8 Tips to Maximize Survey Response Rates

Surveys are a fantastic means of getting feedback from your customers. They offer insight into what they like and what they want to be changed about your business, boosting brand appeal.

Sometimes, however, securing enough responses can feel like a challenge. Here are 8 quick survey best practices tips you can use to increase your survey response rates.

Increase Your Online Survey Response Rate, Diversity


1. Make the survey relevant and important to the user

Customers like to feel as though they matter as individuals. The more you can tailor your survey to the customer experience, the better they will respond. Create online surveys for different aspects of interacting with your brand. For example, if you own a retail store, you could add the details of the customer’s purchase, and you would have one survey for small purchases and another for large items that get delivered. You also need to make sure you are asking the right questions to create an incentive for the customers to finish the survey.

2. Use selectivity

Customers also feel unique and special when you tell them that they are a part of a particular group. Use language related to unique opportunities or people being specially chosen to catch the attention of your intended audience. Ask for their help, as members of this special group, and you will tap into the power of selectivity.

3. Make sure customers feel protected

When customers feel as though they can trust you, they become more likely to answer sensitive questions. Find ways to communicate this protection to survey takers. Let them know the level of protection your survey offers them. Make sure you inform them if the data will be used anonymously or publicly. Do anything you can to inspire confidence for your audience.

4. Remember the mobile revolution

Customers today use their mobile devices for just about everything, including shopping and checking email. This means that many people will be on mobile devices when they encounter your online surveys. Make sure your survey is very mobile-friendly and easy to fill out on a mobile device.

5. Follow up with customers

Your customers today are busy, so you can’t expect all of them to fill out your survey the minute they receive it. Many may open it, intend to fill it out, and forget. Others might not see the email or assume that you have others to answer your questions. Following up with your intended participants will boost your participation.

You can reach out again to those who did not participate. Remind them of their status within your special group and ask specifically for help. You will receive more responses. By following up with customers you can maximize your return.

6. Watch the timing of the survey

The timing of your survey can be critical. Consider your target audience and when you ideally want to catch them. For example, a business professional may be more likely to fill out a survey on their personal email in the early evening or during the lunch break.

You need to determine the times that work best for you. Research industry survey best practices, but also look at your own past results. See if any times for past communication with your audience received higher engagement rates. This will give you hints about your customers’ schedules and when you can best engage them.

7. Keep the appearance simple

Little things, such as an excessive number of graphics, can distract consumers and lead them off your survey. Keep the design of your survey as simple as possible. Use a minimal number of graphics and make sure they do not interrupt the flow of the questions. The layout, similarly, should be intuitive and easy for people to follow. The number of questions should be limited to information you absolutely need, shorter surveys have better responses.  

8. Use a mix of online and in-person surveys

If you’re a business or organization with foot traffic, or a researcher with access to a focus group, consider using a mix of in-person and online surveys. When you combine them they offer the best advantages of both methodologies. Mobile in-person surveys can be conducted anywhere and can be used to capture in-the-moment feedback or sentiment. Online surveys have lower response rates, but they can be used to target larger groups who aren’t available on-site. For the best results, surveys can begin in-person either via a face-to-face interview or by setting up standalone tablet kiosks at your location. Then, once you have collected the respondent’s email address, you can follow up with an online survey.


Meera Tawil

Meera Tawil

Hi! I'm Meera and I am the Marketing Coordinator at QuickTapSurvey.