Which factors affect average survey response rate?


Which factors affect average survey response rate? average survey response rate
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Obtaining the intended number of responses necessitates the use of appropriate sampling procedures as well as reaching the appropriate number of respondents. One of the very reasons why marketers keep an eye on survey response rate. However, if these respondents are not properly contacted, the requisite number of responses will never be achieved. 

In this blog, we will learn about how to calculate the average survey response rate and what are the factors that affect it. So, let’s get started.

What Is the Survey Response Rate?

The term ‘survey response rate’ refers to the percentage of respondents who successfully completed the given survey. However, it should not be confused with survey completion rate as the response rate does not include uncompleted surveys. 

The average survey response rate of an organization is 50%. However, a good survey response rate is any rate above 25%.

Calculation of survey response rate

The survey response rate can be calculated using the following formula:

Response rate=

Number of completed surveys  *100
Total number of survey  respondents


If you send a survey to 1000 respondents and 450 of them complete the survey. Your survey response rate would be:

450 x 100 = 45%


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Boost Survey Response Rates

  1. Purpose of the Survey
  2. Survey Plan
  3. Topic
  4. Survey Questions
  5. Mobile Survey
  6. Reminder Message

A variety of factors influence survey response rates. Here are a few of the factors that can help you turn an average survey response rate into a good response rate. 

Let’s get to learn about them in more detail.

1. Purpose of the Survey

Stating the purpose of the survey is very important. Let them know how you will use their responses so that they know how they can help you in improving their experience. 

The reason and the aim behind the survey should be very clear. Also, their response would be really appreciated, a gratitude never hurts anyone.

2. Survey Design

The survey plan must look very attractive to the respondents. It should be precise, easy to understand, and clear to look at. As per research, a well-planned survey has a higher potential of increasing average survey response rates. 

Don’t start scribbling your survey. Use a survey tool that can help you create beautiful surveys with custom themes and multiple question types.  

3. Research Topic 

A survey topic must be chosen wisely as some of the topics might be diplomatic and controversial. Respondents may not feel comfortable replying to such surveys. 

However, if your subject is controversial or personal, then give respondents the option to appear anonymous and to skip questions. 

4. Survey Questions

A survey must show a disclaimer regarding the time consumption and this promise must be kept while designing survey questions. A maximum of 10 minutes is the average time a person is willing to spend on a survey. 

[Related read: Writing Good Survey Questions]

5. Mobile Survey

Mobile is something everyone relies on as it can be utilized anywhere and at any time. A survey must be compatible with mobile as a respondent does not support and respond to a survey when it can not be optimized on mobile phones.

A mobile-optimized surveys also gives respondents the flexibility to take the survey from anywhere, anytime. 

6. Reminder Message

A reminder message can subsequently improve average response rates as sometimes, some respondents procrastinate it until later and that later never comes.

This does not mean you should bombard them with reminders every day. A reminder email or SMS with the survey link should be sent at a proper interval.

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Challenges of Low Response Rates

  1. Indefinite Results
  2. Risk
  3. Impartial Exchange
  4. Analysis

There are many challenges that researchers face in respect of a low response rate. 

Let’s explore them in detail.

1. Indefinite Results

When few people participate in a survey, their responses are statistically insignificant. This implies that the survey data can’t be used to validate ideas. 

Average survey response rates, on the other hand, can yield essential qualitative insights

2. Risk

Surveys with poor survey response rates have a larger margin of error. This seriously compromises the validity of the surveys’ conclusions. 

A 100% survey response rate falls victim to industry’s 5% margin of error. This simply means that the risk is higher among low response rates, particularly those that fall just short of one-third.

Calculate Margin of Error with our FREE MoE Calculator

3. Impartial Exchange

Low response rates indicate that the survey respondents are disinterested. This is concerning since now you have to influence potential respondents to change their opinions and finish the survey. 

Furthermore, it could be that the uninterested group of respondents are the only email list a company has. 

To prevent this from happening, use an online research panel to build a respondent panel with people who are willing to take surveys anytime, anywhere. 

4. Analysis

To address poor response rates, researchers must often revisit previously launched surveys and relaunch the survey campaign. While this produces more findings it requires more time and effort. 


Every organization needs to know what changes they can make for better involvement of their clients. A survey design that a respondent finds appealing gets high responses, and your question should not offend any responder. 

Average survey response rates are highly dependent on the elements discussed above, or else complications would surface.

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