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40 Brilliant Ways To Increase Survey Response Rates

Drawing in an acceptable survey response rate can be tough at times. In fact, when you’re first getting to know your client base and their preferences, your average response rate for email surveys may be far less than you hoped for. That said, increasing survey response rates is something you can accomplish with thought, care, and research into customer satisfaction survey best practices. Accordingly, below are 39 ways to increase survey response rates to majorly improve your game.

Tips To Increase Your Survey Response Rate

Image Credit: Pexels

1. Switch up the survey language.

You may be able to increase your typical survey response rate by using language that is fun and accessible to your specific customer base. For example, some respondents may be more likely to click on a survey that’s referred to as a quiz, while others may prefer something referred to as a Q&A or questionnaire.

2. Make your team accessible.

Make sure that the email address that sends out the survey link allows customers to reply. Also set things up so that customers who do reply get access to an actual human from your team, so they can clarify any questions they might have.

3. Tell respondents how long the survey will take in advance.

This shows that you respect their time and gives them a heads up on what to expect.

Image Credit: Pexels

4. Keep the survey short and concise.

“Don’t make the survey too long,” customer service expert Shep Hyken says. “I’ve been asked to take some surveys that take longer to complete than the transaction I had with the company. Consider short surveys that take one or two minutes to complete. A short NPS survey question with one or two follow up questions that take a minute or so to complete will boost response numbers.”

Jeremy Watkin, director of customer experience at FCR, agrees. “Keep the survey as short as possible, preferably only asking for a rating and a verbatim comment. As you add more questions, you’ll see a decline in response rate.”

5. Send the survey from a different email address than usual.

If you usually send all correspondence with clients or email subscribers from one specific email address, try sending the survey from a new one. This may intrigue customers and encourage them to click. In addition, this helps to separate the survey from any day-to-day business you may have with them.

6. Send cheerful reminders.

Sometimes potential respondents simply miss the survey in their inbox. As a result, a gentle reminder might be all it takes to increase your survey participation rate. Of course, aim to make these reminders fun and polite.

7. Offer multiple language options.

If you’re able, provide the survey in more than one language to make it extra accessible to all potential respondents and increase your potential survey response rate.


8. Choose a clear direction.

Know in advance you’re hoping to learn from this survey. As a result, you’ll be more likely to stick to questions that are focused on that topic.

9. However, don’t guide customers to a preset response.

Sometimes we unintentionally inject bias into our surveys based on the results we’re expecting. In light of this, do your best to ask questions that leave room for a whole range of responses.

10. Invite respondents to share the survey with others.

Among favorite strategies to increase response rates is including an option for respondents to invite others to take the survey as well. It can be especially beneficial to include an option for respondents to share via social media.

Image Credit: Wilfred Iven

11. Double and triple check your links.

Before sending your survey email, be absolutely positive that the link leads to the correct survey. After all, the last thing you want is for a link to lead to an error page or a survey you did not intend to send out.

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12. Make sure your survey integrates with the tools you already have.

“Use a survey that’s well-integrated with your existing support tools,” suggests Jeremy Watkin, director of customer experience at FCR. “This ensures that surveys are sent in a timely manner while the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind.”

13. If you’re comfortable with it, offer anonymity.

Many respondents are more likely to say what they really think—or simply feel more encouraged to fill out the survey—if they’re able to respond anonymously. If this is an option that works for your company’s needs, consider offering it. After all, it could strongly increase your average survey response rate.

Image: Jay Wennington

14. Check the survey’s flow.

Does your survey flow easily from one question to another? Are the questions in an order that makes sense? Ultimately, a survey with a good flow is a great goal.

15. Send a “goldilocks” quantity of surveys.

Too few surveys may not get enough responses, but too many surveys will overwhelm customers and cause fatigue. For this reason, experiment to find just the right amount of surveys to send out each year for receiving a maximum response amount and keeping respondent morale high.

16. Use images to explain confusing concepts.

If you’re asking a question that would be better illustrated by pictures rather than words, don’t be afraid to include images in the survey. All things considered, you can even ask multiple choice questions in which the responses simply consist of images.

Image Credit: Pexels

17. Focus the questions on respondents’ preferences.

Ensure that respondents feel like the survey is focused on them and their needs. As a result, this can increase survey response by helping respondents feel valued.

18. Use fun, interactive questions.

By and large, survey that feels like a game is that much more likely to gain responses. Fun sliders, interactive options to click on, and fun graphics or GIFs can make the responding process more engaging.

19. Let respondents know that you value their privacy.

First and foremost, inform all respondents about the details of your privacy policy. Moreover, let respondents know if their responses will be shared, and what information will and won’t be kept private.


Image Credit: Michael Bennett

Image Credit: Michael Bennett

20. Make it clear that your company is behind the survey.

If the survey looks unfamiliar, respondents may question whether the survey is from a reputably source. Therefore, you can benefit by including your brand imagery or name in association with the survey.

21. Offer a discount for completing the survey.

Incentives are a great way to engage with customers and to show your appreciation for them taking the time to respond.

22. Send surveys after an experience with your company.

Respondents will have a better sense of the context of your survey, and potentially much more to say, if you don’t send a survey until after they’ve interacted with your company in some way. On the other hand, a survey sent without any prior interaction can garner fewer results.


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23. Make the survey part of a contest.

Consider entering all survey respondents into a drawing. (Of course, get their permission to do so first.)

24. Feature a progress bar.

As suggested by SnapSurvey, few things responses like knowing exactly how long it will take them to finish.

25. Tailor your survey frequency to each type of respondent.

Different types of clients may respond better to different types of survey frequencies. For example, SurveyAnyplace groups their respondents by prospects, clients, and longer-term clients with which they have a strong relationship. In SurveyAnyplace’s system, prospects only receive one survey a year, clients receive 1-2 surveys per year, and long-term clients may receive surveys as regularly as once a month. Of course, each type of relationship is different, so it certainly makes sense that the survey rate may also be different.

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Image Credit: Pexels

26. Consider doubling your sample size.

Consequently, you can keep your surveys shorter by sending one set of questions to the first group, and another set of questions to the second group.

27. Make the wording of each question straightforward.

Accordingly, all questions should be easy to understand.

28. Promote your survey via social media.

Consider sharing a call to action via Twitter or Facebook to encourage survey participation.


29. Share your results.

After the survey is conducted, consider sharing your results and letting respondents know how you used their answers to improve your customer service. In addition, if you plan to share results, be sure that you are acting in accordance with responders’ privacy.

30. Send the survey right after interacting with the customer.

“If you want more surveys answered, consider this,” says customer service expert Shep Hyken“First, don’t wait two weeks—or even two days—to send a survey. Consider getting the survey to customers within 24 hours while the experience is fresh on their minds.”

31. Include fun graphics.

Depending on what types of services you offer and the tone of your brand, you may benefit from making the survey quirky and image-heavy. All said and done, fun smiley face ratings and other visual add-ons can make the survey more enticing.

32. Change the subject line.

If you typically use a specific subject line style when interacting with customers, changing your usual language may catch their attention. For this reason, consider switching it up when sending out the survey.

33. Personalize the subject line.

In addition to changing the subject line, you can take things a step further by personalizing the subject line to each respondent’s name.

34. Make the survey adaptive to mobile, tablet, and desktop.

As a result, respondents will be able to answer on the go, no matter where they are.

Image Credit: Lauren Mancke

35. Avoid complicated jargon.

Use accessible language to describe your services and to compose questions. Because you’re immersed in industry jargon every day, it may help to have an outside set of eyes less familiar with your industry take a look. Then, you’ll have a more accurate idea of how your respondents will receive the survey’s phrasing.

36. Tell recipients how much responding would help.

By and large, letting a potential respondent know that the survey would really help you out may motivate them to answer.

37. Offer physical rewards.

If you want to provide an incentive but prefer to go a different route than contests or discounts, there are other options. For example, consider offering an Amazon gift card or another open-ended gift.

Image Credit: Pexels

38. If you’re a local business, integrate that into your incentives.

If all of your customers are within a concentrated region, consider offering a free meal at a favorite nearby restaurant. By the same token, consider teaming up with another local business owner to offer special combined incentives.

39. If you mention your survey in a blog post, be sure you offer tangible service too.

A blog post announcing a survey or inviting readers to take one should also include advice, entertainment, or something else beneficial to the reader. Arguably, the post should be as useful and enjoyable as any other blog post you would normally share.

40. Thank your participants.

All things considered, respondents know just how much it means to you that they take the time to fill out the survey. Thank them at every opportunity.

Want to take bold steps toward improving survey response rates? Try Praiseworthy today.


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