with new technologies, evolving methodologies, and a growing field of DIY researchers. Zontziry recently discussed the fact that writing surveys is a difficult thing to do and has developed a series of blog posts with tips for writing better surveys (below). Take a look at her informative posts. Continue reading
Why is calculating survey response rate so important and how is it determined?
The calculation of Response Rate (RR) is often inconsistent across research studies because each study may use its own definition. There are so many ways of calculating response rates that comparison across survey research studies can result in confusion and misinterpretations. In order to make practical comparisons across different research studies, it is important to standardize the calculation of response rate.
Consider adopting the calculations as defined by the Standard Definitions: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and of Outcome Rates for Surveys (American Association for Public Opinion Research, Revised 2011) and the various other response calculations, as shown below. Abbreviated terms include: I = Complete survey, P = Partial survey, R = Refusal and break-off, NC = Non-contact, O = Other, UH = Unknown if household/occupied housing unit, UO = Unknown, other, e = Estimated proportion of cases of unknown eligibility that are eligible. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
As with any survey invitation email campaign sent to a broad sample of respondents, survey researchers face a number of challenges – especially sent to those that have never heard of your company or are unaware of what you are trying to achieve from your survey research. Challenges including deliverability, open rates, and conversion rates – those conversions being the successful completion of your survey. Because of these challenges, it is an essential step in the survey research process to carefully plan an email invitation subject line that gets your respondents’ attention to open and complete your survey.
The best email subject lines are short, descriptive, and provide the respondent with a reason to open your survey invitation. Unfortunately, all too often, the subject line is not well devised. To guide you along the way, here are 7 tips to consider when creating email subject lines. Continue reading
The overall success of your survey depends greatly on a good quality response rate. The higher the response rate, the more representative the survey will be 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 the anticipated response rate may bring into question the dependability and representativeness of the survey data. Receiving a low response rate from your survey will skew the results due to response bias, as certain types of people are more likely to respond to surveys than others, so certain views may triumph.
By following these simple guidelines, you can considerably increase the number of respondents who complete your survey. Here are some actions you can take to maximize response rates. Continue reading