You spend time, effort, and money to develop and deploy a survey to learn what makes your members and their businesses tick. You get responses, but how do you know whether your survey has performed well?
Surveys that cast a wide net, such as those for consumers or a wide demographic, may receive a 1% response rate, which is considered good. In fact, it’s much the same as direct mail to a wide audience. But these are your members—people with a vested interest in the industry. Responses should be a good deal higher.
Much depends on the type of survey and what information you’re trying to collect. When surveying your membership about products and services, 20% would be a very good rate of response. However, when collecting financial or other sensitive business information, you can consider yourself lucky with 10% of them responding.
How can I increase participation?
Offering some sort of incentive (e.g., drawing for gift card, exclusive access to a summary report, etc.,) can help enhance the response rate under certain circumstances. Engaging an independent third-party company to conduct the survey and produce a report with the results also increases confidence among your audience and, therefore, participation.
A lower response rate than 20% is not necessarily bad, as long as you get a broad representation of the group you’re surveying. With this, you can effectively analyze the responses in a meaningful fashion.