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How to get more people to take a survey - maximizing response rate
How to get more people to take a survey - maximizing response rate

What is a response rate, and best practices to increase it

Agnieszka avatar
Written by Agnieszka
Updated over a week ago

Imagine spending hours designing your survey, selecting respondents, and setting research objectives. Then imagine your disappointment when the zero-hour finally strikes, and the responses aren't flowing in as expected.

Getting your respondents to take their time and fill out your survey can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Engaging your audience correctly is vital to collecting more answers and increasing your respondent's overall engagement. Here's some need-to-know on boosting your response rate.

What is the response rate, and how to calculate it?

Response rate is one of your survey research's most critical quality indicators. It indicates the number of people who replied to the survey divided by the number of people who viewed it.

Response Rate = number of responses/number of views * 100

Response rate, in general, indicates the percentage of people who decided to take the survey. At Survicate, we will automatically calculate this data for you. Go to the Analyze tabs of yourย Website or in-product surveys to check on these statistics in the chosen timeframe:

What is a good response rate?

Response rate is an essential indicator for the quality of survey analysis. A higher response rate means that your sample is representative and more accurate, but it is worth noting that response rate and accuracy are not necessarily linear. A response rate of 20% for a large sample, for instance, will be much more accurate than the same rate for 100 respondents.

A low response rate creates a potential for bias in the results. This could occur if non-respondents' answers differed significantly from the actual submitted results. Generally, a response rate tends to peak somewhere around 30% for an average online survey. The final survey response rate will vary depending on multiple factors, for instance:

  • Research interests of participants,

  • Rewards associated with survey completion,

  • Length of the survey,

  • Assurance of privacy and confidentiality.

We looked at the data from surveys created using Survicate, which were distributed via different channels: email, mobile app, or website.
The findings show that mobile surveys reach the highest response rate of around 30%, followed by website and email surveys.

Survicate enables you to use multiple advanced targeting tools for your online site surveys so that you can reach the right people at the most relevant moment of their customer journey. With many feedback collection methods, picking one that best fits your study's objectives is essential. The most typical survey response rate will be between 5-30%, but you can still pull various levers to maximize it.

In this article, we have collected the best practices for you to optimize your survey response rate. You'll find tips divided into survey types to find the ones that are helpful for you easily.

Best Practices to maximize your response rate

Confidentiality and security

The rising importance and data security awareness are some of the factors that can affect your survey response rates.

It is always good practice to be transparent with your respondents, letting them know about your privacy policies and sharing how you plan to use collected data before they start the survey.

Learn how you can do this below:

Survey length

Did you know your survey's response rate correlates directly to survey length?

We analyzed data from Survicate surveys and found a notable drop in the average completion rate with each additional question (1-3 being the optimal number). You can achieve this with micro surveys, survey logic, and more.

Look at the article below to learn how to run short surveys while still gathering meaningful and representative feedback:

Provide incentives

Researchers use incentives to attract responses from niche audiences or if the survey topic is more sensitive.

While some people will take the survey without incentives, offering a bonus in return is one of the ways to maximize your survey participation. Additionally, it is a great way to thank your respondents for their time and effort.

Check out how to do this (and how it can influence your survey's responses) here:

Get the timing right of a Website or Email/Link survey

The day and time you send it out are essential to successful data collection.

Researchers found thatย Thursday is the optimal day for sending an emailย and that respondents answered most surveys outside regular working hours.

The right moment can result in your survey being answered, so we recommend taking a moment to familiarize yourself with our tips for getting the timing right when it comes to surveying your contacts via email and on your website:



Pre-contacting respondents you'd like to survey can increase the response rate.

By letting respondents know they are valued and their opinions are important before asking them for their time, you're more likely to gain valuable feedback.

Additionally, it gives you an opportunity to provide context and explain the purpose of the survey.

Learn how to best reach out to your respondents with our guide:

Email or Shareable link surveys

Embed the first question

Inviting your participants through email is one of the most widely used data collection methods. The question in the email captures respondents' attention faster, and they are more likely to click on it and start the survey.

In the below article, you'll learn how to embed the survey's first question in the email (with examples) and how it can increase your survey's response rate:

Email survey invitations

Personalized invites help engage respondents and increase survey response rates. Spend time crafting a well-written welcome message for your survey emails to grab your audience's attention and encourage valuable insights.

There are a lot of ways to invite a person whose opinion you care about to take part in a survey. Check out some of our tips here:

Send out a reminder

When conducting a survey, it is important to remember that people are busy and may forget to complete it. Therefore, sending out reminders after initially distributing the survey can be a helpful way to encourage participation gently. In addition to being a nudge, sending reminders can also lead to an increase in response rates, improving the quality of the collected data.

See out tips for effective reminders and get inspired:

Website or in-product and Mobile surveys

Target the right audience

Each respondent will approach your survey differently, and this has a significant impact on the results. People with emotional involvement and interest in the topic are more likely to take the survey. Additionally, respondents who are aware and knowledgeable about the subject will provide you with better answers - translating into insightful and reliable data collected.

Use advanced targeting options in Survicate for Website or in-product surveys, or define a custom audience for your Mobile survey to reach your desired participants effectively.

Here's how to achieve this:

Website survey invitation

Capturing respondents' attention for online surveys can be challenging. Enhance participation rates with methods such as effective survey invitations, clear language, a compelling call-to-action, personalized invitations, thorough testing, and many more.

For a deeper dive into maximizing online survey response rates, explore our comprehensive article:

The takeaway

Having enough people respond to your survey is essential for the successful statistical validity of your research. The numbers matter; if there's a will, there's always a way to achieve your desired response rate. A few survey tweaks and targeting strategy optimization will help ensure your results are accurate.

๐Ÿ’กIn this article about maximizing response rate, we looked into the proven methods:

  • Adding a personal touch to the invite;

  • Embedding the first question into the email (making sure it's mobile-friendly too);

  • Express genuine appreciation for your respondent's time;

  • Targeting your surveys to the right audience and at the right moment;

  • Offering incentives, if possible, and aligned with your research objectives;

  • Keeping the questionnaire relevant and concise.

Collecting more valuable and trustworthy data is worth going the extra mile. Don't be afraid to experiment with different methods to find the most optimal and effective ones for your surveys.

Feel free to check out our video for more tips and ideas:

๐Ÿ“š Want to take your response rate to another level? Dive into our blog posts to learn more about boosting it and how to deal with survey fatigue!


๐Ÿ“ž Have any questions about available features that will help you maximize the response rate? Feel free to reach out to our team via chat or email!

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