Your survey invitation can make a big difference in your response rate. Here are six tips to review before you send out your next online survey.
The invitation outlines objectives of the survey and explains how the results will be used. It gives respondents a valid reason to complete the questionnaire. It answers the question… “what’s in it for me”?
Your invitation contains the guarantee of confidentiality. Use wording along the lines of…”Your completed survey will be tabulated along with those from other respondents. Your responses are entirely confidential”.
We recommend that your invitation includes a completion date. This is the date when the fieldwork for the survey will be closed. This provides a sense of urgency and will usually help your response rate.
Consider the use of an incentive. If appropriate you may offer all respondents a summary of the results. Alternatively, we often include a draw for a cash prize. However, we have found that offering all respondents something, no matter how small, works better than a draw.
Provide your respondents with a survey administrator contact name, email address and phone number. This individual will be able to answer any technical questions regarding the survey.
The invitation will be signed by a senior staff person. This may be the executive director or CEO. We recommend including contact information for this person. Also, indicate that they are available to answer any questions regarding the overall objectives of the survey.