What is a good survey response rate

What is a good survey response rate?

While generating and distributing a new survey, the people generating the survey often want to know that what response rate do they received in reply of their surveys. And injudiciously, as the response rates are influenced by a lot of factors, so it is never easy to forecast it. But, by knowing or being aware about the recent response rate matrics along with the key influencing strands, you can create some realistic and exact expectations.

What do a survey response rate means?

The response rate means the total number of respondents sent the survey and the response rate is represented generally in percentage form. As for example, if you distribute a survey to 1000 people and 200 of the 1000 people complete it, then the survey response rate will be represented as 20%.

The main question is that, the survey response rate that you got is a good, a average or a poor survey response rate.

The good, the average or the poor survey response rate

According to an article which was published in April of the year 2018, the average survey response rate was near about 33%, but it also accepted that there are many impacting factors. So the question is what is a good survey response rate?

Distinctive survey response rate

The survey response rate should be considered as an excellent response rate if it is 50% or more than 50%.

A higher response rate is likely operated by a high level of inspiration to complete the survey, or rather a strong personal relationship between the customer and business.

The survey response rate which is in between 5% to 30% range is considered as a far more typical response rate.

It is found that the businesses with the little person to person connect with customers can bank on response rates at the low end of this scale and in case of the surveys which are distributed from the unknown senders be prone to receive the lowest level of responses.

The factors affecting the survey response rates

Actually there are many factors which are responsible for the survey response rates, along with the varying levels of impact:

Distribution Method:

The web intercept surveys that use the non intrusive pop ups to flawlessly present the survey during a potential respondent is involved in brand interaction, as for example; on a business website, or has just finished an interaction which can deliver the response rate as high as of 83%.

The experiences of the visitors are fresh in their mind that increases the probability of response rates.


you will find that there can be a significant number of differences in the survey response rates from different industries. Also, it is noted from the previous experiment that the B2B surveys have notably a much more response rate than the B2C surveys.

Brand identification:

It is also found that the surveys get more response rates which are distributed by a well known and recognized brand as compared with the response rates received in the surveys distributed by an unknown organization.


If your target groups whom you are going to distribute the surveys are baby boomers and millennials, then you definitely see a much higher response rates as compared to the response rates from the people of age of 65 years or more.

Simplicity and size:

It is found that the surveys with short length, simple and minimal questions receive much more response rate in return as compared to the surveys which are complex, lengthy surveys involving the long questions with bewildering answer choices.

Respondent relationships:

If the probable respondents have a good relationship with the distributed survey brand or the organization, then they are far more probable to responds to the requested surveys, because the established relationship includes trust that helps in enhancing the survey response rates.


Actually motivation is one of the most significant factors for the respondents to complete a requested survey.

The main factor for a respondent to complete a survey is to know that their opinions are valued and their opinion will result in real improvements in future.

Some of the other forms of survey completion motivations are discounts, preferential treatment or freebies which will also help to deliver a huge amount of response rates.

Survey invitation:

it is a very vital factor for a good survey response rate that where, when and how did you ask a respondent to complete the survey.

The matter with the long form surveys

Long form surveys are actually time consuming and boring for your respondent and many actually result in an almost 0% survey response rate.

Moreover, the matter which you might find is that the only the respondents motivated to fill out the long form surveys are the unhappy ones and which can severely affects your response rate score.

In difference, the 1-click feedback lets a light touch and a fun way for measuring the customer feedback. Using the customer thermometer, the customers measure the response rates from in whatever place between 50 and 85%, after previously getting a little feedback to no feedback on their old long form surveys.

What is the rate of the survey responses that you can accept?

It is really very useful to understand the factors which affect your survey response rates, along with some typical figures that is important to the most of the organizations is what is acceptable for them.

The rate of survey responses for any organization or business which they will accept is one that provides the information which is necessary to take a valid business decisions. This value is generally calculated in statistical matrics: 

  • Confidence level: It is a measure of how confident you have to be in your result.
  • Margin of error: It is actually depend upon the confidence level and the standard error.
  • Standard deviation of the sample: The term the standard deviation of the survey responses actually is a measure of the range or the spread of scores and the term standard error is equal to the standard deviation.

How to distribute the surveys so that you get great response rate?

First of all you have to understand you target respondents, their concern, their point of views and what is most likely to obtain useful responses from them is really challenging and it is clearly defining exactly what do you want to learn from them and composing effective survey questions. And another highly influential reason is how you choose to distribute your surveys and the outcome that your choice has on the survey response rates.

A feature of the survey distribution that highlights is how this needs special consideration is timing. If a respondent survey is given just after a respondent interaction,

maybe the purpose of s service call or the completion of a sale, then the surveyed respondent is more likely to remember the details of their interaction. And if they recall their interaction then they are more likely to provide their feedback as the survey is still fresh in their memory.

Here is a list of some primary survey distribution techniques which you should follow while distributing the surveys:

Offline survey distribution

An important advantage of the offline surveys is that the respondents do not have to have internet access for completing the surveys, which means that the offline surveys can be created or conducted at places and at time where people are not online, as for example, when the people are visiting store or attending an event. Obtaining live respondent feedback can bring out a great response rates as compared to online surveys.

In case of online surveys you will get responses as compared to the offline surveys if your online survey is simple, short and less number of questions.

So try to keep the number of questions as less as possible to make sure that the time required by the respondents to complete the survey is as short as possible and also provide all easy to answer question types, as for example multiple choice, which do not require so much thinking from the respondents.

To attract deeper perception use more open ended questions to examine more deeply when follow up the enquiry is needed but make sure that the number of questions is low to keep away the survey too time taking for the respondents.

 Take a look in some of these techniques for offline survey distribution:

In person interview

Interviewing people on a person to person basis can result you a lot more answer than simply their answers to your questions. You can acquire much more feedback from the respondents by observing their facial expression, their body language and their tone of voice. Also the face to face interview improves the response rates because it does not require the respondents to fill in their answers.

While ion case of, in person interviews, it can give in depth responses but they are time consuming to the both plan as well as expedite. The other factors which can also be challenging which include the lack of anonymity, avoiding interviewing people and interviewing the people that are located over wide geographic areas.

Telephone survey

Once telephone surveys are considered to be a very effective survey communication channel but as nowadays many people do not answer calls from the unfamiliar telephone numbers so this technique has very much replaced by the online techniques.

But in case your business daily uses the telephone for the customer communications, then this type of channel may be still valuable for you. It will be good if you ask the customer in advance that if they prefer communicating via telephone this will also increase your response rate. 

Online survey distribution

The surveys depending on internet offer a lot of key advantages over some of their offline counterparts, they are:

  • Low cost: The online surveys or internet based surveys are very easy and cheap to setup and there are no distribution or print cost and also the human resource are not required to process the required data.
  • Easy to complete: The respondents in online surveys find the surveys easy and convenient to complete at the time which suits them. Nowadays, the people who have internet access prefer to carry out the online surveys as compared to the surveys over telephone.
  • Fast responses: Online surveys require much less time. The respondents require much less time to complete an online survey as compared to many other offline surveys.
  • Accurate response: As the respondents enter their responses directly so the chance of errors becomes very less.
  • Highly flexible: Online surveys are totally flexible and can be readily optimized and acuminate to achieve great response rates. The survey questions can be evaluated, open questions triggered, the question sequence optimized and deeper or skipped on the basis of the previous answers.
  • Real time results analysis: The online surveys and the data collection actually mean that the survey results can be continuously updated and analyzed in the real time and this can be enormously valuable by informing the immediate actions which will hold the customers.

Like offline surveys online survey also has many clear advantages.

Here are some online survey distribution techniques you must look:

  • Social media survey: You will definitely know the effectiveness of the social media survey, if you are regularly communicating with your respondents via social media. Social media is the place where most of the people used to give their honest opinion about the survey, which will help you to get honest feedbacks from the respondents.
  • Email survey: Nowadays people are highly familiar and comfortable with the email communication. The email surveys can be effectively attached as an email signature survey or attached to an email message. It will also help you increase your response rate.
  • Web page based survey: This type of survey offers some great advantages over other offline and online surveys. By adding your survey to your website they are available for everyone visiting the site and it will readily increase your survey response rate.

It is very important to know the response rate of your survey and this will help you to know that how the people are thinking about your survey.


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