Are Online Surveys Not Enough? - 5 Tips to Create Engaging Surveys


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Online will remain the #1 survey channel for the time being, and deservedly so. The channel offers the ability for respondents to privately complete surveys on their own time. For researchers, data can be processed immediately, and there are no additional costs of employing interviewers.

But because of the simplicity and efficiency of online surveys and the availability of online survey tools, the market is quickly becoming oversaturated, and respondents are getting overwhelmed.

Online survey invitations are everywhere, and the surveys they link to are often sloppy. This causes clutter and which then causes a snowball effect of survey fatigue, data collection issue, skewed result, and ultimately wrong decisions. 

In this blog, we will share tips on ensuring your online surveys don’t get lost in the sea of surveys.

The oversaturation of online surveys

Online surveys have remodeled traditional surveys thanks to the online survey tools. The ease of reaching a broad audience and creating a safer platform for anyone to respond without compromising personal data are few among the many advantages online surveys offer. 

However, the benefits have also led it to become the mainstream mode of data collection. With so many online survey software in the market, anyone can create surveys and distribute them via online channels. 

This has caused a number of drawbacks such as – 

  • Declining response rates, 
  • Reduced attention span of respondents, and
  • Market saturation. 

Let’s take a look at these drawbacks now. 

Declining response rates

Many online surveys see single-digit response rates as low as 2%. And respondents who do complete the surveys generally have an extreme opinion: they’re either ecstatic or livid. 

It’s difficult to get a balanced opinion when you’re only talking to outliers.

Reduced respondent attention span 

For respondents who still complete surveys, the increased frequency can affect their in-survey attention span. The more survey questions they see, the higher their tendency to burn through questions too quickly without adequate thought.

Market saturation 

With so many surveys vying for a respondent’s attention, how can one organization get their survey noticed and completed? 

More than conducting surveys, the factor that impacts most is how to create a survey. In the next section, we are going to discuss some best survey practices.

Create interactive and fun surveys that bring results.

Aesthetic themes, 100+ question types, Integration with a reward program…

How to offer engaging and interactive online surveys?

So are online surveys doomed? Of course not – but researchers tasked with creating surveys & deploying them are certainly being challenged. 

We’ve discussed numerous times in the past how to make online surveys more engaging

Here is the TL;DR version:

  1. Design surveys well 
  2. Listen and adapt
  3. Incentivize
  4. Personalize the invitation
  5. Create a community

Now, let’s explore these best survey practices.  

1. Design surveys well 

A no-brainer, but so important. Create surveys that are short and sweet on the surface.

Nowadays, if your survey looks cheap or takes longer than five minutes, you’ll start losing a portion of the respondents who were willing to click on the link in the first place.

2. Listen and Adapt

Surveys are a two-way conversation. Ensure that the respondent knows you’re listening to their answers. 

Use online survey software that allows you to use logic to skip irrelevant questions or pipe in past responses. Respondents are more likely to share feedback if they feel they are being heard.

3. Incentivize

Incentives increase response rates which offsets your sample cost. Unincentivized survey requests are a primary target in increasing pushback against online survey invitations. 

4. Personalize the invitation 

Ensure that the survey invitation speaks to the right people and acknowledges the respondent’s situation. 

Use a clean sample source and personalize the message to clarify why they were chosen (e.g., “Thanks for your purchase of X last Tuesday…”). 

5. Create a community

Cut to the heart of your customer base and nurture your own panels of your loyal consumers. It’s a lot of work to create and manage, but an incentivized, permanent panel will give you a constant finger on the pulse of your most important customer segment.

Cogeco Diffusion’s radio stations used Voxco Online and reached the top of the charts.


Online surveys are an essential part of any Voice of Customer or research program. But in today’s industry reality, you need to accept that getting a respondent’s attention online is extremely challenging. 

Break through the heads-down, clutter-ignoring patterns of an average respondent’s daily routine. Think differently about how to get your survey noticed by respondents. Taking your survey project out of your own comfort zone can help you become innovative and make respondents notice your surveys.

Get your surveys noticed by complementing well-designed online surveys with surveys conducted via alternate channels such as the phone or offline

In the world of digital communication, make an effort to make personalized interactions using phone or offline channels. Leverage an online survey software that allows you to do all – take a step into the digital world and back into the real world.

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