How To Improve Survey Response Rates?

Blocksurvey blog author
Jan 18, 2024 · 4 mins read

Imagine you're planning a big party. You're excited about the party but also a bit worried. Will anyone come to your party? Will they have fun? That's kind of like making a survey – you make it but wonder if anyone will respond to your survey.

You need to execute a few time-tested methods while designing your survey so that more people will want to take it. In this article, we'll discuss ideas to make your surveys a little bit more receptive so more people will notice them and want to fill them out.

This article aims to make people really want to take your surveys. Let's get ready for the adventure to make more people answer your survey. We'll discuss the best ways to make your survey interesting.

In the end, your survey will have more respondents!, i.e., More people will come to your party

Grab a cup of coffee. Shall we start?

1. Keep it Short

Long surveys (usually more than 5 minutes) can tend to bore the respondents. So it is necessary to keep your surveys short. Go for longer surveys only when it is needed.

When your surveys are short, more people take your surveys.

It's like when a student has less homework, he can finish it easier.

Below are a few actions you can take to keep your surveys short.

  • Keep your surveys simple and easy to understand.
  • List only key questions you want respondents to answer
  • When you already know the answer, don’t ask that question.
  • Do not lengthen surveys, especially if there is no incentive.

2. Use Simple Language

When you use clear and simple English (or any language), it is easier for respondents to fill in. It’s like giving clear instructions to a student so that he completes the homework easier. Do not bombard the audience with repetitive questions.

Below are few advantages of using simple language in surveys.

  • Straightforward questions are faster to complete.
  • Clear language reduces the chances of confusion.
  • Clear questions ensure accurate answers.

3. User Friendly Design

A good-looking survey makes it more fun for people to answer.

You can make your surveys more appealing by making them consistent with your branding.

Below are a few bullets to make respondents recognize who the survey is from and make them trust it more.

  • Add your own logo
  • Add your themes
  • Add your fonts
  • Use custom domain

BlockSurvey allows you to do all of the above.

Choose a simple, user-friendly design that is easy on the eyes. The colors you use should be pleasant and not too bright or dull.

A neat and attractive design can really make a difference in how people feel about answering your questions.

4. Personalize Your Survey

Making your survey personal helps a lot. It can increase response rates dramatically by up to 50%.

When you send out your survey invitations, use the person's name. This makes your survey feel more like a special invitation just for them and adds a warm & humane dimension.

An example might be like,

‘Hello Sarath, we hope you’re loving your new guitar. May we ask you some questions about your shopping experience with us today?’

Also, tell them why their answers are important. Explain how you'll use their feedback. This shows that their thoughts really matter and are not just another response.

By personalizing your survey, you make respondents feel more special. Respondents are more likely to take part because they feel their opinion is valued.

5. Send Reminders

When people don’t take your surveys, sending a friendly reminder can help them remember to complete your survey. It's a little move to encourage them to participate.

Be careful not to send too many reminders. People will get annoyed with too many reminders. Usually, just one to three reminders are enough.

Make sure that your content is not the same in all reminders. Refresh your content in every new reminder.

Reminders be gentle instead of annoying spam

The key is to remind the audience without becoming a disturbance. Aim to increase your responses while also maintaining a good relationship with your audience.

6. Choose Your Timing

Choose the right time to send survey invitations and reminders.

Avoid Monday mornings and Friday evenings, as people might be too busy. They will not be in the mood to respond at those times.

It happens that the middle of the week – like Tuesday or Wednesday – is often best for getting answers. People are more likely to engage in those days.

Every group of people is different, so try sending & testing your surveys at various times.

This way, you can determine when your audience will most likely respond.

One more mode of thought is that when you need feedback on the product purchased, send your survey invitations immediately. In this case, surveys sent after 24 hours have a very low response rate.

7. Leverage Social Proof

Social proof is like a friend's recommendation.

Social proof encourages people to take part in your survey. If famous people or big organizations support your survey, tell people about it in your invite. This can make respondents more interested in taking your survey.

Also, talk about your past successful surveys. Share how the feedback people gave before was used and helped.

Knowing that others, especially those they trust or admire, have taken your surveys makes new people more likely to participate too.

In simple words, this lets them see that their opinions really make a difference.

It's like others seeing the party and deciding to join as well.

8. Assure Privacy

A lot of people worry about their private information being shared. It's important to ensure that whatever they tell you in the survey will be kept secret and safe.

Below are a few steps that you can take to assure respondent privacy.

  • Use a secure and encrypted survey platform.
  • Comply with the local privacy laws & regulations.
  • Be transparent with respondents about any risks.
  • Avoid collecting personally identifiable data.
  • Provide opt-out options at any point in the survey.

By assuring the protection of their information, people will be more comfortable answering your questions honestly and in detail.

9. Optimize For Mobile

Nowadays, more people use their phones and tablets for almost everything. So, it's important to make sure your survey works well on these devices.

In a survey context, a mobile responsive design means your surveys display well on mobile devices without zooming in or out to take the survey.

When your survey is mobile responsive, more people can take it anywhere & anytime.

Mobile friendly design accomplishes below.

  • Improved survey experience.
  • Improved response rates.
  • Improved brand reputation.

Respondents can take surveys quickly and comfortably, which increases engagement rates.

10. Incentivize your Respondents

Giving people a little reward for filling out your survey can really help get more answers.

The reward could be something like a small discount, a chance to win something, or special content just for them.

According to Greenbook, a consumer research company

“⅓ of all respondents cite a desire to earn rewards or prizes as their primary reason for participating”

It's important to choose a reward that the people you're asking will really like. This way, they'll feel more excited about taking part in your survey.

Any small reward can significantly affect how many responses you get.

Test your knowledge on Improving Survey Response Rates

Let’s get into final thoughts.

Final Thoughts

Using the above strategies can really help make your survey more appealing. This means more people might decide to fill it out. That is more people will join the party.

It's also very important to value the time and experience of those answering.

With increased response rates, the information you get from the survey becomes better and more trustworthy.

Think of your survey like a big picture made of many small pieces. Every answer someone gives is a piece of that picture. The more pieces you have, the clearer and more complete the picture becomes.

In the end, remember that each response is important. They all help you get a better understanding of your audience.

I end this blog with a question.

“How will your next survey get more response?”

How To Improve Survey Response Rates? FAQ

Why is it important to improve survey response rates?

Improving survey response rates ensures a representative sample, leading to more accurate and reliable data for decision-making.

How can I increase survey response rates?

By keeping surveys short and relevant, offering incentives, personalizing invitations, and utilizing multiple communication channels, response rates can be boosted significantly.

How can I make surveys more appealing to participants?

Designing visually appealing surveys with clear instructions, using engaging language, and providing a user-friendly interface can make surveys more enticing and increase response rates.

Can incentives help improve survey response rates?

Yes, offering incentives such as gift cards, discounts, or chances to win prizes has been proven to motivate participants and increase response rates.

Can timing affect survey response rates?

Yes, sending surveys at the right time, avoiding busy periods, and considering participants' schedules can positively impact response rates.

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blog author description

Sarath Shyamson

Sarath Shyamson is the customer success person at BlockSurvey and also heads the outreach. He enjoys volunteering for the church choir and loves spending time with his two year old son.


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