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Complete Web Monitoring by Sean Power, Alistair Croll

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Encouraging Participation

When you’re running a VOC study, you will be interested in three things:

The response rate

How many visitors receive an invitation (either recruited by email or intercepted by pop up) and accept it, arriving at the survey.

The start rate

How many visitors, once presented with the survey, start it. Some visitors will forget they agreed to participate in the survey and close it, while others may change their minds upon learning more about it.

The completion rate

How many visitors who, having started the survey, finish it.

Your goal, of course, is to maximize all three of these.

Getting Great Response Rates

One of the biggest challenges in web surveys is soliciting participation from the right respondents. To begin with, invitations to participate in a web survey get fewer responses than other forms of survey. In 2007, Lozar Manfreda et al. conducted a metastudy that looked across 45 separate studies. Their paper, titled “Web Surveys versus Other Survey Modes – A Meta-Analysis Comparing Response Rates” (International Journal of Market Research 50, no. 1; 79–104), showed that, on average, web-based surveys got an 11 percent lower response rate than other survey modes such as phone or email.

A higher response rate means that your survey results are more representative of your visitors in general. It also means fewer interrupted visitors (since you don’t have to ask as many in order to get the number of responses you want). So, you should strive for the best possible response ...

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