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6 Quick Tips to Improve Your Survey Response Rate

Let’s face it: people don’t usually get too excited about the idea of taking an online survey. They may not have the time, they’re distracted by their to-do list, or they simply don’t see it in their inbox. But for a small business, there is no better way to improve your products, services, customer satisfaction—and your business as a whole—than by getting feedback directly from the source.

Here are 6 easy-to-implement tips to entice your customers and members to improve your survey response rate.

1. Make your survey as short as possible

Think through your survey carefully. Only include the questions you absolutely must have the answers to—5-10 questions is the sweet spot. One way to do this is to choose a specific survey topic, like a particular event or promotion, and focus on that.

2. Tell recipients upfront how many questions are on your survey

If you tell the recipients how many questions there are, they know what to expect. Adding questions causes the completion rate to drop. By being upfront, you’re reassuring recipients your survey won’t take up too much of their time.

3. Keep your questions clear and simple

The minute someone reads a question on your survey that causes them to pause, or forces them to re-read it, the less likely they’ll be to finish. Have a co-worker or friend read through your questions to ensure they’re as clear and concise as possible.

4. Refer to survey results in your emails or on social media

Remind your audience you take their opinions seriously. Rolling out a new program based on some feedback you got?  Tell your customers and members that it’s a result of their input in your email newsletter or on your organization’s Facebook or Twitter account.

5. Brand your survey

You’ve taken time to build a positive, secure relationship with your customers or members. Include your logo and brand colors on your survey and survey invite so your recipients know right away it’s not a random spam survey—it’s from your organization, the one they know and trust.

6. Say thanks

Your customers just did you a favor: they took some time and completed your survey. Now you can serve them (and new customers) even better. A heartfelt thank-you page is only right; plus, customers who feel appreciated are more likely to take your next survey!


Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.

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