Response Rate

You may be wondering what a good response rate is for your survey. In general, it makes no sense to speak of an “average response rate”. Response rates typically vary from 1% to 50%, or sometimes even higher.

A general rule of thumb is that the more engaged a visitor is on your website, the more likely he or she is to answer a few questions. For example, an exit survey (shown at exit intent) is likely to have a smaller response rate (5-15%) than a survey that is shown after a conversion, like a purchase or a reservation (often 30% or higher). Also, a survey that is shown to all visitors on your homepage is likely to have a smaller response rate than a survey that is precisely targeted at certain visitors.

Other factors that influence the response rate are the phrasing and type of question on the first survey page. Free-form text questions typically have a lower response rate than a closed question with some fixed choices. This doesn’t mean that you always should prefer a fixed choice question over an open question, since open questions often lead to much more valuable insights.

We recommend taking an iterative approach to surveying. For example, in the first iteration you can ask an open question to many visitors (e.g. “What could we improve about our website?”). When you have enough responses for a meaningful analysis you can distill some fixed choices from the answers and create a new survey for them, possibly adding an “other” choice with a free-form text field. In a later iteration you can then use the knowledge acquired in the previous ones to design the survey even more to your needs and target it more narrowly to the visitors that you want to reach.
Using such an iterative approach you may expect that the response rate increases with each iteration.