Quantify your survey response rate

You are sending out surveys but you always wonder if you do it in the best possible way? That sounds familiar, because trust me: you are not the only one who struggles with receiving enough responses.

In one of our latest whitepapers we talked about the amount of responses you need to receive to count your survey results as reliable. (Missed this post? Check it here: http://bit.ly/2q60xBM) But, receiving this amount of responses is harder than it sounds. That’s the reason why we created this blog post to explain what you can do to achieve the amount of responses you want.

What are response rates?

As said before, a survey that collects very little data may not contain credible information. The percentage of people who respond to your survey is considered the response rate. A high survey response rate helps to ensure that the survey results are representing the total survey population. Calculating the response rate for your survey is easy, use the following equation:

The perfect survey

There is no exact outline of the best survey, but we have some tips and tricks you can use perfectly to create an excellent survey yourself. The better the survey, the more responses you will receive.

  1. Relevancy. Try to keep the survey short and avoid an overload of unnecessary questions, like the ones you have already answers to. If you have sent a survey before, use the data you have received to segment your audience (use Hugo data management).

2. Duration. Let the respondents know how long it takes to complete the survey. People are more willing to fill out a survey that takes 5 minutes instead of one that takes half an hour. Mention the time in the title of the survey, survey introduction text and/ or in the email.

3. Pre-test. There is nothing more confusing than a survey without a logical sequence. Therefore, let a friend or colleague, who has never seen the survey before, fill it out and ask for feedback.

4. Ease. Make the survey easy to understand for everyone. Don’t use words that people might not understand.

5. Engagement. Consider using more interactive and engaging question styles. For example the rating questions that you can find in the Hugo backoffice. It’s also important that you don’t have ten times the same question style in a row. If you variate the question types, it will be more fun for the respondent to fill it out. Another tip: don’t start with a bunch of demographic questions, this is a big turnoff for respondents.

6. Avoid open questions. It will take the respondents a lot of time to fill out those questions. It is also not perfect for you as survey creator because the answers that are given in an open question are hard to analyse. We recommend providing an open-ended question in the end so respondents can share thoughts they could not mention before.

7. Frequency. Make sure you have the right frequency of your surveys. Survey repetition gets your participants to recognize your brand. Yet, too many surveys may deter your participants. Balance is key!

8. Trigger: Last but not least! This is may be the number one trigger to fill out the survey — an incentive. People love to get something in exchange. Think about things such as a free token for the next year edition of the event they’ll attend.

Sending out your survey

Equally as important as the survey itself, is the way you send your survey to your respondents. No one will fill out the survey if the email addressing it is not engaging. Consider the email as your survey’s business card: it must be outstanding. How can you do that?

  1. Title. We can’t say it enough; the title is there to make respondents curious enough to open the email! Make it catchy, unique, and special to get people’s attention.

2. Looks. When the respondent opened the email, you must hold on to their attention. Therefore, you need a perfect looking email template. Use the different blocks in the Hugo backoffice to personalize and design the perfect outline for your email. You can put in beautiful pictures and give the template all different kind of colours. Tip: brand your template as much as possible, participants want to see that the survey is coming from a reputable brand.

3. Purpose. Tell respondents what the purpose of the research is and how their feedback will be used. Also mention that it will be completely anonymous if that’s the case.

4. Links. It maybe sounds logical but always check if the links in the email work! Always send out a test email before sending it to your respondents.

5. Reminder. It hurts no one to send a reminder email to your respondents. A lot of people don’t fill out the survey immediately and then forget about it. Just a quick reminder will increase your response rate.

After reading this blogpost we hope we have informed you enough about how to increase your response rate. We are sure, that you can now build the perfect survey and email template. Why not start immediately? 😊 
If you have any questions, or other things you would like to share, please leave a comment.