They say timing is everything, and in the case of distributing surveys, “they” might be right. In fact, when strategizing about survey timing and asking for participation accordingly, you’ll notice engagement rates go up, faster results, and a number of other benefits.
Survey Timing Tips for Optimal Results
With that in mind, today’s post is going to be all about survey timing. We’ll share our top six tips for timing, as well as some other strategies for boosting survey response rates. Let’s go!
If you need survey results and you need them fast, consider offering participants an enticing bonus for their timely response. Perhaps you could enter the first ten people to complete the survey into a draw to win a gift card.
By nature, people love free stuff and prizes! Even if it’s something small, this incentive can be enough to achieve survey timing that works with your goals.
(Incentives not your style? No problem — instead, simply explain how important their participation is to your business and this personal touch can go a long way for improving survey response times!)
Set a Time Limit (and Send a Reminder!)
There’s nothing like a deadline to light a fire under participants and get them to complete your survey. Rather than leaving an open-ended invitation to take part in the survey, let them know when you need results by.
For example, let’s say you’re sending out an email survey. At the bottom of the mass email, you could add a line in bold that looks like this:
“Survey Responses are Due by Tuesday at Midnight”
Then, 24 hours before that deadline, you could send an email reminding participants to complete the survey within that time frame.
Consider Your Audience
Depending on your audience’s demographics, there could be a drastically better time of day for them to participate in a survey than others.
For example, if you’re polling employees in an office, send your survey while your employees are at work. Not only does this make sure they’re not being tasked with extra work on their off-hours, but it also boosts the chances of them being in front of their computer when a survey invitation shows up in their inbox.
If you’re not sure about the best time for your audience to participate in a survey, you can also create a one-question poll ahead of time. You could simply ask them to vote for AM or PM, or on specific time slots.
Meet Respondents Where They Are
While you’re polling your respondents to find out the best time of day for them to complete a survey, why not find out their preferred way to take a survey in the first place? In many cases, you’ll find out that answer is on their smartphone. With almost constant access to these devices, giving respondents the option to complete a survey with their phone is almost always going to work in your favor when it comes to survey timing and overall response rates in general.
Rather than telling participants they need to respond on a smartphone or a computer, it’s also beneficial to give them the option of using either one. Swift Polling makes it easy to create SMS and web polls, and that way your audience can respond in whichever way suits them best.
Keep Your Surveys Short and Sweet
There’s a time and place for lengthy, detailed surveys. But if survey response timing is a concern, short and sweet will work in your favor.
Otherwise, you’ll often find participants get halfway through a survey before giving up. Busy schedules and short attention spans are a challenge for survey creators when they’re trying to boost engagement rates. But one sure fire way to combat this challenge is asking for as little time from participants as possible.
On that note, limiting open-ended questions on surveys is also helpful. If a question has straightforward multiple choice answers for your audience to choose from, they’ll appreciate that this takes less time and effort than typing written responses to each survey question.
(In addition to survey timing, we know honesty is also important to survey creators. Here’s a link to help with that: How to Get Honest Feedback and Survey Responses)
Start with an Attention-Grabbing Question
Finally, don’t overlook the power of starting your survey invitation with a question itself! You can elicit responses right away with this strategy simply by grabbing your audience’s attention with a question you think they’ll have a strong opinion about.
At the very least, start your survey invitations off with an explanation of the purpose of the survey. Audiences like knowing what they’re in for and what’s expected of them!
Looking for More Help with Survey Timing?
We live and breathe all things surveys, polls, and audience engagement at Swift Polling. If you’re stuck figuring out the best time to send a survey, give us a shout! We’d love to help. Or, if you’re also looking for the best online polling tools to get the job done, we can help there too.
Click here to see all of our live polling solutions.