Saturday, April 12, 2008

Increasing online survey response

This post from Mike Mason may explain the increased difficulty in getting online survey responses ...

1. Too many of them, from too many organizations;

2. Don't know how many questions up front, so end up frustrated, and stop. And then assume the next survey has pages of questions too.

Due to technology, I believe there's a significant third reason:
3. Many are reading email (i.e., survey email) on a cell phone/blackberry, and never go back to the survey on a computer.

Two things I'm going to try:

1. Always give the number of questions in the survey up front;

2. Sign-up for the new
Zoomerang mobile option so possible to respond by mobile. [Note: Zoomerang is the online survey software I use - there are others.]

Hmm .... What else would work?

3 comments:

David M. Patt, CAE said...

Another problem. Young people don't always respond to surveys because they know you are asking them for information that will help your association but not necessarily help them.

Tell potential respondents why you are asking them, what you will do with their responses, and when you will publish results.

Dave Ferguson said...

I can think of two other considerations:

The first is simply distrust in a technological age. How do I know what you plan to do with information specific to me -- starting with my IP address, to say nothing of the email to which you sent it?

The second: using survey software doesn't mean you know how to ask survey questions, anymore than wearing a stovepipe hat means you wrote the Gettysburg Address.

Spend a little time brainstorming about what you want to know, and then kicking questions around on paper or whiteboards to see if they help get you there.

Next, find a couple of people who'd fit into the target population who wasn't part of the discussion. Ask them to go through the questions and give you an unvarnished opinion about their clarity.

Dave Phillips said...

Looks like an ALL DAVE response to this one. We have great success getting replies. We just sent out a survey and got 20% response in first two hours. We simply offer a $25 gift card to one lucky person who replies. We always make sure to publish the winner's name.

In the past, we offered a weekend getaway at a swanky resort (donoted) to be drawn from anyone who responded over the course of the year. That worked well for several years, but got old, so we went to the gas cards.