Tips for great survey design

Tips for great survey design

Maximise survey completion rates to give you stronger research

Here are a few tips to get you started with designing your audience feedback surveys:

Design of your survey email

  • Keep your email as succinct as possible and focussed on the survey i.e. the survey should not be one of a number of topics on a wider email communication – this significantly diminishes response
  • Avoid long subject lines and try to include the relevant brand name.
  • For customer feedback surveys the primary message should be the importance and value to the respondent of giving their feedback. Incentives should be a secondary message.
  • Avoid the words “win”, “click here” and “prize” – spam filters do not like these.
  • Sign off your emails from a person at your company, not just a brand name or “the team”. 

Overall design of your audience survey

  • Keep your welcome text as brief as possible. Lengthy text will encourage a higher dropout rate on your first page.
  • Where possible only present one question on the first page of your survey. 
  • Keep your surveys as short and focussed as possible. 25 questions per respondent is the recommended maximum for e-surveys. 
  • Ensure you don’t ask too many questions per page. An average of 2 – 3 questions per page is advised to reduce page scrolling to improve completion rates.
  • Avoid using too many grid questions, especially back to back. 
  • Avoid using too many ‘open text’ questions. In a survey of 25 questions a maximum of 5 open text questions are recommended.
  • Ensure your surveys display your brand by adding a banner to the to the page header.

Your feedback survey questions

  • Avoid presenting long lists of answer options. Where unavoidable, it is often best to alphabetise the list and/or present the options over 2 or 3 columns.
  • Randomise your answer options where it is logical to do so.
  • Avoid presenting big grid questions with many rows and/or columns. These are proven to cause high drop off rates.
  • Keep your questions as succinct as possible and unambiguous.
  • In any multi-choice question, ensure you provide a range of options that cater for all scenarios by using ‘None of these’ and/or ‘Other (please specify)’. 
  • The recommended (and default) setting for open text questions is ‘no response required’. We advise against setting open text questions to ‘response required’.
  • Add clear instructions to questions such as “Please select all that apply” for a multi-choice question.
  • Use the routing tools (skip logic) to ensure that you don’t ask respondents questions that are not relevant to them.

Re-sending your feedback surveys

Provided your survey emails include the opt-out link, it is normally advised that you send reminder emails to people who haven’t completed the survey to increase the completion numbers. We recommend no more than 2 reminder emails.

More survey design tips and resources from the Explori Blog

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  • With Explori’s reports and analytics, we’re much better equipped to evaluate the customers' satisfaction and needs from our events
    Paul Byrom
    MD, Upper Street Events
  • The level of performance data and customer insight that Explori gives us is invaluable to our business and makes my life easier.
    Matthew Benyon
    MD, easyFairs UK
  • We wanted deeper insight into how our strategies impacted the delegate experience, but found conventional survey tools just couldn't deliver. Moving to Explori has completely changed this.
    Jan Barthelemy
    Head of AU & NZ Digital Marketing dmg events
  • We work with Explori to gain deeper insights into our events. The ability to compare results directly with similar events in our portfolio and against industry standards will be incredibly helpful
    Baris Onay
    Group Marketing & Digital Director, ITE
  • Analysis that could have taken the team days was available within hours of the survey going live. We could immediately see how the new German events had performed, against the context of our existing shows. Information like this is essential for informing future business strategy.
    Austen Hawkins
    MD, F2F Events
  • Robust performance metrics and customer feedback is essential for achieving maximum customer satisfaction. Explori will allow us to reach all our exposition delegates regardless of language or location.
    Art Paredes
    Sr. Director, Global Expos, SEMI
  • Explori helps us gain deep insights into the customer experience across our business. Without it, understanding our key performance metrics would be considerably more challenging.
    Andrew Evans
    (former) MD, Centaur Exhibitions
  • Our expansion plans are about both organic and acquired growth and Explori is key to our ability to understand the health and performance of existing assets, as well as those that we’re looking to acquire.
    Renaud Hamaide
    CEO, Comexposium
  • Explori makes creating and reporting on surveys quick and easy. We are able to work with the team to maximise responses and analyse the results to instantly see how our existing shows are performing. Explori allows us to not only look at the what we must do in the next 10 minutes, but also what we must do over the next 10 years.
    Rikki Bhachu
    Marketing Director, MA Exhibitions
  • The results of this research and Explori’s views give us and our audiences a new perspective on our events. They reveal areas with scope for improvement which we will be addressing as well as many areas of strength. It's been a highly valuable exercise and we’re looking forward to the challenge of maintaining and building on what we have achieved.
    Carina Bauer
    CEO, The IMEX Group

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