Eleven Easy Ways to Improve Your Survey Response Rates - Slide 7

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Prior to distributing the survey, send out an announcement to all those you would like to participate. For the cost-conscious, announcements need not necessarily be sent via postcard or email. You can include the announcement in a bill, in a newsletter, or on your website.

In the announcement, let people know that you’re planning to conduct a survey and when to expect it. You should provide a brief explanation about what the survey will be about, why you’re conducting it and why the survey is important — surveys that are perceived to be important achieve much higher response rates. In addition, include information such as how long it will take to complete the survey, what you’re planning to do with the results and what your policy is for safeguarding participants' personal information. Also, be sure to give people the option to opt out of taking the survey — an opt-out should be included in all communications, including the survey invitation and reminder.

Surveys are a powerful and cost-effective way to gather information, identify and diagnose problems, and uncover new and emerging opportunities. However, one of the biggest challenges that many companies face in conducting surveys is getting the right mix of people to take their surveys and also getting a high enough response rate to ensure that their survey results are accurate.

Survey response rates can vary widely depending on whether you are conducting your survey via phone, email, a paper survey, etc., what industry you’re in, and whether your survey is going to customers or employees. Although there is no single way to improve your response rates, the following are some easy steps, identified by Allegiance, Inc., a feedback management company, that you can take that, when combined, will help you improve your survey response rates.

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