One of the biggest challenges to collecting actionable data from online surveys is to collect enough people to take them in the first place. So, any information about the options available to improve how you collect survey responses online will be extremely valuable.
Where can I post my survey to collect responses?
From an email, website or a link embedded into a blog post, to a survey that’s distributed via SMS, social media or a QR code. There are a growing range of channels available enabling you to connect with a wider audience and collect more responses. But like many things with research there are some considerations you need to think about first, if you’re to select the most appropriate survey distribution methods.
In this blog post we’ll examine everything you need to know about where to post a survey to collect responses including a detailed look at some of the most popular survey distribution methods, advice on how to find survey participants and what to do if you think you might struggle to collect a good response rate for your online survey. But before we address these areas, we need to take a look at response rates, which brings us to our next question.
What is a good survey response rate?
To answer this, we need to begin by explaining what we mean when we refer to ‘survey response’ and how it is calculated.
In research the survey response rate is often referred to as the completion or return rate and expressed as a percentage. It’s calculated by dividing the number of respondents by the total number of surveys sent. If for example, a survey is distributed to 1000 people and 200 of them complete it, then the survey response rate would be 20%.
While there’s a lot of debate about what constitutes a good survey response rate, there’s a general view among many organisations operating within the research industry that anything above the average of 25%, would represent a healthy return.
However, there’s also a range of factors that can influence your survey response rate, which could be anything from the type of industry you operate in and the size and simplicity of your survey, to your audience demographics and choice of distribution method. So, you need to bear these in mind when you are collating and counting your survey responses.
Where to distribute a survey
We get a lot of people coming to us asking questions such as: “where can I post my online survey? or “where can I post a survey to get responses for free?
Well, considering the ever-growing range of distribution options there’s lots of opportunities to get your online survey out there and some of these will even enable you to reach out for free, such as through the followers on your social media channels. But before you do anything else you need to consider factors such as your sample size and target audience, as these can have a bearing on which approach you take, as different methods can influence the response rate you’re likely to get depending on the circumstances of the group you’re studying.
So, to help you with how to get survey responses, we’ve provided an overview below of some of the most popular survey distribution options of where to post your online surveys.
How to distribute a survey:
Email: email surveys are still one of the most preferred ways to distribute an online survey, as it’s quick and simple. Besides being able to email them a link to your survey, you’re able to create a personalised message to increase engagement with your recipients. And this approach helps with evaluation too, as you’re able to track who has opened the email, clicked on the link and filled in your survey.
Website (link, pop-up, embedding): if your survey relates to products or services you deliver via your website, promoting it to site visitors via a web form incorporated as a pop-up or an embedded link at a strategically placed point on your site can prove very effective. It also gives you the added advantage of being able to collect responses without users needing to leave your website.
Link embed in blog post: not only can this method allow you to reach out to a ready-made audience of people that already subscribe to your blog, it’s one of the few methods offering you the space to write an engaging introduction to your survey. With a short blog post that explains the details of why you’re conducting a survey and helps participants better understand its purpose and what it will enable you to achieve, you’ll be much better placed to get them to share their thoughts with you.
SMS surveys: given how much many people are connected to their smartphones, sending your survey via an SMS, can be an extremely effective way of reaching out to your target audience, irrespective of their location at the time when you send your survey. This can significantly improve customer engagement and the response rate you’re able to achieve.
Social media: using this method is a great free way to extend the reach of your survey to your followers and the contacts that they choose to share it with that you would be otherwise unaware of. You could also choose to post your survey across a variety of social channels and track what works best, so you could further improve the success of future campaigns.
QR code: another increasingly popular way to promote your online survey is via a Quick Response Code (QR), which is an extremely versatile approach, as this can allow a survey link to be distributed via the web or print. So, you could potentially promote your survey via a QR code across a range of different- ways from a link embedded on a set of tablets during a corporate event, to a link embedded on physical marketing or merchandising materials.
Offline: there will always be times where due to circumstances beyond your control you won’t be able to access the internet, so on such occasions having an effective alternative like the offline survey is essential. It’s a capability we can offer our own customers, who can load an offline survey to a smartphone or tablet, capture relevant data in the field and then download these responses automatically as soon as a connection is re-established.
How to find survey participants
Depending on your research and the type of study you’re looking to carry out there are a number of things you can do to recruit participants for an online survey:
Set up your own research panel: once you’ve determined your ideal panel size and finalised what you want to survey them about, you might want to adopt tactics ranging from emailing your customer base to putting a recruitment message on your website to attract participants.
Recruit participants through your customer support channels: given the volume of their customer communications, your customer support teams are likely to know more about this audience than any other group in your organisation. So, you may want them to use them to identify and sound out potential participants for your research.
Ask your existing participants for referrals: this can be a very effective way of getting more of the people you need, as people often mix with others that have the same interests and views as themselves, making it easier to reach more people who would be interested in taking your survey.
Shout about what you’re doing on social media channels: if your organisation has a decent following on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or perhaps a newsletter or company blog, these can be great platforms for advertising any upcoming research opportunities. Not only is it an efficient approach, but if you're doing customer research, it can also demonstrate how committed your organisation is to improving its customers’ experience with its products and services.
However, if you’ve looked at some of these methods, but are still struggling with how to get survey responses, you may want to consider alternatives such as the one we’ve outlined below.
An effective alternative for how to get survey participants
For those finding it difficult to gather a representative enough sample from their existing set of contacts, or just don’t have time to wait for their responses and need them as quickly as possible, a consumer panels service offers a great alternative to recruit participants for a survey.
For a fee, the service which is typically available as a bolt-on through an online survey provider enables you to distribute your online questionnaire to the right sample size and audience for you needs, which will ensure you get the most accurate insights within the time-frame you need.
With our own consumers panels service you can buy survey responses with instant access to more than 20 million respondents globally. So, whatever you’re looking to survey and whatever demographic you want to target, we can get you the responses you need within your required time-frame.