8 Tips for more participants in online surveys

online surveys

The more participants take part in an online survey, the more representative the results are. And if a survey has an additional marketing objective, the number of completed questionnaires also increases sales. But how can you attract as many respondents as possible for online surveys? These 8 tips will help you.

Tip 1: Use the subject line as an eye-catcher

The subject line of an e-mail is the first thing that you notice. It is the eye-catcher in your mailbox and determines whether you will open the message or whether it will disappear into the trash. When sending out your online survey invitations by e-mail, a concise and content-rich subject line is of particular importance. The reader will immediately know what the survey is about. Any bonuses or rewards also generate motivation when they are in the subject line.

Tip 2: Keep it short and simple

Keeping it short and simple is the magic formula for texts that resonate with the reader. When you invite people to take part in an online survey, get to the point as quickly as possible. Provide your addressee with brief and clear information about what the survey is about. Be sure to avoid these four deadly sins:

  • Long words
  • Long sentences
  • Many sentences
  • Exaggerated wording

Keep it short and your online survey invitation will be read. It is always best to delete any word that is not absolutely necessary.

Tip 3: A personal invitation to the online survey works wonders

Does a “Dear Sir or Madam” make you feel personally addressed? No. “Hello Ms. Smith”? That is quite a different story altogether. The addressee immediately notices that this is a personal invitation. The prerequisite for this is, of course, that you have a database with names. There are a number of tools for sending out personalized invitations that can make your work noticeably easier.

Tip 4: Precise information regarding the goal, scope and duration of the online survey

Nothing is worse for an online survey than an uncompleted questionnaire. Many respondents to the online survey click themselves away when completion of the survey involved is more time consuming than expected. You can avoid respondents dropping out of the survey by letting them know at the beginning what is being asked and how much time they have to invest. It is therefore important to explain this right from the start:

  • What is the online survey about?
  • How many questions will have to be answered?
  • How long will it probably take to answer the questions?

If the potential respondent to the online survey is aware of this, he or she has a sound basis for deciding whether or not to participate.


You can quickly find respondents for your online survey in the crowd at clickworker.

Recruit survey participants now!

Tip 5: Personal data requested?

Transparency is the be-all and end-all on the Internet. This also applies to online surveys. Anyone who is asked to reveal personal data while taking part in an online survey feels blindsided. It is therefore advisable to inform your potential online survey participants at an early stage what personal data may be collected. This creates trust and makes itself felt with a significantly lower drop-out rate.

Tip 6: Be friendly

Friendliness opens doors. But some wordings do not go down well with potential respondents. These are for example sentences like the following:

  • “Please answer the questions by XX.XX.XX.”
  • “You have been selected to participate in the online survey.”
  • “Your participation is required for a reliable result.”

Be careful to avoid any wording that even gives the impression that the addressee has no choice in the matter. The important thing is to convey that you are glad that the person you are addressing is taking part in the online survey and that you appreciate it.

Tip 7: Small gifts increase the number of respondents to the online survey

Incentives – this term stands for small extras to encourage the willingness to take action. Offer small gifts to online survey respondents. These can be vouchers, bonus points or access to a premium area on a website.

If you do not have an incentive program, simply advertise with indirect benefits. For example, emphasize that the online survey is about improving a product. This is rewarding for the online survey participants as well.

Tip 8: Look it up in the dictionary

Good spelling is a sign of seriousness, competence and education. Spelling mistakes are painfully conspicuous. Therefore, be sure to check spelling, punctuation and grammar before sending out invitations for the online survey. It is very helpful to have your text double-checked by a colleague.

Tip 9: Last but not least, remember to include General Data Protection Regulations

Online surveys must include GDPR. Online survey respondents must know what happens to their data. Including the data protection regulations as an attachment, PDF or link not only complies with legal requirements, but also creates trust.



Jan Knupper