10 tips to increase your responses
Ideas to help ensure a successful survey.
- Create a compelling email invite
A clever subject line can pique one's interest and get your email opened. Keep the body text of the email short and sweet, and be sure to make a personal connection with your audience—use their names in the email copy.
- Be upfront
State whom the survey is from so your audience has a frame of reference. Tell them how you will use the data, and acknowledge whether their answers will be confidential or anonymous. This kind of transparency helps respondents feel confident and invested in the outcome.
- Thank them
Let your audience know you are grateful for the input—before and after they fill out your survey. Gratitude goes a long way!
- Set expectations
- Use strategic link placement
Where you place the link to your survey is important. Place one link near the top of the email and a second one near the bottom. You can even create a special button that says, "Start Now" for a fun call to action.
- Set a deadline
Give respondents a deadline to add a sense of urgency to your request. Knowing there is a cut-off date will often motivate potential respondents to take your survey on the spot.
- Expand your reach
Reach as many people as possible by posting a link to your survey on your website, and on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Get creative—email doesn't have to be your only method of outreach.
- Consider an incentive
Incentives don't need to be large to increase response rates. A small token, gift certificate, etc. can increase responses considerably. However, many people will complete a survey to share information rather than to receive an incentive. Consider making your incentive optional. For example, respondents can choose to be included in a raffle.
- Plan when to send your survey
Depending on your audience, you will want to schedule the delivery of your survey accordingly. For example, evenings and weekends might be best for a parenting group survey, while Tuesday mornings are ideal for business-to-business surveys.
- Send a reminder email
You can increase your response rate by sending one or two email reminders containing the link to those who haven't yet taken the survey. If someone has taken your survey, remove his or her name from your reminder email list. Also, make sure to filter out email addresses of those people who have opted-out of your email list.
When you tell respondents how long the survey will take, they are more likely to go ahead and click through to your form. Be as specific as possible. For example, say, a "five-minute survey" rather than a "brief survey."