How To Boost Survey Response Rates

What are some good ways to boost survey response rates?

  1. Make Your Respondents Feel Special
  2. Be Considerate of Their Time
  3. Spice up Your Survey Design

Surveys are one of the most popular forms of accumulating feedback for businesses — both within and outside the company. The problem is that often you won’t get that many responses. Low survey response rates are often connected to the fatigue of the respondents. To understand how to boost your survey response rates, you need to consider your respondents more. Not only do you need to stand out, but you also need to make the survey something that they will willingly answer. Study your potential respondents. That being said, here are some of our best tips on how you can boost your survey response rates!

Make Your Respondents Feel Special
Happy woman answering a survey

You want people to complete your survey without feeling as if they are forced to do so. To do that, you have to make the survey feel like something that is designed only for them. Be more appreciative of your messaging as you ask them to participate. Keep your message concise and focused — as if it were a letter directed to someone very important.

Aside from that, you should also study your target audience first hand. This can come in the form of simple observations, studies and research, and a general understanding of their demographic. Some studies show that the younger audience usually has the lowest response rates—how will you deal with this general information?

Clarify the purpose of your survey and communicate that to participants right from the beginning. This is to prevent them from thinking that the survey is just for show, or any other negative connotation. 

Be mindful of the opening statement of your survey. Make the respondent feel special by showing appreciation and clarifying the purpose of your survey immediately from the start!

Be Considerate of Their Time
Business man answering a survey

Everyone’s time is precious. People would often have incredibly tight schedules with so many things in store for their day. A lot of people now work as if they are in a marathon. They need to keep going or else they will feel like they are falling behind. Asking one of them to spare some of their time to answer a survey will not always end up in your favor. A lot of the time, unless they are really forced or it is already part of their own schedules, your survey will simply be just another advertisement for them — especially if it’s just something found on a website. To combat this, you have to take into consideration how important time is to them.

This can be done by setting up some logic into your survey. Include in your survey that will give the respondent a way to exit quickly.

For example, you can put in one question that determines whether the respondent is familiar with a certain type of food such as donuts. If they answer “No” or “I do not like them”, then you can send them directly to the end of the survey. Those who do like donuts will be the only ones that will go through the main survey.

Spice Up Your Survey Design
Great graphics on an online survey

A bland-looking survey will not just lower the response rate. But it will be outright ignored by the general audience. If it doesn’t catch the eye of a respondent, nobody will answer it. and if nobody answers it, you will not get any responses.

That is why it is important to make the survey as eye-catching as possible. However, you must find the right balance between subtlety and attractiveness — especially if it will be put on your website. A survey needs to be something on the sidelines. Not everyone will be willing to answer it, but those who do should easily find one just at the border of the website.

You have to make sure that the survey does not distract the audience from the main website. Taking attention away from it will be detrimental to your business no matter how you put it. The survey needs to be something that the audience is aware of but will be comfortable enough to keep in a corner.

This can be done by making it appear after a certain trigger. It can also be placed in the area where there is more white noise on your website. Be it at the bottom left or bottom right. Lastly, you could also choose to keep it open on one side of your website and have it follow as the customer is scrolling through your website.

Placement alone is not enough however, make sure that the survey incorporates the company thematically through the uses of color schemes, fonts, and what it generally looks like!

Key Takeaway

Understanding how to boost your survey response rates is key to collecting relevant data. In doing so, you must always keep in mind the respondents. Put yourself in their shoes. What will draw their attention? What will they answer with the precious time that they have? And what will make them read the rest of your survey?


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