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Step-by-Step to Improved Surveys Research Response Rates

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Optimize Participant Receptivity to the Surveys
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Will Research Participants Welcome the Survey?

Courtesy Jayanta Behera, Photographer. Copyright August 19, 2008 Stock.xchng.

Surveys are an extra activity in the lives of surveys research participants. Giving some thought to when surveys are delivered to participants will go a long way toward increasing response rate. It is important to know enough about the survey sample to understand potential conflicts in their professional work schedules. It is also important to consider the time of the month and the day of the week when the surveys will be delivered to participants. Weekdays -- Tuesdays through Thursdays -- are the best days for participants to receive surveys, and they are the days that participants will most likely return completed surveys. It is very important to let survey participants know ahead of time that you are sending them a survey. Information about why the survey is being conducted and what will be done with the survey data should also be conveyed. Often, it is practical and effective to embed this information in a communication routinely received by the participant, or on the Web site they frequent. Survey participants are also going to want to know how long they can expect the survey to take and what safeguards will be in place to protect their privacy. Be sure to alert participants to avoid having their survey end up being treated as spam. Make the final invitation to participate in the survey as attractive as possible, and be sure that it connotes how easy and quick taking the survey will be for participants. Personalize your message and make it friendly.

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