Getting people to participate in your online survey is like getting a first date.
No matter whether your users are newbies or long-time customers, their willingness to engage with you on a closer level and share their personal details and opinions with you may vary.
Here are some tips which may help you to get people to participate in your survey.
1. Give it time. Be prepared to run the survey for longer as originally planned to get the required participant number
2. Pick the right time. Depending on whom you are targeting, picking the right time to run your survey can be critical. Choose a time when traffic numbers will be high and when people are likely to have the time or inclination to complete your survey.
3. Be everywhere. Advertise your survey in as many different places as possible. Consider making use of all your customer contact channels, e.g. website, social networking sites, newsletter etc.
4. Stand out from the crowd. If people don’t notice your survey, they will not be able to participate in it. Make sure the link to the survey stands out visually, but be careful that it doesn’t look like an ad, otherwise people will ignore it.
5. Give them a reason. People usually don’t like wasting time and effort. Explain the purpose of the survey and the benefit to the person completing it, but keep it short and to the point.
6. Offer gifts. Offering a monetary reward or a chance to win a prize is usually a good motivator for people, but make sure that it is the right incentive for your target group. Also, make sure that the offered incentive is not the only reason for people to complete your survey; otherwise they might simply do it “for the money” and not take the survey serious.
7. Don’t be boring. Once people have agreed to participate in your survey, make sure that the survey is interesting and relevant enough to retain people’s attention. Don’t make it too long or people may leave halfway through.
8. Don’t tire them out. If you bombard people with too many surveys, they may get fatigued with online surveys and just ignore you.
9. Reconsider and try a different way. No matter how hard you try, some people will not want to fill out your online survey. Under those circumstances, consider using a different method or more direct approach to get their feedback, e.g. user testing, focus groups, phone interviews, contextual inquiries etc.
10. Be more assertive. Sometimes it seems that you have done everything right, but your survey participant numbers still remain low. In those cases, you may have to resort to more drastic actions to get people’s attention such as displaying survey popups or emailing the survey link directly to people. But be careful not to annoy people.
+ 1. Ask for a second date. If you are doing regular research, consider asking people to participate in future research at the end of your survey, e.g. “Would you be interested to participate in future research similar to this.