I’m a member of several panels to develop myself and to find new ideas how to work with surveys. The most important parameter for me while executing a survey is the structure. One of the challenges is to analyze how the creator of the survey did think while creating it, which you can learn a lot from. A few days ago I received a survey, which became an unsolvable task. This made me think about the relevance of the questions you add in your survey. This time I want to focus on how you initiate a survey to keep your respondent and increase your response rate.

Focus on the soft and easy questions in the beginning of the survey

To ask questions about income on the first page is something I recommend everyone in the business to avoid. Instead – Focus on the soft and easy questions in the beginning of the survey so you don’t lose your respondent from the start. The longer you manage to keep the respondent in the survey, the more value is created for the person answering. The consequence which follows is that he or she gets less eager to leave and you can receive a good response rate even if you have a longer survey.

So the example with the initial question about income as a response rate higher – I don’t think so! But a soft start doesn’t necessary imply that the first questions are about gender, department or length of employment. A good example is online surveys which pop up when visiting web pages. They are mostly short and should therefore be more straightforward. Initiate with ONE question on the questionnaire page to clarify that it only takes seconds to complete the survey, even if you actually attend to keep the respondent for a few minutes.

Don’t ask private questions at the start.

Think rational and try to get your mind into how you as a respondent think when you get invited to participate in an online survey. You don’t ask the most private questions on the first date to risk making a bad impression. The same rule applies in the world of online surveys.

Need To Get It Right The First Time?

As you can see from the above, there’s a lot to learn in increasing the response rate in surveys. If you need to get it right the first time, or don’t feel you have the internal experience or capacity to build it, read through our Consulting: How Can We Help You? page and then contact us to find out if we’d be a fit to help you.

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Last Thoughts

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