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3 expert ways to increase your survey response rates

Posted by Perceptive Insights Team - 02 November, 2015

Feeling ignored? 3 expert ways to increase your survey response ratesAre you going through lots of effort to send your surveys out (or are you smart enough to have an expert do it for you?), then get excited when you get the results back, only to see that you actually don’t have many responses at all?

Customers ignoring surveys is an all too common scenario for many businesses today. This is part one of our two-part blog series, where we share some good tips to help you increase survey response rates.


Why do survey response rates matter?

In order for the data from a survey to be accurate, you need a certain number of people to actually fill it out. It's hard to extrapolate population-level findings from a pool of only 10 responses, after all.

There might simply not be enough data for your survey to be valid, or you may not have enough responses from a particular demographic you are interested in investigating further.

Thankfully, there are a few methods you can use to improve your survey response rate.


Related content: 5 reasons why you shouldn't exclude NPS scores


1. Content genius 

A tempting subject line draws respondents in, an intriguing email headline keeps them reading, and solid body copy ensure they know the purpose of the survey, how long it will take and, most importantly, what's in it for them should they decide to take part.

The average office worker receives about 120 emails every single day, and only about 35 per cent of those are actually opened.

Failing to present tight, interesting and direct copy in your survey email is a surefire way to turn away your respondents before they've even clicked on your survey link.


Learn more: Dial up your NPS and your business with our free guide Grow your business with NPS


2. Good timing 

Try to avoid launching your survey around any holidays and general times of the year that your target audience may be busier than usual.

Summer holidays and Christmas are the obvious culprits. Before or after any public holidays, such as the Easter break, is also poorly timed. Respondents need to be able to check their emails so if they’re sitting on a beach somewhere, this is clearly not a good time.

Be mindful of the time of day that you’re sending your invitations. Usually, early morning and around noon tend to be ideal for the B2B crowd. These are times when most people check their emails.

However, the downside can be that they’re too busy to make your email a priority amongst the bombardment of all other emails. Still, this is a preferred time as opposed to in the evening or on the weekends, when most people like to stay as far away from their emails as possible.


3. Show me the money! 

It doesn’t necessarily need to be money, but to offer something of value to your customers is a wise tactic.

You can enter your respondents into a prize draw (where the prize can be money, or even a goodie bag that you have scraped together from business partners or brand you work with).

Another method is to let them know you’ll make a small contribution to a charity, and you can even make them choose which charity from a list you include in your survey. 

If you’re talking to B2B companies, it could be wise to actually not include an incentive (especially if it is financial). The thought here being that an improvement in their experience with your company should be incentive enough.

However, this will always depend on your particular brand and business. If you are speaking to consumers (B2C) you can freely offer discounts, loyalty points, and opportunities to win great prizes.


What if this doesn’t work?

These tips should help you boost your rates significantly, but if you still find yourself suffering from poor survey response rates, you will need to gather insight into why people aren’t responding to your survey.

Does your company have a process in place for contacting customers who did not respond to the survey? If this is not a priority for your business, there are also options to involve a third-party, automated system.

It’s often not practical to contact every person who didn’t respond to your survey; another option is to conduct a “single question non-responder survey”.

This is an anonymous survey that wants to understand why customers may not have responded. You can include options such as “I forgot” to “I’m not the right person to respond” to “my feedback never leads to action.”

You might actually be surprised as to how many silent customers will take you up on the offer to answer. After this, you will go through and analyse your responses to finally understand on why people aren’t clicking your survey link.

Check out our next blog for more survey response rate tips.


Keen to know about how you can leverage your NPS to its full potential? Download our free guide on using NSP to grow your business.

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Topics: Customer Experience

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