Creating an online survey is easy, but getting responses can be a challenge. Whether you’re conducting market research, gathering customer feedback, or collecting data for academic purposes, the success of your survey depends on the number and quality of responses you receive. We will share some tips and strategies on how to get responses to your online survey.

Define your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is crucial to the success of your online survey. Without a clear understanding of who your survey is targeting, you may not receive the quality or quantity of responses you need to make informed decisions.

Here are key reasons why defining your target audience is so important.

– Accuracy
By defining your target audience, you can ensure that your questions are accurate and relevant to the people you are trying to survey. This will improve the quality of your data and the insights that you can draw from it.

– Response Rate
Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your survey to their specific interests and needs. This, in turn, will increase the chances of them completing the survey, resulting in a higher response rate.

– Actionability
By defining your target audience, you will be able to create actionable insights that can be used to make informed decisions. This will save you time and resources in the long run and improve the overall effectiveness of your survey.

Tips for Defining Your Target Audience

Now that you understand the importance of defining your target audience, it’s time to start the process. Here are some tips to help you define your target audience effectively.

– Conduct Research
Before you start creating your survey, conduct research into your audience. This can include demographics, psychographics, behaviours, attitudes, and needs. This information will help you tailor your survey to your specific audience and increase the quality of your responses.

– Create Buyer Personas
Once you have conducted your research, create buyer personas that represent your key audience segments. These personas should include key information such as age, gender, income, interests, and values. This will help you create a survey that appeals to your target audience.

– Define Your Survey Goals
Define the goals of your survey before creating it. This will help you determine who to target and what information you need to collect to achieve your goals.

– Use the Right Language
Use language that resonates with your target audience. This can include using industry-specific terminology, using colloquial language, or even including humour or pop culture references.

Online Survey - Post 1 - 2Keep it Short and Simple

The key to survey design is to create a seamless and intuitive experience for the respondent. This means keeping the survey short and to the point, with clear, concise, and specific questions. By doing so, you’re not only showing respect for their time and attention but also increasing the chances of getting a higher response rate overall.

Another reason to keep your survey short and simple is to minimize the dropout rate. When someone starts a long and complex survey, they may feel overwhelmed and confused and abandon the survey entirely, which leads to a lower response rate. Additionally, if questions are too vague or general, respondents may not be able to provide accurate answers, which will skew your results.

How to Keep it Short and Simple

Here are some tips below.

– Keep your Survey Goals Clear and Concise
Before you create your survey, establish a clear goal for what you want to achieve. This will help you focus on the most relevant and important questions, rather than filling up the survey with irrelevant material. Keep this goal at the forefront of your mind and design accordingly.

– Make Sure your Questions are Specific and Relevant
Ask relevant and specific questions that are important to the respondent. Avoid unfocused or lengthy questions that require too much thought. Be sure to stay on-topic, and avoid introducing issues that do not serve your purpose.

– Limit the Number of Questions
It’s important to strike a balance between gathering the data you need and preserving your respondents’ time and focus. Limit your survey to only the most important and relevant questions. Studies show that a survey should ideally contain anywhere from 10-15 questions.

– Use a Consistent and Logical Structure
Use a consistent and logical structure when designing your questions. Follow a logical order, with clear instructions and brief explanations that guide your respondents through the survey process.

– Use Clear and Concise Language
Use clear and concise language when designing your survey. Using simple sentence structures, avoid industry jargon, and make sure that the tone is appropriate for your target audience. This will help avoid confusion and encourage more responses.

Use a Catchy Subject Line

A catchy subject line is essential because it can determine whether your email gets opened or ends up in the trash folder. Your target audience receives a ton of emails every day, and if your subject line is boring and uninteresting, they might delete it without even opening it.

On the other hand, a captivating subject line will pique their interest, and they will want to know more about what you have to offer. In essence, a catchy subject line is the ticket that will get your email noticed.

Tips for Creating a Catchy Subject Line

Here are some tips on how to create a catchy subject line for your survey invitation email:

– Keep it Short and Sweet
The ideal subject line for a survey invitation email should be short and straight to the point. Be sure to include the main topic of the survey and what you want to achieve with it. For example, “Help us improve our products: Take our survey now.”

– Use Action Words
Action words are perfect for encouraging your audience to take action. Use words like “Join us,” “Take our survey,” “Give us your feedback,” etc. to motivate them to participate.

– Create a Sense of Urgency
You can create a sense of urgency by adding a deadline to your survey. For instance, “Take our survey before the deadline and get a chance to win a prize.” A deadline can encourage your audience to take action immediately.

– Add a Personal Touch
Personalization can be an excellent way to make your audience feel special and valued. Use their name in the subject line or include a specific message that targets them. For example, “John, we need your opinion: Take our survey.”

– Be Creative
Don’t be afraid to be creative with your subject line. A clever and witty line can be a great way to grab your audience’s attention. Just make sure it’s relevant to your survey and adds value to it.

Some Examples of Catchy Subject Lines

Here are some examples of catchy subject lines you can use.

– “Help us improve! Take our customer satisfaction survey”
– “We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts in our survey”
– “Your opinion matters! Join our survey and make a difference”
– “Survey alert: Your chance to win a prize”
– “How did we do? Tell us in our survey and get a free gift”

Online Survey - Post 1 - 3Optimize for Mobile

One crucial factor in receiving a high response rate is making sure your survey is mobile-optimized. As people’s lives have become increasingly mobile, more individuals are completing online surveys via their smartphones. Therefore, crafting a survey that can be easily accessed and completed on a mobile device will significantly increase your response rate.

Here are a few tips to help you optimize your online survey for mobile devices.

Design for Mobile First

When designing your survey, always consider mobile users first. Make sure your survey is easily navigable and readable on mobile devices, keeping in mind that mobile screens offer less screen estate than desktops. Use larger fonts and clear, concise language to make your survey easy to read and understand.

Use Responsive Design

Responsive design is the method of designing your survey that adapts to different device types automatically. Make sure your survey platform is responsive from the outset to ensure your survey works across all devices without any loss in functionality or visual appeal.

Keep it Simple and Short

When it comes to mobile surveys, less is more. Keep your survey as short as possible and eliminate extraneous questions that may discourage users from completing it. Include only the questions that are essential for gathering the information you need.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids can substantially aid the understanding and enjoyment of a survey. Use images and videos to break up the monotony of text and enhance your survey’s engagement levels.

Test Your Survey

Always test your survey on multiple devices before publishing it to see how it appears and performs on different devices. Take note of any issues users may face and tweak your survey accordingly to optimize the user experience completely.

Personalize your Communication

People are more likely to respond to a survey if they feel like you are talking directly to them. Personalize your communication helps to create a connection between you and your audience. It makes people feel like their opinion matters and that you are genuinely interested in hearing from them.

Personalization also helps to catch people’s attention. In today’s world of constant information overload, it can be easy for your survey to get lost in the noise. When you personalize your communication, you stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention.

Online Survey - Post 1 - 4Use People’s Names

One of the simplest ways to personalize your communication is to use people’s names. When you address someone by name, it creates a sense of connection and rapport. It also shows that you have taken the time to learn about them as an individual.

When sending out your survey, try using a tool that allows you to merge in people’s names automatically. Many survey tools have this functionality built-in, so be sure to check whether yours does.

Tailor Your Message to Your Audience

Another way to personalize your communication is to tailor your message to your audience. Think about who you are trying to reach with your survey and what their interests, needs, and concerns are. Then, craft your message in a way that speaks directly to them.

For example, if you are sending a survey about a new product to existing customers, you might start your message by acknowledging that they are already familiar with your brand. This immediately creates a sense of connection and shows that you value their loyalty.

Use Visuals and Storytelling

Visuals and storytelling are both powerful tools for personalizing your communication. Use images and videos that resonate with your audience and tell a story that they can relate to. This helps to create an emotional connection and makes people more likely to respond to your survey.

For example, if you are conducting a survey about a new line of clothing, you might include images of people wearing the clothes in different settings. This helps people visualize themselves wearing the clothes and creates a personal connection to the product.

Leverage Existing Customer Touchpoints

First, let’s define what we mean by customer touchpoints. These are the points of interaction between your business and your customers. They include your website, social media profiles, email communications, customer service interactions, and more.

By understanding your customer touchpoints, you can optimize them to make it easier for customers to respond to your surveys.

Here are some tips for leveraging existing customer touchpoints to get more responses to your online surveys.

– Start with Your Website
Your website is the first place customers will go to find information about your business. Therefore, use it to your advantage by creating a pop-up or banner that encourages customers to take your survey. With a catchy headline and a clear call-to-action, your customers are more likely to complete the survey.

– Social Media
Your social media profiles provide a great opportunity to reach out to your followers and ask for feedback. Whether it’s through a post or an Instagram story, ask your customers to take the survey and provide their feedback. You can also promote incentives and rewards to incentivize them to participate.

– Email Communications
Leverage your email communications by including a link to your online survey in your email signature. You can also send a dedicated email asking your customers to share their feedback. You can also use internal email communications to encourage employees to remind customers to fill our their survey.

– Customer Service Interactions
The interactions between your customer service representatives and customers are invaluable touchpoints. If possible, train your representatives to ask customers for feedback and to provide a link to your survey. This will increase the likelihood of responses, since customers feel heard and appreciated.

Online Survey - Post 1 - 5Provide Incentives

The main reason that incentives work so well for online surveys is that they provide a tangible reward for taking the time to complete the survey. This can be anything from a gift card to a discount code, but the important thing is that it’s something that people actually want.

By providing an incentive, you’re giving people a reason to invest their time and energy into your survey. Many people are willing to take a survey for free, but when you offer an incentive, it’s more likely that they’ll make the time to do it.

So, how can you ensure that your incentive program is effective?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind

Choose the Right Incentive

The key to a successful incentive program is choosing the right reward. For example, if you’re surveying parents, offering a discount code for a children’s clothing store might be a great option. If you’re surveying college students, a gift card for food or coffee might be more effective. Spend some time thinking about your audience and what they would find valuable.

Be Clear About the Incentive

Make sure that you’re clear about the incentive at the outset of the survey. Let people know what they’ll receive for completing the survey, and how they’ll receive it. This can help motivate them to complete the survey and ensure that they’ll actually receive the reward.

Consider Offering a Draw

If you’re unable to offer an incentive to every respondent, consider offering a draw for a larger prize. This can create excitement and anticipation around the survey and encourage more people to participate.

Make the Survey Accessible

Ensure that the survey is accessible and easy to complete. People are more likely to complete a survey if it’s quick and easy to do so. Make sure that your survey is mobile-friendly and can be completed on any device.

Following Up

Once the survey is complete, thank participants for their time and make sure that they receive their incentive if applicable. Following up in this way can foster positive feelings and encourage respondents to participate in future surveys.


In conclusion, getting responses to your online survey requires careful planning, execution, and follow-up. It’s important to choose the right survey tool, target the right audience, and design a survey that is clear, concise, and relevant. Additionally, using incentives, providing ample time for respondents to complete the survey, and following up with non-respondents can increase the response rate.

However, even with a well-designed survey and effective strategies in place, there may still be challenges when it comes to getting responses. Some respondents may lose interest or not have the time to complete the survey. In these cases, it’s important to remain flexible and adapt to different scenarios.

Lastly, analyzing the data collected from the survey is just as important as getting responses. This will help make data-driven decisions and provide valuable insights into the topic or issue at hand.

Overall, getting responses to your online survey is a multi-step process that requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to adapt. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can increase your response rates and obtain valuable data to inform your decisions.

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