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Established Strategies for Increasing Survey Response Rates

You, like many experienced marketers today, are probably searching for innovative ways to pull in new leads or contacts and learn more about them, one of which is conducting surveys. But designing your survey is just the beginning—getting your future and current customers to participate is probably the most difficult obstacle to conquer.
Your survey is likely to be one of many marketing messages your audience receives each week, so how can you break through the clutter and get them to not only pay attention to but also complete your survey? 

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From sending the right message to providing rewards, here are four important strategies for increasing survey response rates:

Making them feel unique is the main message:

Show heartfelt gratitude for their involvement to entice people to complete the survey. Consider using the following messaging: “We’d like to hear your thoughts.” Make it clear that you appreciate their input and clarify how it will affect your product roadmap or offerings, the content you give them, and so on. Make sure they understand how you will use their experience and feedback by being as precise as possible. “We would appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes to complete our survey.” Give them an estimate of how long it would take them to complete your survey out of gratitude for their time. Do not take chances—ask a coworker who has not seen your survey to take it and time it. Often, let them know how much you appreciate them taking time out of their busy day to help you out.

Eye on the Prize: Provide Incentives:

Sometimes, you can’t rely on goodwill alone. If you’re having a tough time getting people to complete your surveys, try offering incentives to boost your completion rates. Cash rewards, without a doubt, improve response rates. Yeah, there are advantages and disadvantages to survey rewards (e.g., people might rush through surveys just to receive the incentive). However, according to the same report, 94 percent of people who said they take surveys because they want a reward still offer truthful answers extremely or very frequently.

Keep Surveys Relevant: Don't Waste Their Time:

Consider how you would feel if you were in their shoes: Will you complete a survey if you couldn’t say “Does not apply” or miss questions that didn’t apply to you? Most likely not. Answering questions about your coffee preferences, for example, will be a waste of time if you don’t drink coffee—plus, the responses you’d offer wouldn’t be reliable or helpful. Point them in the right direction. Let’s say you’re curious about why those people don’t drink coffee. Perhaps they don’t like the taste or it’s too costly. If you’re a company trying to sell a new brew to a specific demographic, use survey reasoning to direct those who answered “Never or almost never” to a collection of questions specific to their response.

Be state-of-the-art: Offer Surveys via Multiple Channels:

Since you already have your subscribers’ email addresses, sending your survey by email is the simplest way to ensure that it reaches them. But what if they don’t respond to the survey you sent them? If they “run into you” over the internet, it can pique their interest. Consider sharing the survey on social media or embedding it into related marketing sites. You can also use SMS to send surveys. They’ll certainly recall your survey by the second time they see it. When it comes to their attention for the third time, they may be intrigued and complete the survey just to see what you’re up to.

Customizable surveys for a better response rate:

Custom surveys help to distinguish a survey as coming from your business. Your custom survey includes a footprint of your brand attributes in the survey, rather than a blank or bland template. You can brand and customize your surveys to match the look and feel of your business. Surveys can provide you with more than just useful information on how your customers think. They can also make customers feel more involved and significant. You want your customers to know that their feedback is valued.

Interactive surveys increase response rate:

According to research, when questions are presented in a colorful and engaging way, respondents are more engaged with the topic of the survey. The adage “an image is worth a thousand words” is backed up by statistics, with surveys showing 30-40 percent higher response rates than typical HTML surveys. The use of symbols and pictures is common in public places such as hospitals, restaurants, and traffic signs, simply because the brain can recognize and react to pictures better and faster than text. Furthermore, a person who is not fluent in a particular language can be unable to comprehend the meaning of a particular choice when presented in the text but will understand it instantly when presented as an image. These reasons make Interactive Surveys garner a higher response rate.

The Bottom Line: The more precise responses you have, the better.

Of course, as you collect more responses, you’ll be in a better position to recognize and interpret data patterns, in addition to learning more about your target audience. If only 12 people respond to your survey, it will be difficult to draw reliable conclusions about your target market’s preferences and behaviors. Send surveys and sync survey responses with your marketing automation solution to reap benefits, whether you’re trying to draw conclusions about your target market, discover critical information about your audience, or find hot MQLs.

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