The response rate for web surveys is 8 to 12%. Why so low? One of the biggest reasons is poor design and execution.
So how do you increase participation?
- Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to. For some reason, a lot of surveyors love to ask demographic questions that cover information they already have in their databases. This leads to unnecessarily long surveys, and respondents jumping ship before answering all the questions.Consider embedding a unique identifier on your survey link instead so that you can link up the data on you back end. That way you can focus on questions that are going to help you drive change in your organization.
- Pre-notify your members. Get in touch with them in advance to tell them why you’re conducting the research, and how you’re going to use it – whether it’s part of a strategic planning exercise, or you’re trying to improve the value you give them. Tell them who it’s going to be coming from, when it will launch, and how long they will have to complete it.
- Be honest about the survey length. Don’t say it’s going to be brief if it’s actually going to take 20-30 minutes to complete. Give them the ability to save and continue at a later date. It will help your participation rate in the long run.
- Be disciplined about the number of surveys you send out. It’s too easy to send surveys out on a whim. Think about who you’re sending to, and set up a limit on how many surveys your members receive on an annual or quarterly basis. Make your surveys targeted. If you’re interested in surveying millennials, don’t send it to your older members. Being more diligent about your prep will reduce the chances of your members experiencing survey fatigue.