5 Tactics to Improve Survey Response Rates

Conducting an online survey is a simple, cost-effective, and powerful way to identify the attitudes and behaviors of your target audience, your customers, or your employees. However, retrieving a satisfactory amount of survey responses is another story. In order to analyze and interpret your data to it’s full potential, the survey must yield a high enough response rate to guarantee results are accurate and scalable.

Thinking of ways to increase participation and improve your response rates? Keep these five tactics in mind as you review and deploy your next questionnaire:

  1. Keep It Simple

It’s tempting to include several, long questions to retrieve exactly the answers you want. Instead, focus on asking what you need with around 15 clear, concise questions. Shorter surveys not only provide a positive experience for respondents, but they’re also much more likely to be thoroughly completed.

  1. Send Personalized Invitations

A little detail goes a long way! Acknowledge potential participants personally by including their name in the email invitation. If sending to a smaller sample, consider making note of their individual importance to your business and your appreciation for their personal opinion.

  1. Communicate Value

Personal acknowledgement may help your cause, but delivering on your survey’s value proposition is essential. Is the survey of interest to potential participants? Are you going to use the results to improve a product or experience?  Either way, inform potential respondents of the value they’ll take away or provide to your business.

Additionally, many marketers, researchers, and businesses alike choose to provide respondents with small incentives (i.e. gift cards, product giveaways). Consider this option to motivate those who wouldn’t take the survey otherwise with a concrete benefit in exchange for their time and thoughts.

  1. Establish Expectations

Let respondents know how long they should set aside for the survey. The number of questions or little time required to take it may be the selling point that drives participation!

  1. Send Heads Ups & Follow Ups

Communicate in advance to let your audience know a survey is coming their way. After the initial invitation, people may take the survey right away, but in all likelihood, many will not. A sure fire way to increase response rates is to send 1-2 follow-up emails over a period of time reminding potential respondents and keeping the survey top of mind.