Five data tips to boost your response rate

5 Helpful Data “Dos” that will Increase Your Response Rate

After defining your target audience and knowing what questions you want to answer, how will you boost your response rate while ensuring quality data? These do’s will help your organization get there!

In previous blog posts, we have explored common data myths and strategies to improve your data collection process. However, reaching who you need to is also important. If you get your target audience, your effort, time, and money will be well-spent. Furthermore, your results will reflect your population more accurately, and your organization can make effective data-driven decisions to grow or improve.

These “dos” will help boost your response rate and ensure quality data. 

1. Do Ask a Screening Question 

Sometimes, surveys reach audiences that you do not need to hear from. This can lead to participants who have never used your product or program or bots abusing the system. Including a screening question will save time and money and allow your evaluator to exclude unusable responses. For example, if you plan to survey veterans who have utilized your program, ask a question at the beginning of the survey that confirms they are a military veteran. Screening questions will help ensure you obtain data from your target audience only. Additionally, bots typically struggle to provide meaningful responses when they are open-ended.

2. Do Provide an Incentive 

Our time is important and finite, so how will your company get participants to give you more of their time? Providing an incentive to participate in your research has been shown to increase participation. There are different types of incentives to consider. When deciding what kind of incentive to use, it is essential to consider your target audience. What does your audience want? Suppose your audience is teenagers in high school. In that case, an incentive such as a grocery store gift card may not be as enticing as an Amazon gift card. Incentives can help your organization reduce time engaging participants and maximize your responses.

3. Do Use Multiple Methods 

There is more than one way to collect data! Some of the most common data collection methods are Focus Groups, Interviews, Observations, and Surveys, and all can help your response rate. Your organization’s data collection method could differ depending on your target audience and what you want to answer. One method may only work for some participants or only partially answer your questions. Different methods will help ensure that you get the complete picture of what your organization is asking and have quality data to make data-informed decisions.

4. Do Create a Catchy Invitation! 

Sometimes, that first invitation sent to participants goes directly to junk email. If your invitation to participate is personal and catchy, it will encourage more people to participate! Consider whether you can make it simple and direct so participants can quickly complete it. Additionally, follow-up communication is also important. Pay attention to who has responded and who hasn’t. Create a follow-up plan; this may be a second email, a letter, a text message, or even a phone call. We will explore follow-up options in an upcoming blog post. 

5. Do Pivot if Needed to Enhance your Response Rate

Unexpected speedbumps can pop up when you are doing an evaluation. Maybe the emails you sent to 300 clients only received ten responses. You may need to identify different ways to reach your target audience. If you continue to do the same thing, you will get the same results. Each target audience is different. Make sure to pay attention to the methods you try and how they perform. If they are not working, don’t be afraid to pivot!

Have more questions about data collection “dos” to improve your response rate? 

Using these tips can help improve your response rates. If you still have questions, reach out to REC for support! We can provide tailored support to help your organization improve your data collection!


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Related Posts:

4 Dos and Don’t for Creating Youth Surveys

Demystifying Research and Evaluation 

Data Best Practices – 2023 Blog Series 

Equitable Evaluation (EE)

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