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16 Actionable Tips On How To Increase Survey Response Rates

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

11 June 2024

9 min read

Like any other business out there, you’re probably looking for answers on how to increase survey response rates. Well, improving survey response rates isn’t easy for sure, but it’s not impossible either. There are tools and software available that help you gather quick responses and insightful data.

However, you need to follow some more tips and tricks that make your survey stand out from the rest. Here are 16 actionable tips you can implement with the right survey software to get higher response rates.

1. Create Branded Survey

People these days value authenticity more than anything. The only way to connect with your audience is to get real with them. As per Stackla, 86% of consumers said authenticity is the key factor in deciding what brands they like. Unsurprisingly, millennial consumers want to support a brand that values people more than Profit. And if they can’t relate to your brand, it’s time for you to go off the market.

So, if you want to improve survey response rates, the first thing you’d want to start with is going authentic with your surveys. How can you do that? Well, by customizing your survey to reflect your brand image.  The surveys and emails you’ll send to your customers represent your brand’s identity. By being transparent, you can make them open the surveys. Here’s a video survey created using SurveySparrow..

To create more online surveys like this, you can create a FREE account on SurveySparrow now..

So keep your brand personality intact by customizing surveys with your brand’s domain, fonts, brand color, logo, etc. SurveySparrow’s white-label feature allows you to customize and brand your surveys, brand domain, CSS, and email. You can even customize your URLs with yours before sending them to the target audience.

When you send surveys from your own domain, it builds more credibility. Your audience will feel safe to answer and share their information. Also, with custom CSS, you can alter surveys using code and match it with your own brand’s labels, logos, images, and fonts. This way, you can definitely get higher response rates than before.

2. Address Your Audience by Name

Regular survey- “How likely are you to recommend our product to your friends and family?”

Personalized Survey- “Hey Miranda, do you have a spare 30 seconds? Can you please help us rate your purchasing experience with our company?”

So, we showed you two examples above. Which one sounds better? The first one or the second? Well, I know what you’re going to answer!

Your customers can’t ignore the surveys if you address them by name. Yes, adding your target customer’s name to the survey email body, subject lines can increase survey response rates by more than 40%.

how to increase online survey response rates Using features like contact param and custom variables, you can insert contact details of your customers, employees, or potential leads, such as adding names, emails, and phone numbers into the survey. This will make your surveys more personalized and real.

3. Enticing Subject Lines

The first thing your audience will look at after receiving a survey is the survey subject lines. An enticing subject line can help you improve the survey open rates without any hassle.

Before brainstorming a subject line, make sure to check if it’s interesting, personal, and engaging. However, discovering an enticing subject line will take time. And keeping that in mind, we’ve shared a quick list of enticing subject lines you can use that really work:

  • Hey John, got a second? Why don’t you share your valuable feedback with us?
  • We want your advice ( and give you 60% off!)
  • Help our employees! Vote for them now!
  • Want to share your point of view?
  • How was your recent purchasing experience? Wanna rate us?

4. Experiment with the Questions

If you are looking for answers to how to increase survey response rates, then I’d say experiment with the questions. That’s exactly what you need to keep the survey-taking game interesting for your audience.

A good mix of close-ended and open-ended questions can help you gather specific and detailed feedback. Open-ended questions allow people to express their opinions. These questions will let you know why they feel in a certain way about your products or services. In contrast, close-ended questions are short and sweet. They won’t take much time to complete. Your respondents can answer yes or no with close-ended survey questions.

The best part about using a mixed method while designing surveys is that you’re not placing any limitations or pressurizing your audience to answer. They can answer anything if they feel it’s relevant and they want your brand to know. However, SurveySparrow’s multiple survey templates are designed following the mixed-question method so that your customers or employees don’t get bored while answering.

Before jumping to the next point, let’s take a quick look at the most common types of survey questions:

  • Open-ended questions
  • Rating questions
  • Close-ended questions
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Likert scale questions
  • Picture choice questions
  • Demographic questions

5. Privacy Should be a Priority

The way an organization stores and secures the data of the customers affects a lot in the business. A recent example of this is WhatsApp. Whatsapp received massive backlash from people after re-introducing its controversial privacy policy in 2021. However, Whatsapp is trying to set the records straight by explaining the policy again to users.

WhatsApp is the perfect example of the importance of privacy among users. It’s the era of smart consumers who are more concerned than ever about sharing their personal data with businesses. And businesses worldwide are focusing more on maintaining safe practices while doing business.

So, to ensure high open rates, you must include a clear privacy disclaimer in your survey email. You can secure your surveys using SSL by transferring encrypted data over the internet. SurveySparrow, a Typeform alternative, cares about its own customers by offering the secure survey, encrypted data security. With the help of SurveySparrow’s online survey software, you can track respondents and prevent spamming by keeping a record of IP addresses. Also, you can protect your surveys by limiting access with a password. On top of that, using a single sign-on and IP whitelisting custom domain, you can provide a safe and secure survey-taking experience. And expect high response rates without any doubt.

6. Schedule Surveys Persistently

Scheduling surveys can increase survey response rates effectively. You’ll get the best response after your consumers interact with your brand for the first time. You can send them right after purchasing a product from you or interacting with your customer support.

how to increase electronic survey response rates

The best way to give your consumers a sufficient time span is by sending the survey within 7 to 30 days. Also, quarterly or bi-annual surveys are the best survey-taking method that strikes a good balance.

Using automated recurring surveys is a great way to keep your respondents engaged. For instance, SurveySparrow’s recurring survey feature lets you send daily, weekly, and quarterly surveys efficiently. You can even remind the non-responders with separate reminder emails to get better responses.

7. Use Skip Logic

Skip logic can increase the survey response rate and make the survey relevant and easy to complete. Skip logic or branch logic helps your audience decide which question or page they’ll see based on their previous response. It helps them to ignore all the irrelevant questions without answering them.

Skip logic reroutes the survey based on specific criteria. Define the specific criteria based on your respondents’ contact information, question responses, custom param, etc. With skip logic you can branch to another survey question, redirect them to an external page or send them to a thank you page for completing the survey. For example, skip logic can be used in multiple-choice, yes or no, and rating scale questions.

Skip logic can improve survey response rates because it ensures your surveys stay relevant, short, and crisp. Short surveys always catch attention. And who wants their respondents to get overwhelmed with irrelevant questions.

8. Don’t Bombard Your Customers by Over-surveying

Sending surveys quite often keeps your consumers and employees connected to your brand. But, when you bombard them with frequent surveys that drop on the email list too often, they get irritated. And, instead of increasing your response rates, you might end up in the spam folder!

So, rather than conducting customer feedback surveys after every journey, set a strict timeline on when and how often you’ll survey them. So, next time while using survey software, resist the urge of “more is better” and remember these points to set the right survey frequency:

  • Always ask “why” before sending any feedback survey. Make sure to clarify what goal you want to achieve with the survey.
  • Taking action is important after every survey. So, ask yourself, how long does it usually take to implement a change in your organization? A week, month, or a year? And conduct surveys based on that.
  • Focus more on quality instead of quantity.

9. Provide Incentives

Well, sometimes, you just can’t ask people to complete your surveys for free. No matter how much you try or go by the rule book, there will be people who need something more to complete your survey. Try providing incentives to make them complete your surveys properly.

People can’t ignore the survey if you offer gift cards, discounts, or any other cash prize. Because monetary rewards are always enticing, right? However, providing monetary incentives depends on a business’s budget and the target audience.

While providing incentives with surveys, know your audience well. I mean, if your target audience is millennials or college goers, an Amazon gift voucher would be a better incentive than a free Disney trip ticket!

Another great way you can provide incentives to your survey respondents is by providing value. Let’s say you are a business coach, and you’re sending surveys to your students. Instead of offering cash, you can provide them an article, ebook, video, whitepaper that’s not available for free.

10. Craft Engaging Survey

Your survey templates, questions, and UI should be engaging enough to catch the attention of your target audience. Nowadays, survey software offers multiple survey themes that make the survey more engaging. For instance, with SurveySparrow, you can design your survey background, buttons, fonts, and color palette that matches your brand personality. Also, using features like piping logic, custom params, variables, and contact params, you can build smart surveys.

Here are some tips you can follow to make your surveys more engaging:

  • Make sure your surveys fit your brand voice.
  • Be human; add a little personal touch into your surveys.
  • Customize your surveys with images, videos, and gifs to grab attention.
  • Keep the answers short, crisp, and sweet.

11. Use Survey Channel Wisely

How to improve the survey response rate easily? Well, the best way to improve your response rate is to use a channel wisely. Make sure to use a channel that your target audience uses quite often. For example, if you communicate with your customers via social media channels, it’s better to share the survey link on social media.

If you’re a mobile app owner, it’s more beneficial to conduct an in-app survey. Also, linking surveys in pop-ups or embedding them on the website can boost response rates effectively. The channel you’ll use to conduct surveys has a deep impact on the response rate. You can even combine the channels to get more visibility and increase the response rates effectively.

12. Multi-Language Survey

Multilingual surveys can guarantee higher response rates because multi-language surveys break the barriers of language differences and reach a global audience. If you use survey software that lets your respondents answer in their own preferred language, they can understand the questions easily. It also leads to a higher respondent experience.

All you need to do is create a survey in your own language, and the software will translate it to other languages. Reaching to audiences across the globe gives you rich, insightful data. With SurveySparrow’s survey software, you can choose from over 50+ languages along with Spanish, German, and French.

13. Automate Every Process

If you wish to send out surveys without wasting much time, use software that automates almost everything. From sending recurring surveys to collecting data in real-time, good survey software can help you with anything. Intact you don’t even have to log in to your dashboard to see the survey results. You’ll get an instant notification delivered to your email every time someone completes the survey.

There are lots of Typeform alternatives, like SurveySparrow and Zoho, available in the market that automate every stage.

14. Segment Customers the Right Way

Segmentation is a powerful strategy to increase survey response rates. Segmenting your audience helps you understand what they have in common and what they differ from. You can segment your target customers based on demographic, geographic, and psychographic segmentation. Psychographic segmentation lets you divide your customers based on their habits, attitudes, and lifestyles. In contrast, the demographics segmentation is based on age, race, and gender.

Another great way to segment your customers is based on their customer life cycle. For example, if you ask your new customers to rate your apps or products, they’ll probably ignore answering because they don’t know much about your product yet. On the contrary, if you ask them to rate your service or purchasing experience, they’ll happily give you their ratings. That said, before surveying, positioning your target audience matters the most if you want to get better survey responses.

15. Follow Up is the Key

We often complete surveys that we forget about later. It happens because no one ever asks us to take another survey, or in other words, they don’t follow up. When it comes to increasing your survey response rates, follow-up is the key. When you forget to follow up with your audience, you miss a big opportunity to show them that you care about them.

However, your job is to follow up with your target audience persistently, not annoy them. So, make sure to send them scheduled, light, and conversational follow-up surveys.

16. Make Your Surveys Mobile-friendly

In today’s world, mobile devices generate 50.81% of global traffic. Mobile dominates the world of the internet. That’s why it’s crucial to make your survey user-friendly for mobile devices. When you embed the survey on your website or mail them directly, make sure it looks good on mobile, too. You have to design the survey perfectly for every device.

For example, SurveySparrow’s survey templates are designed with conversational forms that are mobile-friendly. Be it your laptop, tablet, or mobile, and you can complete the survey from anywhere at any place. Especially the conversational UI breaks the boring age-old survey-taking process and gives a unique survey experience.

And that’s all!

So, these are the tips you need to follow to get higher responses than ever before. To get your audience to complete the surveys, express your care and show them that you value their opinion. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and design the survey in the most simple way to make the process easy.

In addition, knowing your audience well can help you take better surveys and analyze the data more effectively. Also, don’t keep your audience blind and share the results with them to build trust and ensure better response rates.

Got any more tips to add to the list? Why don’t you leave us a comment, and we’ll add them here in this article!

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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