Effective Ways to Get Your Invited Survey Participants to Respond

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist's Wavebreakmedia

Getting more people to participate in your survey requires carefully planned strategies. With the abundance of junk e-mail that we receive everyday, it is important to know exactly how a participant should be addressed by the surveyor. How do you ensure that your invited participants even read your e-mail invitation?

Here is a list of things you can do to grab a respondent’s attention and secure his participation.

1. Legitimate Appearance

First thing first, make sure that your recipient has agreed to receive offer e-mails or survey invitations from your company. Secondly, your correspondence should appear legitimate to the respondent. Don’t make it look like a spam e-mail, because, in that case, it will go directly to his junk box. Avoid using words like “Free” or “Act now” in capitals in the subject line. Do not use false or misleading header information. It is prohibited even by the CAN-SPAM Act in US.

2. Personalize the Invitation

Use the survey title that is personalized to your survey topic. It should describe the topic in clear and concise manner, identifying your company at the same time. A good example would be “Survey Invitation: title” –“From: SurveyCrest.com.” If they recognize your organization, they are less likely to consider it spam. Subject line’s length should be under 35 characters. Please, do not use all caps, numerical signs, and exclamation signs. The best thing you can do to personalize it is using personal information regarding the recipient such as his name, wherever you can.

3. Be Authentic

Indicate the purpose of the survey in the main body and thank the recipient in advance for his participation. Assure them that their responses will remain confidential. If they haven’t taken your surveys before, this will motivate them to trust you. Also, be clear about who is conducting the survey. Let them know if it is an outside party. Let them know:

  • How the survey will be processed?
  • What will you do with the result?
  • Where they can take the survey?

4. Show Incentives

Let the participants know what benefits they would miss if they opt out of taking the survey. If it’s a sweepstakes incentive, give a link to the rules. Never mind what offer or incentive it is, be very clear about it to the participants. Your response rate will be strongly affected by this.

From short text question type to Net Promoter Score, from drop-down lists to Matrix (single or multiple options), there are many types to choose from. Keep the overall feel of the survey harmonized but use question types apropos to your targeted result.

5. Add Contact Information

This also shows the participant that he is dealing with some authentic organization. Provide your contact information to him so that he has some way to contact you if finds any issues with the survey. Typically this information includes name, phone number, and an e-mail address. If you want, you can also include your location by providing a valid postal address.

6. Send Reminder E-mails

You have to mention the survey deadline in your e-mail invitation. This often encourages the respondents to attempt the survey right then and there. However, if they don’t, it is generally a good idea to send them at least one reminder e-mail after a designated amount of time. This amount of time depends on the survey population and your deadline. In any case, this will at least maximize the response rate to your survey.

Follow these steps and we guarantee you that no survey respondent will ever move your e-mail to the spam mail section. Happy surveying! 😉

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.