Writing a survey is one aspect of making improvements to your website. However, your audience has to respond to your surveys for you to collect actionable data. The problem is that audiences can be reluctant to respond to surveys. Only about 1 in 3 people will respond to a survey.
Many factors can also influence this. And some surveys can have response rates as low as 10 or 15%. In low population groups, this can result in poor data that leads to data being worth little. So what are the factors that can help you improve the response rate of surveys? Here are some ideas and the actions you can and can’t take.
1. Don’t offer prizes
A typical way to get responses is to offer customers prizes, money or points to respond. While this is one option that can improve responses, it could affect the results. When respondents are given something for their participation, they might feel more positive towards your survey.
Also, it does break a rule of surveys to have them anonymous. Respondents are more likely to give a true reflection if you don’t know who they are. But if you’re offering them a prize, they’ll need to provide identifying information that can cause reduced participation or push respondents to give less accurate answers.
2. Anonymous surveys
There are many ways to create an anonymous survey to increase participation. For one, you can refrain from asking identifying questions, things like name, address, telephone number, email address, etc. These things can be used to trace back and may make the respondent nervous.
You should ensure that your surveys don’t ask for something too specific. For example, you can’t ask questions that explain an experience. It wouldn’t be hard to trace that experience. Nor should you ask what they bought and when.
Instead, be more generic so you can ask what type of product the customer bought or what day they made a purchase.
3. Shorter surveys
Too many surveys are too long. The longer the survey, the more people that will abandon it halfway through. At most, customers and employees should only be asked to spend 5-10 minutes responding to your survey. That isn’t very long and equates to about 5-10 questions.
Shorter surveys do provide a little bit of a challenge with quantitative and qualitative data. But you will want to make sure that you are asking about three quantitative questions for every one qualitative question. Therefore, you should only be asking about two or three qualitative questions per survey.
4. Not too intrusive
Some survey writers can be very intrusive with their questions. It can be challenging to get the answers you want. Instead, give respondents a chance to provide the level of information they are happy to provide. That is another reason why there needs to be a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions.
Your quantitative questions can ask people to respond on a scale which could be numbered one to ten, for instance, or least likely to most likely. Then ask the respondent to give more details (qualitative questioning).
5. Time your surveys to the right time
You are going to get more responses to surveys when sending out your surveys at a good time. The time which is best for your audience can be different from another organisation. There are contradictions despite research into this.
However, for a business survey, research has found that Monday is often a good day for surveys. According to the statistics, about 16% of survey requests get responses. In contrast, all other days of the week got less than 10%. Research has found that sending invites between 9 am and noon and 3 pm and 6 pm are the best times to send survey requests. Sending requests over lunchtime was very poor.
In contrast, sending surveys to customers can be very different. Research has found that Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday were the best days to send surveys. The worst day was Thursday. The best times for consumers seemed to be consistently 6 pm to 9 pm.
6. Making surveys mobile friendly
Research has shown that people tend to use their mobile devices more between 6 pm and 10 pm. This information corresponds with other research data that shows this is the time when customers are most responding to surveys. Therefore, sending surveys during these times is going to yield better results.
Making surveys mobile friendly also has other implications. For one, it means that your surveys are quick to load on any device, including desktops and mobiles. Studies into consumer behaviours have demonstrated that for every second that a page takes to load, can lose you 7% of your audience. Being mobile-friendly often means that you can speed to the loading times up to less than a second.
7. Method of delivery
Technology allows you to add a pixel to your order confirmation pages that can compel the audience to complete a survey when they next visit Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media page.
However, these can be an expensive way to collect surveys and might not be accurate. These technologies cannot always guarantee the same person does not answer twice.
One of the more successful approaches is to send invites through email, generally increasing response rate with more controls and higher accuracy.
You want to ensure that you have a high response rate when it comes to creating surveys and sending them out. Use the tips above to improve the response rate to get high response rates to your survey and get the most out of your data. Higher results will also lead to less costly campaigns when it comes to sending out surveys, improved accuracy and survey campaigns that take less time.
You can try some of the techniques listed above in one campaign or one at a time.
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