Tips for High Survey Completion Rates

Erica YlimäkiErica Ylimäki
Last edited: June 19th, 2024
survey completion rate vs response rate

Surveys are a powerful tool for gathering insights, but achieving a high completion rate can be challenging.

At Trustmary, our main goal is to ensure top-tier survey completion rates.

Here’s how you can enhance your surveys and achieve similar success.

Long story short: Just create a survey with Trustmary. It’s been optimized to get surveys completed.

Response vs. Completion Rates

Before diving into strategies, it’s crucial to understand the difference between survey response rates and completion rates.

Response rate measures the percentage of people who respond to a survey invitation.

According to recent research, the average online survey response rate has been growing and is currently at 44% in published research. However, this is just one sector, and not applicable to all situations.

The completion rate focuses on those who finish the survey after starting it​.

Both metrics are essential, but improving your completion rate ensures you gather comprehensive survey data from your respondents.

Benefits of High Survey Completion Rates

High survey completion rates offer numerous benefits:

  • Accurate Data: More completed surveys provide a more accurate representation of your target audience, enhancing the reliability of your data.
  • Better Insights: With more comprehensive responses, you gain deeper insights into customer needs and preferences.
  • Increased Trust: High completion rates indicate that respondents find your surveys valuable and trustworthy, strengthening your relationship with them.
  • Improved Decision Making: Reliable data leads to more informed decisions, helping to tailor products, services, and marketing strategies effectively.

Tips for Avoiding Low Completion Rate

If surveys are abandoned, you’ll end up with incomplete data.

Here’s how to avoid that.

  1. Only send the survey to the target population
  2. Make the survey topic clear in the subject lines
  3. Use easy to answer question to start the survey
  4. Add only one open ended question
  5. Track the respondents to notice who leaves without completing
  6. Send reminders to everyone who didn’t complete their survey

Okay, let’s spin that the other way around.

Here’s what you should do to get people to complete surveys.

How to Get Survey Respondents to Complete Surveys

Craft Short, Relevant Surveys

One of the most effective ways to boost your completion rate is by keeping surveys short and to the point.

Longer surveys have higher abandonment rates.

Aim for surveys that take no more than 1-2 minutes to complete. This means focusing on essential questions that directly relate to your goals.

You get what you ask for.

Optimize Timing and Distribution

Timing is everything.

Share your surveys when respondents are most likely to have time to complete them.

And use the channels your customers typically use when communicating with you.

It’s weird if you all of a sudden send a WhatsApp survey, when you normally only communicate via email.

For example, sending a survey via email immediately after a purchase or a customer service interaction can capture the respondent’s attention when their experience is fresh​.

Or adding the survey to the conversation as a link, or to thank you page as a popup survey.

types of survey embeds

Incentivize Participation

Offering incentives can significantly boost survey completion rates.

These incentives can range from discounts and coupons to entries into a prize draw. Make sure the incentives are appealing and relevant to your audience.

And that you give the same prize for all completed surveys, no matter if the feedback is positive or negative.

Ensure Survey Relevance and Clarity

Relevance is key.

Make sure your survey questions are directly related to the respondent’s experience.

Avoid unnecessary questions and ensure each question is clear and easy to understand.

Pre-testing your survey with a small group can help identify any confusing questions or technical issues​.

Use Engaging Formats

Keeping your survey visually engaging can help maintain respondents’ interest. Focus on survey design.

Use a mix of question types:

  • Multiple-choice
  • Rating scales
  • Open-ended questions
  • Incorporate visuals
  • Give the option to answer with video
  • Let people add photos as responses if they want

Allow Anonymity

For sensitive topics, allow respondents to skip questions or remain anonymous.

This can increase the likelihood of honest responses and reduce survey abandonment due to discomfort.

Monitor and Analyze Results

Finally, keep a close eye on your survey metrics. Analyze completion rates and identify any patterns or trends.

This data can provide valuable insights into what’s working and what needs improvement​

screenshot from trustmary's reporting dashboard

Top-Notch Completion Rate with Trustmary

Trustmary’s average survey response rate stands at an impressive 30% for B2B surveys, well above the industry average of 20-33%.

This success is attributed to systematic survey processes, including

  • Automation
  • Personalized reminders, and
  • Multichannel distribution of surveys

By implementing these practices, Trustmary ensures higher engagement and more reliable data collection​.

In fact, Trustmary can get you a 40% review rate from survey respondents.


Why is survey completion rate important?

The survey completion rate indicates how many respondents fully complete your survey, providing more comprehensive and reliable data.

What is a good survey completion rate?

While it varies by industry, a good survey completion rate is typically around 10% or higher.

How can I increase my survey completion rate?

  • Create short, relevant surveys
  • Optimize timing
  • Offer incentives
  • Ensure clarity
  • Use engaging formats
  • Allow anonymity
  • Testing different versions
  • Utilize multiple channels
  • Continuously monitor your results and improve accordingly

Erica Ylimäki
Erica Ylimäki
Erica Ylimäki is a Growth Marketer at Trustmary. She is an expert in how to grow the organic traffic of a business with effective SEO strategies, and how to utilize reviews on different CMS and platforms.


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