How to Improve Survey Response Rate and Get More Survey Responses

As anyone who has ever conducted a survey will tell you, identifying a target audience is just the beginning. The real work is increasing your survey response rate.

So what is survey response rate? As you might expect, survey response rate identifies the rate at which people who see your survey actually participate.

In today’s research world, we can target down to the micro level. Digital advertisers can target a single city block. Survey companies can convene panels on even the most minute detail.

The problem is if the people you are reaching are not engaged, and your survey is just an impediment to them, you’ll see a low survey response rate, or worse; low data quality.

It turns out, you can raise rates and improve data quality without switching platforms or creating a bunch of extra work. Here’s how:

Reach a better audience

You can drastically increase your survey response rate, and decrease the time it takes to get your results by effectively reaching a larger, more engaged audience. According to Pew research, in the past five years, smartphone ownership among adults has nearly doubled to 68%.

  • More than half of most demographic groups have a smartphone
  • There are no differences in smartphone ownership among different racial and ethnic groups
  • 90% of our time on mobile is spent in app

To get more respondents, you need to reach them, on their turf, where they can take your survey on their own terms and at their convenience.

And when you can reach more potential survey respondents, chances are you will get your results faster as well.

Pollfish now offers the ability to access this audience without switching survey platforms. Run your Survey Monkey survey using the Pollfish audience.

By accessing users where they are and offering incentives towards the apps they are already using, you will improve data quality and survey response rate overnight.

Screen for the right audience

Casting a wider net doesn’t guarantee you will reach a relevant audience – however asking the right type of screening question will help you filter out the users you want to participate in your survey.

Making sure that your screening question acceptance criteria doesn’t rely on “Yes” or “No” answers will help avoid false-positives. And help ensure that your survey respondents meet your criteria for a sample population – versus just looking for an incentive.

Improve your survey design

Critical to keeping users engaged in your survey is the survey design – particularly when it comes to optimizing for mobile. The most important consideration would be to keep it short – both in number of and length of questions  – as well as the answers.  Aim for your survey to be less than 10 questions long, and less than 140 characters in length. If you can design a survey for a mobile device, it will work well online on a website or other forms as well. However, the reverse is not true.

Use right question types – quantitative single or multiple answer questions where users can quickly respond are better suited for mobile devices – since users prefer tapping vs typing. Avoid the overuse of open-ended questions by using them to gain more depth or insight into a particular response.

Matrix questions are also to be used sparingly since they take up a lot of screen space, and require users to sort through a variety of questions and answers. Slider-type or star-based rating questions can be very engaging, however, you don’t want to ask too many in a row as this may bore the respondent.

Obtaining more  survey responses can be fast, easy, and affordable – if you know where to look.