Increasing a survey response rate
Welcome to the next-to-last episode of our series focusing on the quantitative survey. In this episode we will concentrate on improving the quality of data in online surveys and explain you how to achieve a higher response rate.
General structure of a survey
If you divide your survey into more pages, without the need of scrolling through the questionnaire on the single page, you will increase the number of completed surveys. The respondent will orient better and more likely complete every questions.
Length of the survey
If your survey is too long, the rate of the unfinished responses will be higher, together with increasing number of answers like “I don’t know, can’t answer”. Therefore try to simplify the online survey as much as possible so respondents will have no problems to complete it.
Tracking the progress in completing
It is very important for the respondent to see his/her progress in the survey. If he/she does not see this from the start, the rate of the unfinished surveys is higher. Therefore if your survey is longer, make sure the respondent knows in which part he/she is.
Visual elements in the survey
When you make an online survey do not use too eccentric design elements. The respondent may have difficulty to orient among them and he/she won’t successfully complete it. Use some modest visual elements instead. They will look interesting for the respondent and help him/her to answer.
Being interactive in a survey contributes to more pleasant and interesting experience with the whole process. If you use for example skip logic for the questions or random order of answers reacting to respondent’s characteristics, you will increase the response rate.
Questions format and grammatical errors
Open, complicated and long questions do not contribute well to the respondent’s satisfaction and increase the rate of unfinished surveys. Questions that do not make any sense, are chaotic, full of grammatical and factual errors also have negative effect.
In the next final episode we will demonstrate some good as well as bad examples of questions definitions in online surveys.
Glossary of terms:
• Respondent – a survey participant who answers questions • Response rate – number of completed and returned surveys.
• Lozar Manfreda, Batagejl a Vehovar: Design of Web Survey Questionnaires: Three Basic Experiments, 2002, University of Ljubljana • Deutskens et al: Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study, Marketing Letters, 2004, Netherlands
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