Survey Respondents — I’m Despondent!

According to my Research Methods courses and expert John Creswell, there are best practices to getting your survey out there and obtaining a maximum response rate.  Well, my survey is in the universe right now and I anxiously wait for replies to little avail. 

I have built a relationship with my participants by offering incentives over several, seven to be exact, months.  They know about the study, and over forty people at some point in time replied that they would participate.

Out of 774 people who opted in to the program, 13 have replied to a multiple-choice survey.  I did not leave off a zero.  That is thirteen.  My next step, according to John Creswell and his research methods, is to send out a postcard style reminder in the next day or two. 

Last, I will send out a personalized not to those who did not open it.  Some people have entered their “username” instead of a first and last name as requested with their email address, so if you are getting personal, go through your list by hand instead of the auto sort to fill out “To First Name” field.  You don’t want a “Dear HotRod85” coming from your email address. 

I have looked at other methods to get replies to surveys that are outside the scope of scholarly research, and some of them conflict with issues that the IRB will flag.  From what I can tell, however, personalizing a survey is a good one as well as including one link only – the one to your survey.

Free stuff, at least in my case, has not made a difference.  Of the thirteen people who filled out the survey, and got the link to $70 of free downloads, only one clicked on the link to download.  I can’t decide if my next approach will be “help me, I’m trying to get a doctorate here” or “this is all multiple choice, 15 minutes max.”   

I filled out the last survey I was got in the mail with a wish on a star that people would fill out mine… not necessarily a chapter in the Research Methods text. 


Let me know what you do to get your audience to participate in these surveys! 

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