Surveys have been employed as a way to gather information about people's behaviors and preferences. Businesses, academia, and the government use them to guide policy decisions, develop new products, or improve service offerings in the form of opinion polls, to test ads, or track key performance indicators (KPI).
What makes surveys so valuable is our ability to generalize from the data that we capture. That is, when we recruit a sample of people to take our survey, we can use that data to make inferences about the population we are interested in. If, for example, you select a truly random selection of 250 millennials to take your survey, this can be sufficient for understanding the broader millennial population.
However, insights professionals face challenges recruiting individuals to take surveys. Whether it be social media, tv ads, promotions or even junk email, consumers are inundated with a constant barrage of marketing messages and insight professionals compete for their attention. This has become particularly pronounced in the last decade, where survey participation rates have been steadily declining with fewer people willing to take them.
Declining response rates are obviously a cause for concern: the more difficult it is to recruit people to take a survey, the more time, energy and cost involved. Non-response error becomes an issue with diminishing response rates.
This can bias the survey data and give the researcher an incomplete picture of the population. Similar to the silent majority - we may not hear from a segment of our customer base, but their opinions do matter to us. How can we address this problem and improve response rates to our surveys? In this eBook, we'll discuss a handful of techniques that can be used to help engage and encourage survey participation. We'll address the email invite, reminders, incentives, and survey design. While by no means an exhaustive list, these are simple and effective techniques that should be a part of every survey-based research project in order to get the most out of your research so that you can achieve the insights you seek.