Response Rate

Your response rate is the percentage of people who respond to your survey.

To calculate the percentage response rate for your survey, use the following equation:

# of responses to your survey
x 100
# of people you sent the survey to

You can find the total number of responses in your survey's Summary tab.

To calculate your response rate based on the number of complete responses to your survey, filter by completeness and select Complete responses. The number of complete responses appears at the top of the page when the filter is applied.

TIP! Learn how to calculate the number of respondents you need or use our sample size calculator.

Improving Your Response Rate

If a large number of respondents don't respond to your survey, or they exit or abandon your survey before completing it, you'll have a low response rate.

In general, you can expect a low response rate if your survey is long, your survey language is complicated, or you send your survey to the wrong audience. Read our tips to ensure you're doing all you can to get the best response rate possible.

Clean Up Your Survey Design

The length and tone of your survey dramatically impact your response rate. If survey is long and your questions are text heavy, respondents can feel overwhelmed and exit your survey.

Keep these tips in mind when designing your survey:

  • Keep your survey short—include only the essential questions and answer options. Attention and motivation tend to drop as a survey goes on.
  • Use the fewest, shortest words possible to say what you mean. The less respondents have to read, the better.
  • Keep your language simple. Aim for a vocabulary you think a young adult would understand and don't use jargon.
  • Let respondents skip open-ended questions—don't require open-ended questions. Respondents who don't want to take the time to write a response might exit the survey instead of writing a response.
Know Your Audience

Survey topics may not engage or interest all respondents, which causes respondents to exit your survey and lowers your response rate.

You can add a qualifying question to your survey to ensure you're attracting the respondents you're looking for.

Additionally, try to tailor your survey questions to the needs and interests of your respondents. If some questions don't apply to everyone, add Skip Logic to your survey to skip respondents past questions or pages that don't apply to them.

If you're using SurveyMonkey Audience to buy survey responses, read our targeting tips.

Keep Contacts Up to Date

If you know your survey audience personally, let people know that you're planning to conduct a survey, what it's about, and when to expect it.

If you're sending your survey to a list of contacts, either via Email Invitation in SurveyMonkey or through another messaging platform, make sure your contact list is up to date. If your contact list is out of date, you may be missing important contacts whose email addresses have changed, and your messages could bounce.

Send Your Survey Multiple Ways

If you use more than one collector to distribute your survey, you'll increase your chances of getting responses.

In addition to emailing a list of contacts, consider posting a link to your survey in a Listserv, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other web communities.

Test Your Survey

Test your survey with a smaller group of people before sending it out to your entire contact list. This will help you identify any issues in your survey language or design and give you a general idea of what you can expect to see as an overall response rate from a larger group.

Personalize Email Invitations & Send Reminders

Make sure your survey invitations are inviting—keep them short, simple, and approachable.

Provide a brief explanation about what the survey will be about, why you're conducting it, and how long it will take. If you need to include detailed information, like a privacy policy, consent statement, or survey instructions, include it in your survey introduction instead of your invitation.

If you're sending your survey via Email Invitation, personalize invitations by including the name of your respondents using custom data tags in your message.

To use custom data tags in messages:

  1. Create a group of contacts.
  2. Add the group as recipients in an Email Invitation.
  3. Compose your message using custom data tags.

In the Email Invitation Collector, you can also schedule reminder messages to email recipients who haven't responded to your survey.

Your response rate is the percentage of people who respond to your survey. In general, long or complicated surveys have a low response rate. Read our tips to ensure you're doing all you can to get the best response rate possible.

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