· 21 min read

How to Increase Survey Response Rates? 13 Best Practices

Survey says...your response matters! But how do you make your customers feel the same?

In the digital hustle and bustle, standing out can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. But fret not!

This guide will 'pop-up' your survey response rates by turning challenges into opportunities.

We're here to untangle the complexity of customer feedback collection with 15 ingenious, practical, and impactful strategies to skyrocket your survey response rates.

Let’s transform the way your audience engages with your surveys, making every click count!

What is a Good Survey Response Rate?

A survey response rate, simply put, is the percentage of people who respond to your survey out of all those who were invited.

It's a vital metric, shedding light on the effectiveness of your outreach and the resonance of your content.

But what constitutes a 'good' response rate? It can largely depend on the nature and context of your survey.

Think of it this way: Imagine you're a business owner running a feedback campaign about a new product feature.

You send out a survey to 1000 of your customers, and 200 respond - that's a 20% response rate.


But why does it matter? Consider these 200 responses as vital insights into your customers' experiences, needs, and desires. They could reveal whether your new feature hits the mark or needs a rethink.

A higher survey response rate amplifies this voice of your customer, enabling you to make more informed, customer-centric business decisions.

So, achieving a good response rate - ideally in the realm of 20-30% for customer feedback - is crucial for data accuracy and actionable insights.

Remember, a higher response rate often indicates more accurate, reliable data, underpinning savvy business decisions.

What are the Best Ways to Increase Survey Response Rates?

Increasing survey response rates is both an art and a science. The key? A deep understanding of your goal and your target audience.

In this guide, we will explore the most effective strategies to amplify engagement and response to your surveys.

Brace yourself for a journey packed with valuable, practical tips to master the survey craft.

1- Unlock the Potential: Use Exit-Intent Popups

Imagine you're at a party and someone interrupts your conversation to ask for feedback about the event. Chances are, you'd be irritated, right?

Timing is everything, and this holds true for online surveys as well.

When a user is deeply engaged with your content, disrupting them with a survey could prove counterproductive. That's where exit-intent popups come into play.

Exit-intent popups appear when users are about to leave your website, hence they aren't disruptive to their browsing experience. These popups are your last shot to engage with your visitors, so use this opportunity to present them with a short, compelling survey.

This approach is non-intrusive, respects your users' time on-site, and can help you gather invaluable feedback.

The final seconds of their visit might just translate into game-changing insights for your business.

In the world of online surveys, it's all about asking the right question at the right time!

2- Tempt with Time: FOMO Countdowns for Urgency

There's a saying, 'Procrastination is the thief of time,' and when it comes to responding to surveys, people tend to put it off. Enter the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

FOMO is a potent motivator that can add urgency to your survey, encouraging responses before the clock ticks down to zero.

However, the key to leveraging it is in the value of the limited-time offer.

Maybe it's a significant discount on their favorite product, perhaps free shipping on the next order, or an exclusive offer based on their recent purchase history.

Such incentives not only make your customers feel valued but also create a sense of scarcity and urgency, converting one-time survey participants into loyal patrons.

Remember, in this give-and-take game, the scales should always be tipped in favor of your customers.

3- Turn Feedback into Fun: Gamify Your Surveys

Gamification isn't just for apps and video games; it can also inject some fun into your surveys.

Convert questions into a quiz format, or offer points for correct answers.

Not only does this make the survey more engaging, but it can also stimulate competitiveness in respondents. For instance, try incorporating a leaderboard showcasing top scorers.


Offer rewards tied to points, like discount coupons or freebies. The key is to strike a balance between fun and relevancy, ensuring that the gamification elements still provide you with useful feedback while entertaining your audience.

4- Respect their Time: Promise a Quick Completion

As the saying goes, 'time is money'. In our fast-paced world, this couldn't be truer.

People value their time, and it's essential to respect this when crafting your survey.

Transparency is crucial, and one way to achieve this is by providing an estimated completion time right at the outset of your survey.

The significance of survey length on response rates is backed by concrete data.


According to a study by SurveyMonkey, surveys that take less than 5 minutes to complete garner an average response rate of 30%. This figure drops to a mere 14% for surveys that take 20 minutes.

To optimize your survey for time:

Succinct and Sharp: Aim to construct your survey with a target of 5-10 pointed questions.

Transparency is Key: Always provide an upfront estimate of the time it will take to complete the survey.

Short and Sweet: If your survey runs over 5 minutes, consider a review to trim it down.

Showing your respondents that you respect their time not only establishes a sense of goodwill but can significantly ramp up your response rates.

After all, in the battle for consumer attention, every second counts!

5- Be Transparent: Show the Survey's Purpose

In a world where data breaches and privacy concerns are increasingly common, establishing trust is paramount when requesting personal information or opinions.

One of the most effective ways to earn trust and motivate people to respond to your survey is by being transparent about its purpose.


The essence of transparency in surveying revolves around two core aspects:

Purpose of the Survey: Let your audience know why you are conducting this survey. Is it to improve your services? To understand their needs better? To make their future experiences with your brand more personalized and rewarding? Whatever it is, state it clearly.

Data Usage: Make sure you communicate how the collected data will be used and stored. Assuring users that their data won't be sold or used unethically can go a long way in getting those valuable responses.

Such transparency not only assures the participants about the safety of their information but also motivates them to contribute to your cause, thus boosting response rates.

6- Unleash the Power of Personalization

Let's face it – nobody wants to feel like just another number.

Surveys that speak directly to your customers by acknowledging their unique relationship with your brand can significantly boost response rates.

In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

For instance, let's say you run an online bookstore and recently shipped a historical novel to a customer named Jane.

A generic survey would read, 'Did you enjoy the book?' However, a personalized survey will say, 'Hi Jane! How did you like the historical novel you purchased last week?'

This specificity not only adds a personal touch, but it also demonstrates that you are attentive to Jane's (AKA your prospects) buying habits, thereby increasing the chances of responding.

Remember, every interaction you have with your customers, including surveys, is a chance to show them they matter.

7- Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication: Streamline Your Survey Design

Have you ever opened a survey only to close it out of frustration due to a cluttered design or confusing questions? If yes, you're not alone.


A streamlined, intuitive survey design is key to reducing dropouts and increasing completion rates. Here's how you can achieve this:

Minimize Visual Clutter: Keep your design clean with plenty of white space and use fonts and colors that align with your brand. A chaotic design can deter respondents from completing the survey.

Straightforward Language: Use clear, concise language to formulate your questions. Avoid jargon and keep your sentences short to reduce confusion.

Logical Flow: Make sure your questions flow logically from one to the next. This not only keeps your respondents engaged but also helps in maintaining the context throughout the survey.

Let's say you're running a coffee shop and want feedback on a new blend.

A streamlined survey might start by asking about the customer's general coffee preferences, then move to their experience with your shop, and finally, their thoughts on the new blend.

Each question logically leads to the next, providing a smooth experience for your respondents and yielding the valuable data you need."

8- Curiosity Kills Bounce Rates: Start with an Intriguing Question

We humans are innately curious creatures, and starting your survey with an engaging question can capitalize on this fact.

It can pique the respondent's interest, make them feel engaged, and encourage them to complete the survey.


Here's how to harness the power of curiosity:

Tap into Personal Interests: The opening question should resonate with your audience on a personal level. If you're a fitness brand surveying gym-goers, you might start with, 'How do you feel after a good workout?'

Provoke Thought: Use a question that challenges assumptions or invites reflection. This can pull respondents into your survey right from the start.

Be Relevant: The first question should be related to the main theme of your survey. It sets the stage for the following questions and gives the respondent an idea of what's to come.

Imagine you're a tech company looking to improve user experience. An intriguing opener could be, 'What's the one app on your phone you can't live without?' This question is relevant, personal, and thought-provoking, effectively sparking curiosity and encouraging respondents to continue the survey."

9- Empower their Voice: Reinforce the Impact of their Feedback

Let's make one thing clear: No one wants to feel like they're talking to a wall.

Your customers are no exception! People want to feel heard, and they want to know that their voice carries weight.

In your survey, be sure to highlight the importance and impact of each response.


Make it known that your customer's feedback isn't just going into a void - it's actually leading to changes and improvements.

A simple example of this could be: 'Your opinion matters! Your feedback helps us serve you better. In fact, 85% of the changes we made last year were directly based on customer feedback!'

These small reinforcements can make your customers feel like a valued part of your business, encouraging more people to participate in your survey.

After all, who doesn't like to be in the driver's seat of change?

10- Meet Them Where They Are: Multiple-Channel Distribution

The secret to getting your survey in front of as many eyes as possible lies in understanding your audience's habits.

Are they heavy email users, or do they spend hours scrolling social media feeds? Maybe they're regular visitors to your website.

Maximizing survey response rates involves casting a wide net over multiple channels, ensuring your survey is accessible wherever your audience tends to be.


Start by segmenting your audience based on their preferred platforms.

For example, your email subscribers might appreciate a survey delivered straight to their inbox, while your social media followers might engage more with a quick poll on Facebook or Instagram.

For those visiting your website, an unobtrusive popup survey could capture their thoughts without disrupting their browsing experience.

Remember, the right message at the right time in the right place can make all the difference!"

11- Mobile-First: Optimize for On-the-Go Responses

In a mobile-centric world where the average American devotes over 5 hours per day to their handheld devices, it's critical to design surveys that are effortlessly navigable on a smaller screen.

The on-the-go lifestyle doesn't stop for clunky interfaces or difficult to navigate questions.

Your mobile design needs to be more than just a miniaturized version of your desktop survey.


Ensure big, touch-friendly buttons and clear, easy-to-read fonts, providing a seamless, scroll-friendly experience that doesn't require pinching or zooming.

Don't forget to test your survey on various screen sizes to ensure a flawless user experience.

In doing so, you're not just accommodating the mobile preference of many users, but also enhancing your SEO standing since Google smiles upon mobile-friendly content.

12- Let's Speak the Same Language: Localization of Surveys

A golden rule of communication is meeting your audience on their turf, speaking their language.

In an era of global business, your audience could be spread across different countries, speaking different languages.

To get the best survey response rates, show that you value your audience's diversity by localizing your surveys.

The art of localization goes beyond direct translation; it requires cultural nuance, an understanding of local customs, and even humor. This demonstrates your respect for their culture, making respondents feel valued and appreciated.

For example, instead of a generic survey for all, consider customizing your surveys based on the geographical data of users.

A customer from France, when met with a well-localized French popup survey, would feel more at home and is likely to provide genuine feedback.

Remember, everyone appreciates the comfort of home, and in the world of surveys, localization brings that sense. So, bring the world closer by speaking its language.

13- Feedback is a Two-Way Street: Share Survey Results

Imagine you've diligently followed all the steps we've discussed.

You've reached out to your audience, piqued their curiosity, respected their time, personalized their experience, and met them where they are, in their language. Bravo!


But what next? What's the final trick to truly maximize your survey response rates not only for this survey but also for the ones in the future?

The answer is quite simple - Show them that they matter!

Once you've gathered and analyzed their invaluable feedback, close the loop by sharing the survey results. Tell them the story of how their input was not just heard but actioned upon.

If their feedback led to changes in your product or service, tell them the tale of this transformation.

Let them know that their voice made a difference and will continue to do so.

Sharing the fruits of their engagement makes the survey respondents feel valued, appreciated, and more likely to participate in future surveys.

So, make it a narrative of their impact, show them the difference they've made. After all, everyone loves a good story, and this one is about their success!

Final Thoughts

Surveys can be a goldmine for businesses, providing valuable insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and experiences.

They can be used to gauge customer satisfaction, gather product feedback, or even identify market trends. Essentially, surveys can be a compass, guiding your business decisions based on real, actionable user data.

But to uncover these nuggets of insight, you need to first ensure that your customers are motivated and willing to participate in your surveys.


That's where the strategies we've discussed in this article come in handy. Each tip is a unique tool in your kit to increase your survey response rates.

Perhaps it's all about timing your survey with exit-intent popups, or the magic is in revealing the impact of their feedback.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It's about experimenting, measuring, and refining your strategy based on what works best for your audience.

By integrating these practices, you'll not only increase your survey response rates but also build a stronger, more engaging relationship with your customers.



How Can I Calculate My Survey Response Rate?

Survey Response Rate = (Number of People Who Answered the Survey / Number of People Who Were Sent the Survey) 100. For example, if you sent out a survey to 500 people and 250 responded, your survey response rate would be (250/500) 100 = 50%.

What Software Can I Use to Create Mobile-Friendly Surveys?

There are several online tools available for creating mobile-friendly surveys. Some popular ones include Popupsmart, SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Typeform, and Qualtrics. These platforms offer responsive design features that ensure your surveys look great on any device.

Does the Time of Sending a Survey Affect the Response Rate?

Yes, the timing of your survey can significantly impact response rates. Surveys sent at the right time, such as when a customer has just interacted with your brand, generally yield higher response rates.

Why is a High Survey Response Rate Important?

A high survey response rate is important because it provides a more accurate representation of your entire target population. It ensures the data you collect is reliable and reduces the margin of error, thereby helping you make more informed business decisions.

Here are some other relevant topics you might find interesting: