10 Best Practices for Successful Surveys

10 Tips for Online SurveysBusiness audiences tend to be weary of filling out surveys. They often perceive them as time drains that add little value.

You therefore need motivation and a carefully orchestrated experience to get the results you desire. Here are my 10 best practices for running successful surveys:

1. Incentives

The single best way to increase survey responses is to offer an incentive. Here are three options:

Valuable Learning:
For many B-to-B audiences, an effective incentive is the promise to carefully analyze the results and share them ONLY with those who participate. For this to work, the information must be beneficial to them and their businesses.

Offering a chance to win a valuable prize can entice many survey respondents. This can be anything from a hot device such as a new iPad, to tickets to a premier event, to an advertising opportunity for high-level exposure. Be sure to set a fixed budget for the prizes, and consider offering multiple items to demonstrate greater chances to win.

Another option is to provide a discount on one of your products or services that is of value to the audience. This is most effective when everyone who takes the survey receives the discount, so be sure to budget appropriately.

9 additional best practices for successful surveys

  1. Display the survey on a clean, uncluttered page that identifies each stage to completion
  2. Keep it short (less than five minutes), and state upfront how little time will be needed
  3. Make sure the audience understands the purpose, value, and use of the survey results
  4. Make it instantly clear what company is asking the questions
  5. Clearly state your privacy policy and how you intend to share the participants’ information
  6. Take close consideration of the order of the questions, and make the first few very easy
  7. Write clear concise questions that get to the root of the information you seek, and include only one item per question
  8. Where possible, asked closed-ended questions
  9. Make sure the survey is presented only to your specific audience so that results are not skewed.


I hope this helps you improve the participation rate and feedback quality of future surveys. For additional information, please visit our marketing consulting services page.