Conducting the Survey: Response Rates

After your survey has been written, you will need to draft respondents. When you are asking individuals for their participation, there are a few considerations that will increase your response rates.

Here is a list of those considerations:

  • Consider the survey length. The shorter the survey, the more likely a respondent is to answer your survey request.
  • Consider timing. The time a survey is sent out can greatly affect whether or not a participant will respond. Identify when respondents are most likely to respond to a survey request, and send out the survey at that time.
  • Be credible. Send out surveys from addresses that participants will recognize and trust.
  • Include invitations. Well-written invitations should be able to persuade respondents to complete a survey. See Invitations for more details.
  • Keep it relevant. Solicit responses from specific populations who have a reason to be interested and explain the purpose of the survey thoroughly in the invitation.
  • Use incentives. Promising an incentive of any kind generates higher response rates than offering none at all.
  • Contact respondents more than once. Studies have suggested that sending out a pre-notification message, the survey, and a reminder message at incremental times helps achieve higher response rates.