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increase survey response rate
Unmesh Sheth6/5/23 9:33 PM13 min read

10 Different Ways to Increase Survey Response Rate


How to increasesurvey response rate

Surveys are a powerful tool for gathering valuable data collection and research insights. Their success, however, is directly linked to the response rate. If only a tiny portion of your target audience responds to your survey, the data collected may be skewed and not representative. So, how do we improve this vital response rate? In this article, we explore ten distinct strategies to enhance your survey response rate.

The Importance of Survey Response Rate

Your survey's response rate plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and validity of your results. The higher the response rate, the more data you gather and the more confidence you can have in your conclusions. Moreover, a high response rate guarantees that your data accurately represent your target audience, assisting you in making informed decisions.

Understanding the Good Response Rate for Surveys

Various factors can influence survey response rates, including the survey type and audience engagement. Typically, the average response rate for online surveys ranges between 10% and 30%. Aiming for a response rate of at least 20% as a benchmark would provide a solid data set to work with.

Tactics to Enhance Survey Response Rate

Here are ten different strategies to increase your survey response rate:

1. Keep Surveys Concise

In today's fast-paced world, time is a valuable commodity, and people don't want to waste it on lengthy surveys. Keeping your survey concise and to the point is crucial in capturing the audience's attention and increasing the likelihood of completion. Use clear and straightforward language, and avoid jargon or unnecessary detail. It's better to have a short and sweet survey with relevant questions than a long and convoluted one that will only lead to frustration and abandonment. Remember, your goal is to obtain accurate and reliable data; a concise survey is the first step toward achieving it.

2. Maintain Transparency

When designing a survey, it's important to remember that participants want to know how their responses will be used. Transparency helps to build trust and encourages participation. If respondents are unsure about the survey's purpose or how the data will be utilized, they may be less likely to complete it. A clear explanation of how the data will be used can also help increase the accuracy of the responses. By fostering an environment of transparency and trust, you can create a more positive and productive survey experience for everyone involved.

3. Adopt Responsive Survey Designs

It's important to remember that people access online content through various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. To ensure that your survey is accessible and user-friendly to all respondents, it's crucial to adopt a responsive survey design. A responsive survey design adjusts to the screen size of the device used to complete the survey, making it easier to navigate and more visually appealing. Ensuring your survey is responsive can increase the likelihood of completion and improve the overall response rate.

4. Opt for Anonymous Surveys

Some participants may feel uncomfortable sharing personal information in a survey, such as their name, age, or contact details. This reluctance can stem from concerns about privacy and data protection. By offering anonymous surveys, participants can feel more at ease and confident about sharing their opinions without worrying about their personal information being misused or shared without consent. Anonymity can increase participation rates as respondents feel more comfortable and secure in their responses. Additionally, anonymous surveys can reduce bias in the data collected, as participants are more likely to answer honestly and candidly when their responses are not linked to their identity. Therefore, providing anonymity in surveys can lead to more accurate and reliable data collection and a higher response rate.

 5. Provide Incentives

Incentives are a great way to motivate respondents to complete your survey. Offering incentives shows that you value their time and effort and can result in higher response rates. Incentives can take many forms, such as a discount on your products or services, a raffle entry for a prize, or even a small cash reward. When deciding on an incentive, consider what would be most appealing to your target audience. For example, a discount on their next purchase might be an effective incentive if you're surveying a retail business. It's important to remember that the incentive should not be so large that it overshadows the survey's importance but rather enough to show appreciation for their participation. Additionally, be transparent about the incentive, and ensure it is communicated to respondents before they begin the survey. Implementing incentives can increase your response rate and gather more accurate and reliable data.

6. Engage with Your Survey

Visuals and interactive elements are a great way of making your survey more engaging and interesting for the respondent. Including graphics, images, and videos can break up the monotony of text-based questions and keep the respondent's attention focused on completing the survey. Interactive elements such as sliders, checkboxes, and drop-down menus can also make the survey feel more like a game, encouraging the respondent to complete it.

Additionally, visuals can help clarify the questions and make them more understandable. For example, asking respondents to rate a product's features, including product images, can help them better understand the question and provide more accurate responses. Visuals can also help convey emotions and attitudes, making questions about sensitive topics more comfortable to answer.

When using interactive elements and visuals, ensuring they are relevant to the survey's purpose and do not distract from the questions' importance is essential. On the other hand, an overly complex or flashy survey can lead to frustration, abandonment, and lower response rates. Therefore, balancing engagement and simplicity is important to ensure the survey's success.

 7. Implement Survey Logic

Implementing survey logic is one of the most effective ways to enhance your survey's engagement and completion rates. Survey logic allows you to tailor the questions based on the respondent's previous answers, leading to a more personalized and relevant survey experience. For instance, if a respondent indicates they are not interested in a particular product or service, the survey can skip additional questions related to that product/service, saving time and increasing completion rates. On the other hand, if a respondent indicates interest in a particular topic, the survey can present more in-depth questions, leading to higher engagement rates. By implementing survey logic, you create a more efficient and tailored survey experience, which can significantly improve response rates.

8. Survey Question  Design

When designing your survey question, it's essential to ensure they are clear and understandable. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the respondents. Use simple language and keep your questions concise to avoid confusion. Additionally, consider the order of your questions to ensure they follow a logical sequence. A well-organized survey design and analysis process can increase completion rates and reduce the chances of respondents dropping out due to confusion or frustration. Finally, it's essential to pre-test your survey with a small group of people to identify any potential issues with clarity or sequencing. By crafting clear and concise questions and ensuring they follow a logical sequence, you can improve the overall quality of your data and increase your response rates.

9. Schedule Survey Delivery Times Strategically

Scheduling the delivery of your survey strategically can significantly impact your response rates. Consider your target audience's time zones and work schedules when deciding when to send out your survey. For example, sending out a survey during peak work hours may result in a lower response rate as people are more likely to be busy and less willing to take the time to complete it. On the other hand, sending out a survey during off-hours or on weekends may result in a higher response rate as people may have more free time to complete it. Experimenting with different delivery times can help you determine the optimal time to send out your survey and increase your chances of obtaining a high response rate. Additionally, you can use automated survey tools to schedule survey delivery at specific times to ensure your survey is sent out at the most convenient time for your target audience.

Automated survey


10. Send Gentle Reminders

Sending gentle reminders is an effective way to encourage survey completion and increase response rates. A simple follow-up email or SMS message can remind respondents to finish the survey and show them that their input is valued. It's essential to time the reminders strategically; sending them too frequently or early can be seen as nagging and may have the opposite effect. Instead, wait a few days after the initial survey invitation and send a polite reminder with a clear call to action. You can also consider offering an additional incentive or expressing gratitude for their participation in the reminder message. With a well-timed and thoughtful reminder, you can increase survey completion rates and gather more reliable data.

SMS Surveys

In today's fast-paced world, people are constantly moving, making it challenging to reach them through traditional online surveys. This is where SMS surveys come in handy. They offer a quick and convenient way of collecting data from a broader audience, regardless of their location or device. In addition, SMS surveys are cost-effective and easy to set up and administer, making them an excellent option for businesses and organizations looking to collect feedback from their customers or stakeholders.

Moreover, with the increasing popularity of messaging apps like WhatsApp, it's essential to consider offering SMS and WhatsApp-based data collection options to ensure maximum reach. By providing respondents with multiple opportunities to participate in the survey, you can increase the likelihood of their engagement and, ultimately, improve response rates. Additionally, SMS and WhatsApp-based surveys can collect real-time data, providing instant feedback to help businesses make informed decisions quickly.

In conclusion, SMS and WhatsApp-based surveys offer a convenient, cost-effective, and efficient way of collecting data from a larger audience. Furthermore, you can increase engagement rates and gather more accurate and reliable data by giving respondents multiple options to participate in the survey. As such, survey platforms need to offer both SMS and WhatsApp-based data collection options to cater to the diverse needs of their clients.


Improving your survey response rate is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable data to help you make informed decisions. Implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post can increase engagement, improve data quality, and gain deeper insights from your surveys. Anonymity, incentives, engagement, survey logic, clear and concise questions, strategic scheduling, gentle reminders, and SMS surveys are all effective ways to enhance your survey response rates. Combined, these strategies can help you create a more personalized, engaging, and efficient survey experience that encourages respondents to participate and provide valuable feedback. Remember, a well-designed survey can give you the insights to make critical business decisions and improve your organization's overall performance. So, take the time to implement these strategies and reap the benefits of higher response rates and more accurate data.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good response rate for my survey?

It's important to note that the ideal response rate can vary depending on the survey's purpose and the target audience. For example, a survey targeting a specific group of highly engaged customers may have a higher response rate than a survey targeting a general population. However, as a general rule of thumb, a response rate of at least 20% is considered good. Remember that various factors can influence response rates, including the survey's length, complexity, and relevance to the respondents. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post, you can increase your chances of achieving a higher response rate and obtaining more accurate and reliable data.

How can I motivate respondents to complete my survey?

Motivating respondents to complete your survey is essential to obtain reliable and accurate data. One way to do this is by keeping the survey short and engaging. Long surveys can be tedious and discourage respondents from completing them. Instead, I want you to focus on the most critical questions and keep the survey concise. Additionally, including interactive elements, such as sliders, checkboxes, and drop-down menus, can make the survey feel more like a game, encouraging respondents to complete it.

Offering incentives is another effective way to motivate respondents. For example, could you consider providing a small gift card or a chance to win a prize for completing the survey? However, ensuring the incentives are relevant to the survey's purpose and do not bias the responses is essential. Additionally, offering a clear explanation of the motivation and how to claim it can encourage respondents to complete the survey.

Finally, ensuring the survey is easy to complete on various devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can increase respondent motivation. Many people use mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the internet, so optimizing the survey for mobile devices can lead to higher completion rates. Implementing these strategies can motivate respondents to complete your survey and obtain reliable data to inform decision-making.

Can I improve my response rate by sending reminders?

Sending reminders is a great way to encourage respondents to complete your survey and increase response rates. It's common for people to forget about surveys or put them off until later, which can result in lower completion rates. By sending gentle reminders, you can jog their memory and show that their input is valued. However, it's essential to time the reminders strategically; sending them too frequently or early can be seen as nagging. It may have the opposite effect if you wait a few days after the initial survey invitation and send a polite reminder with a clear call to action. You can also consider offering an additional incentive or expressing gratitude for their participation in the reminder message. With a well-timed and thoughtful reminder, you can increase survey completion rates and gather more reliable data, ultimately leading to better organizational decision-making.

How does survey logic improve response rates?

Survey logic is a powerful tool that can improve the overall survey experience for respondents and increase response rates. Using survey logic, you can tailor the survey questions and flow to the respondent's previous answers, making the survey more personalized and engaging. For example, if a respondent indicates that they do not use a particular product, you can skip questions related to that product, saving them time and reducing frustration. Additionally, survey logic can help prevent respondents from answering questions that are not relevant to them, minimizing the risk of incorrect or biased data. Creating a more personalized and efficient survey experience can increase the likelihood of respondents completing the survey and providing valuable feedback. Implementing survey logic can also make the survey feel more like a conversation than a one-sided questionnaire, increasing engagement and ultimately leading to more accurate and reliable data.

Why is it important to be transparent with respondents?

Transparency is key when it comes to building trust with survey respondents. They want to know that their time and effort are valued and that their data will be used for a meaningful purpose. Clarifying how their data will be used and the survey's purpose can help alleviate concerns or doubts, leading to higher response rates. Additionally, transparency can help prevent respondents from providing inaccurate or biased data by ensuring they understand the survey's context and goals. Finally, by being upfront and honest with respondents, you can create a more trustworthy and engaging survey experience that encourages them to participate and provide valuable feedback. So, please include a clear and concise explanation of the survey's purpose and how the data will be used to build trust and increase response rates.

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Learn More: Survey Data Analysis



Unmesh Sheth

32 years of track record In technology companies, innovation, leadership. Deep understanding of bottom-up and top-down data trust challenges in high impact philanthropy and impact investments.