The arms race for customer attention is unstoppable. The downside of this is that it makes users ignore all the “unimportant” emails and pop-ups they see. But if you want to get through this wall of indifference, what can you do? How do you get people to take surveys?
Let’s take a look at what makes people share valuable data and give honest feedback. In this post, we’ll explore strategies to increase survey response rates at no additional cost.
Why does your survey response rate matter?
First, let’s clarify some terms. The survey response rate is the number of users who complete the survey out of all those who receive it. It’s not the email open rate – a person may open your email or online form but never complete the survey, so it doesn’t count.
The broader your audience, the lower the survey response rate you’ll get. If there is no personal contact or connection to your brand, chances are only 10-30% of people will answer your questions. If it’s a survey targeted to your employees, you can expect significantly higher engagement – up to 50% or more. Or If it’s a cold email, even a 5% survey response rate is a success.
You need to aim higher: more responses mean more data, which will lead to more accurate marketing actions and decisions.
How to calculate your survey response rate
No advanced math skills are required: simply divide the number of completed survey responses by the number of people you sent the survey to. Then convert the result to a percentage by multiplying by 100.
People often remember extremely positive and negative experiences and forget the trivial ones. This means you need to make sure the answers reflect the views of your demographic, not just those of your most satisfied and disappointed customers.
How to increase survey response rates
Our tips apply to questionnaires, polls and actual surveys conducted via email or embedded on the website. Please feel free to use these tactics to improve survey response rates for in-depth marketing research as well as brief customer satisfaction surveys.
Here are 8 tips, click to know details.
Segment your audience
Rather than playing it big, use personalized emails that target a specific group with almost surgical precision. Avoid situations where customers have tons of questions about products they’ve barely tried. You can target specific events, such as first-time purchases or service requests.
Clients are doing you a favor by taking the time to complete the survey, so make sure it’s worth it.
Here are some tips to make the process more appealing to your audience.
-Offer a giveaway or discount after completing the survey.
-Explain how you will turn your customers’ feedback into a better product.
-Make it personal and human, emphasizing that you care about what your customers think.
Emphasize that completing surveys is an easy way to help your brand and get some good bang for your buck.
Polish the user experience
40% of people say their answers to survey questions are inaccurate simply because they are confusing, too complex, or too long. Therefore, you can double the reliability of your results by making your surveys user-friendly. This means minimizing the number of questions and keeping them clear and straightforward. Make sure all questions are relevant, or that there is a way to skip some of them.
Master the subject line
Create urgency and add some emotion.” Help Us Improve Our Product “is a great example. It’s polite, informative, and promising.” We Need Your Ideas” is another option. And “Customer Survey” is a poor subject line because it doesn’t give users any solid reason to open an email in the first place.
Use survey logic
A suggested feature of survey generators like Typeform or Zoho is to change the appearance and content of your survey based on the answers given by participants. You can use “if this, then that” logic to create rules and multiple paths. Using the question and page logic, you can set a question or page to appear only after a specific answer is given.
Tell your customers upfront how long it will take
Studies show that 45% of survey respondents are willing to take less than 5 minutes to complete the survey, while only a third are willing to take less than 10 minutes. This is a time frame you can use as an example. Once your survey is complete, test it to make sure it doesn’t take longer than that to complete (unless it’s a detailed and complex questionnaire).
Keep it simple
Don’t scare your audience with lots of empty fields to fill in. Use “yes or no” questions to phrase your comments, and use open-ended questions. Don’t forget to add a quick five-point Likert scale to measure satisfaction.
Make sure it opens smoothly on any device
Completing a 20-minute survey and encountering technical errors can be discouraging. To avoid ruining your survey response rate, double-check your survey on different platforms and choose a responsive design. Survey completion rates are still better for users on larger screen devices than on smartphone screens, so keep that in mind as well.
Polls and questionnaires are powerful and irreplaceable tools for getting some first-hand data, solid reviews, and actionable insights. If you’re new to this, check out our article on survey emails before exploring strategies to increase survey response rate.
Spoiler alert: You’ll learn more about how to get people to take surveys.