How to Increase Survey Response Rates: 10 Proven Ways
People don't have time to answer long surveys. It gets annoying with every new question, and many people can't even understand why they are dealing with some of those questions. So how to increase survey response rates, and what is a good survey response rate?
Surveys are a great tool when you want to get a decent amount of information in a short time. Even a small amount of answers will help you understand your users better and get some insights. Later, you can ask for feedback and see whether you've met customer expectations.
Learning users' behavior via surveys is a powerful tool that every business owner should consider using.
You can also use surveys as a way to fill in some blanks in the knowledge about the specific segment that you want to focus on for further marketing work.
The problem you might face is that it's hard to encourage survey participation. Some people feel like they waste their time filling in the tests as nothing happens after that, etc. Using the next tips, you can increase the survey response rate with time and boost your marketing game.
Table of Contents
1. What Is a Survey Response Rate?
2. What Is a Good Survey Response Rate?
3. Increasing Survey Response Rates: 10 Ways
What Is a Survey Response Rate?
A survey rate is the number of customers that took time to fill in your survey. So as with any other rate, the percentage number you can get is anywhere between 0% and 100%. However, we don't know any who had anything close to a 100% survey response rate.
When you run a business, you can't know what you need to improve from the point of view of your customers. This is where you can ask your customers to point out what bugs them and what they think needs improvement. Even understanding the goal of the survey can increase the survey response rate.
Still, you have to encourage most people to take the survey. The first thing here is to think like your customers: under what condition would you take the survey. And here are some reasons why people omit doing surveys:
- Too many questions
- Too much typing
- The goal is unclear
- No motivation to fill in the survey
What Is a Good Survey Response Rate?
It's hard to say what is a good survey response rate. There are way too many things that can influence the final percentage. For example, the next questions might influence the final number:
- Do users know the brand well?
- What is the type of survey?
- Is there anything you offer people after they finish the survey?
- Is the survey long?
- Are there any personal questions?
And more questions like this can affect the rate. Based on that, you can have the percentage everywhere between 4% and 70%.
And the way you invite people to take your survey also plays a big part in the number of answers you'll receive. This happens when you send people email requests or messages asking them to fill in the survey. This is how you encourage survey participation — you go and ask clients and users to answer some questions that might help you build your business. On the other hand, they will receive better customer service based on their impression of your work.
To understand whether you are succeeding, you need to calculate your rate. This is how you do it:
Completion rate = the number of finished surveys divided by the number of respondents
And notice that even if every person, who received the link for the survey, started answering the questions, there is no way everyone would finish them. There might be several reasons:
- Bad survey. When people don't finish the survey, it means that they had a bad experience and impression about your questions. And it can depend even on the smallest things like one weird question or one confusing topic.
- Incomplete data. You can also receive incomplete surveys because your questions don't seem right to the user. Many people simply drop out of badly written surveys.
Increasing Survey Response Rates: 10 Ways
Increasing survey response rates is crucial as low rates are survey-destroyers. If you run badly-designed surveys, people will omit them at all costs, so be patient with that. Don't rush if you need some time to make your survey better. Here's how to increase survey response rates.
Rewards and other freebies can do wonders when it's time to encourage survey participation. If you offer people something valuable, even of a small value, the chances that you'll have more responses grow. Distribute your budget to:
- Offer a small reward for everyone. It is a better strategy to give every user that fills the survey rather than giving one big present to one person.
- Describe to the users the necessity to answer your survey. It will take them up to 5 minutes to fill in, and you'll get an infinite profit to upgrade your business.
- Tell users the goal of your survey and how you will use the answers.
- Tell users why you ask them to fill in the survey.
To encourage people to answer questions right here and right now, you can offer more worthy rewards for the first hundred respondents.
Use Survey Panel
You can go and select specific people who would gladly take part in your survey questionnaire. In most cases, the respondents are volunteers who are ready to be a part of your research panel. It can save you time and money as you don't have to find or ask people each time you need to check something via the survey.
It means that you can use your customer base or employees if you haven't reached your perfect audience yet. But remember that these people are the same from survey to survey, so you should work on your questions based on this information.
Use Cognitive Dissonance
Using simple psychological techniques might give you unexpectedly good results and rates. You can get answers simply by putting questions in a specific form where people will feel the urge to answer them.
You should create questions in a form that meets the beliefs and values of the person who answers the survey. These beliefs and values will be known after you do thorough research on your target audience. So if you run a store with child products, you will spread your survey among mothers. This means that you can create questions that a mother can't pass by.
This approach still doesn't promise you 100% of success, but it is one of the options you can test or try to incorporate into your regular survey.
Time is your friend here. You can plan on asking people during different steps of their customer journey based on the goal of your survey. If you ask for general feedback about the provided shopping experience, it is better to ask people right away. If you want to find out how people feel about your product, then give them a month to test it and then ask for a review.
So, basically, based on the goal of your survey, you should pick the right time to ask people to leave feedback.
Use the Right Channel
Once again, after learning about your audience, you can see where most of them spend their time on the internet. This information will help you share your request with the right people that are actually valuable as a source of answers to your questions.
The most popular channels are email and SMS, but you can also check out social media if your audience spends time there and you know how to reach them. You can embed the questions into your letters or platform questionnaires, but it is only possible if you have up to 5 questions.
Use Short Surveys
If you offer your customers to fill in a short survey, there are more chances that they will do it. But if you want them to spend more than 5 minutes on it — beware. With each minute, the number of respondents drops, and you won't get the desired results.
To make people answer your questions more, you should create short surveys with simple and easy-to-understand questions. The users won't stop to think twice about one particular question.
Use Your Honesty
Be honest with your customers if you want them to be honest. Tell them why you need this survey and how long it will take them to fill it in. You can also add a progress bar, so users will always know how much is left.
There is a powerful tool right before you — a pop-up window that you can add to your website with simple add-ons. Claspo can help you with that.
It is an easy technique as it doesn't require much work except forming questions. In our Pop-Up Surveys: Everything You Need to Know article, you can find out everything on this topic.
Personalization is a must-have that can change your results dramatically. If you go directly to a person and ask for a specific item is another story. And based on the information you surely have, you can ask a person by his or her name. For example:
Hey, [customer's name]! We are glad you purchased your [item's name]. What do you think about it and about our service?
Don't be afraid to remind people to fill in the survey. It doesn't mean that you have to write them all the time about that, but gently remind them that you are expecting their feedback.
We also suggest writing your customers after the survey has ended, showing its results in the form of pictures or infographics. This is how you show your customers that their responses are valuable and can make a difference.
So now you know that there is no particular answer to the What is a good survey response rate question. However, the fewer answers you have, the harder it's to calculate the representative data. There just might not be enough information to create a reflective database to work with in the future.
Low response rates can create bias depending on the people who took the survey. That's why it is highly important to encourage survey participation and get as many representatives of your target audience as possible.
More than that, many factors can influence the rate, like the survey platform appeared to be hard for people, or questions are way too complicated.
Basically saying, everything should be super easy, short, and user-friendly with rewards to increase the survey response rate.
Surveys are just perfect for boosting your business as they provide you with information that can be formed in a data-based to help you make business decisions. With the help of answers from your target audience, you can find valuable insights and use them as part of your ad campaigns or as information to upgrade your business. As many people connect with the insights, you can meet customers' expectations and build trustworthy relationships.
If you need additional help with working on the above-mentioned 10 ways to encourage survey participation, you can contact Claspo for extra consultation on your further steps.