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Are there any innovative methods to increase the response rate for online surveys?

An online survey is a structured questionnaire that your target audience completes over the internet generally by filling out a form. Online surveys can vary in length and format.

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An online survey is a structured questionnaire that your target audience completes over the internet generally by filling out a form. Online surveys can vary in length and format.

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    There are a few levers you can pull to help your response rate, although whether it’s feasible for you is going to come down to the kind of research you’re trying to do and how much money/ resources you have.

    I’m assuming you’re trying to do this as cost-effectively as possible, so here are a few ideas:

    Distribute it to more people

    Bigger audience= more responses. It’s a numbers game.

    • Social media has native poll features on some platforms, and in many cases, you can get your friends to share posts or help you distribute them, although you may be limited in your audience size and exposure.
    • Use a DIY survey tool such as Pollfish, SurveyMonkey, Survata, or others. (in full disclosure, I work at Pollfish!) These tools all have an audience already in place and can handle distribution on your behalf. Surveys start at $1, so it’s not even as expensive as you might expect and it takes the work out of it for you.

    Add value (for the respondents)

    People are happy to participate when they’re getting something out of it!

    • Offer an incentive. Most panelists trade time for cash or points. That can lead to a high expense for you, though. Consider incentive alternatives, such as a gift card, free class, or premium content. Possibly entrance to a raffle or for some sort of prize (especially if you have budget constraints)
    • Make it engaging. Design your survey so that it’s fun for your respondents, not a chore. Many people are happy to give an answer if its fun, quick or easy
    • Make it convenient. Pollfish uses mobile delivery through apps while users are already engaged, so surveys become a seamless part of their app experience. It’s quicker and less disruptive than a call or email.
    • Make it short. Pick an appropriate number of questions (less than 20, shorter is better) and give them an idea of how long it will take. Transparency will get you places!

    Promote it

    This one might be less feasible depending on your budget, but you might be able to be creative.

    • Google PPC ads can be expensive and don’t come with guarantees that you’ll get completed, but will get your survey in front of eyeballs
    • Social (again). Most social platforms offer a paid option to sponsor a post. Communities you are involved in also might work for you to share your survey, which could be helpful for targeting specific groups or interests.

    Here’s a full list with 50 tips to increase your response rate, if you’re looking for even more ideas.

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