Your ability to gain the quality insights you need to make better decisions will depend on how many people respond to and complete your survey. So, it’s crucial to ensure it’s as engaging and enjoyable as you can make it, if you’re to maximise the volume of valuable feedback you’re able to collect.
Having helped more than 270, 000 customers worldwide since our launch in 2010, we’ve acquired a vast amount of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, enabling us to become experts in helping our customers create more engaging online surveys.
Having taken the opportunity to impart some of this knowledge, we reveal our top tips for you below.
5 Ways to Improve Your Survey Engagement
1. Make your surveys more conversational:
Although the survey tone you choose will depend on whether you’re trying to appeal to a business or a consumer audience, generally the more conversational you make it, the better. Try to make your survey feels more like an informal conversation between two people, rather than a formal data collection mechanism. Not only will this keep it friendly in tone, it will make it much simpler and clearer for your respondents to read.
2. Give your respondents a more personalised survey experience:
The look and feel of your survey can have a major impact on its engagement levels. People are more likely to respond to a personalised survey that makes them feel special, rather than one that makes them feel as if they were merely picked at random.
Make it feel more personal right from the start, by including the respondent’s first name in your email survey invitation. For custom HTML invitations, you can even add images and embed videos to further engage your audience.
The use of logos, themes and other brand identifiers can also enhance the experience for respondents, as well as making them feel safer and more secure about taking your survey, as they will be immediately able to recognise the brand it has been sent from.
For more information about how to incorporate your brand’s look and feel into your surveys, why not take a look at our Survey Design & Branding page.
3. Maximise interest with your very first question:
Before they click into your survey, respondents typically have very little context as to what it’s about or why they’re being asked to take it. That’s why your first question is so important in setting the tone for the rest of the survey and letting respondents know what to expect. A good initial question will help you to build rapport, motivating respondents to answer it and all the questions that follow.
There are a few considerations that will help you to maximise the impact of your first question:
Keep it easy: think about starting with a multiple-choice question, as these generally take much less mental energy to answer than other types of survey questions.
Start right: it’s typically best to start your survey with a more generic question first, before moving to more specific questions. For example, a café owner running a customer feedback survey, may prefer starting with an NPS question to measure how likely respondents would be to recommend their establishment to others, before moving onto more detailed questions, which asked them about the café's service, atmosphere, quality of drinks, etc.
Embed a question in your email invitation: if you’ve chosen a question like Net Promoter Score, you might like to embed it into your email invitation, as with a single click your respondents will be quickly drawn into the rest of your survey.
Once you’ve hooked in respondents with your first question, you can then move onto other question types including open-ended options to get more detailed and insightful feedback from them. For more information about different question types and when it’s best to use them, why not download our free ‘Ultimate Guide to Online Survey Question Types’ ebook.
4. Be upfront about why you’re collecting feedback
Whether it’s your customers or employees, whoever you’re targeting, if you’re upfront about why you need and value their feedback, the more likely they will be to respond with honest answers.
You can use the description box at the front of your survey to briefly explain why you’re gathering feedback and what will happen to your respondents’ opinions and data once your survey closes.
Some good examples of what to include in your description for different survey types are outlined below:
Customer satisfaction survey: communicate your goal of increasing customer satisfaction levels by explaining to respondents that their opinions will help you to improve your products and services.
Employee training survey: explain why HR is evaluating the effectiveness of training and team-building events and that you're looking for fresh ideas that might lead to new educational opportunities.
Product development survey: outline why your company is looking for feedback on new product designs and how you could use respondents’ feedback to inform the launch of a new product line.
By offering some context about why their opinions matter, you will be more likely to keep respondents engaged throughout. It’s also good practice to thank them for their time and offer to follow-up with them on the survey’s results.
5. Reach out on channels respondents are more familiar with
The more convenient you make your survey; the more likely respondents will be to take and complete it. So, look to engage them on channels they are more likely to use daily such as emails, apps and social media.
For example, to increase engagement with staff, you could consider distributing your survey link with a short message via collaboration apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Similarly, you could reach out to customers with a more personalised email invitation, or to your wider target market via social media such as tweeting them a link to your survey.
Why One Final Tweak Before Sending Can Improve Your Survey Engagement
While you have probably spent loads of time already perfecting your questions and are just eager to distribute your survey, it’s worth one final check to see that you’re doing everything you can to maximise its engagement, as you only get one real window of opportunity to catch peoples’ attention.
Taking a bit of extra time by reading through our tips and then applying any changes you feel necessary, can make all the difference to your survey’s engagement levels – helping to increase your response rate, the quality of feedback you receive and ultimately enhance your decision making.