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How to Increase Survey Response Rates

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How to Increase Survey Response Rates

Teacher Hamlet (2)

Once you have written and programmed your survey you might think your work is done right? Not just yet! Now comes the hard part, getting enough responses to your survey. In survey research, the survey response rate is the number of people who enter your survey divided by the sample (the number of people you send the survey to). You then multiply that number by 100 to get a response rate percentage.

Number of surveys sent: 1,000

Number of respondents who entered the survey: 250

Response Rate = Number of completed surveys / Number of surveys sent

Response Rate = (1,000/250) x 100 = 25% 

The survey response rate lends credibility to the research and the subsequent results. A low response rate can give rise to sampling bias if the nonresponse is unequal among the participants regarding exposure and/or outcome. Such bias is known as nonresponse bias. Thus, a low response rate may undermine the statistical ability of the collected data and in turn dilute reliability of the results.

So how can you make sure you receive enough survey responses to make your results valid? There are a variety of strategies and techniques you can use in order to increase your survey response rates. We have highlighted 6 ways to do so below.

1) You want to make your survey respondents feel that you are speaking directly to them

How to increase response rates 1

engaging with them and asking for their valuable feedback. Making respondents feel special will make them more likely to answer your survey. Avoid using generic text like “Let us know what you think” and instead use “Help us make our product better by completing our short survey”. Another way to make your survey invitation more personalized is by using the respondents actual name. So instead of a generic “Dear Customer” consider using “Dear Mr. Smith”.

2) Keep the survey invitation brief and to the point, too much text may turn off potential respondents. The wording of the survey invitation should only include the following:

a. Who you are and the reason for conducting survey

b. How the survey can benefit the respondent, as well as your company

c. The survey link

d. How long it will take to complete survey

e. Due date for completing survey

f. Incentive being offered

Email Invitation-2

3) Another way to increase survey response rates is by offering an enticing Incentive. Studies have shown that offering an incentive increases response rates for surveys. However, incentives do not necessarily have to be a large amount, a $10 gift certificate or another small token should suffice. An additional way to incentive respondents is by offering to share some or all of the survey results with once all the data has been collected. Consumers like being able to see how their feedback will be incorporated into a new product/service or how it will change an existing product/service. if you're not sure if offering an incentive is right for your survey, ask yourself these 5 questions.

Types of Survey Incentives

4) Utilize multiple channels to reach participants. Using various ways to reach out to potential respondents increases the likelihood of them answering your survey, while also giving them the option to choose how and when to respond. Consider using a combination of any of the following:

a. Email

b. SMS text message

c. Social media posts

d. Web posts

5) Make the first page of your survey simple and easy to read. When your respondents go to take your survey, the initial page should be as easy as possible for them to read, and digest. Stay away from long, over-complicated instructions and introduction text. Offer a visually pleasing and straightforward survey experience in order to keep your survey respondents attentive and engaged throughout the survey.

a. Keep initial text brief

b. Reiterate reasons for conducting survey and how the respondent can help with the survey objective

Jibunu - survey introduction example

6) While some respondents will answer your survey right away, others will need a reminder. If a week has gone by and you still need more responses to your survey, send out a reminder to those who have still not answered survey to help boost responses.

Best Practices for Creating Survey Email Invitations