In survey research, the survey response rate is the number of people who replied to the survey divided by the number of people you sent the survey, in other words, views of your survey.

You can also learn about other common survey analysis terms, such as completion rate.

Survicate reports automatically calculate this value for you, so you can focus on your insights. It is calculated by the number of responses/number of total views (unique views in website surveys) x 100.

Why the survey response rate is important:

When you create a survey, it would be really frustrating to see the research you've spent time and effort to be not It's also damaging for your research to not be able to collect enough samples. This is where having a high response rate becomes crucial.

The response rate depends on many factors. This could include your target audience, survey invitation, incentive... Usually, online survey response rates vary between 5% to 30%, but you can improve your response rate to 50% or even higher using some quick alterations and tips described in this guide.

💡 Tips to increase the survey response rate:

  • Keep the goal of your survey in mind when creating your questions. Don’t overload the survey with unnecessary questions. A good strategy is to keep your surveys as short as possible if they are intended for a wide audience. Then you can ask more detailed questions designed specifically for this group of people.
  • Also, you can consider using survey logic to show relevant questions based on previous responses to create branches within your survey. This way the survey will feel much shorter for your respondent, and you will not be wasting their time on questions which are irrelevant to them.
  • Let the respondents know how long the survey will take to complete and make sure you don’t exceed that timeframe. You can enable a progress bar to inform your users about the length of your survey.
  • Personalize your survey with an invitation - a personal touch will get you better survey results.
  • A change that will substantially increase your survey response rate is targeting your surveys to the right audience. Similarly, by showing your surveys at the right time, you will reach the most relevant audience. Reaching the right people also ensures that the data you collect is the healthiest.
    For example, if you are running a website survey target your users and survey with the information you already know about them: based on respondent attributes, based on cookies and based on visitor segments. Sometimes it is crucial to identify and focus only on these people, so you don’t waste time and effort of users who are not your optimal survey group.
  • In recent years, concerns about data - and what is done with this data - have increased. At Survicate, we make sure that your data is securely stored. However, you can also add a security disclaimer to your survey invitation or survey footer (on website surveys) of your surveys to increase the chances of responding in honesty.
  • Determine the communication frequency with your users and include surveys to the cycle, instead of sending them individually. This process should be hand in hand with all other departments in your company. That way, you can create a survey frequency without boring your users. If you are running a survey on your website, you can easily automize your survey frequency, and exclude your users if they responded to any surveys in the near past.
  • When you are sending an email survey or launching it on your website - you'd need to make sure it's accessible across devices, so every respondent can easily take part in it. In Survicate, you can see how your surveys appear across devices.
  • Show your gratitude by adding a thank you message to finalize your survey. This will strengthen the chances of your respondent to participate in further surveys. You can also consider adding a question asking them if they'd like to participate in further studies, and target only them for your next survey!

It is essential to remember that the respondent, filling out the survey on his computer or other devices, can quickly lose interest. Therefore improving the quality, structure, design, and targeting functions in your survey will undoubtedly contribute to increasing the response rate and making your research more effective.

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