Increase your Response Rates by Avoiding these Data “Don’ts”

4 Data Don’ts to Avoid to Easily Increase Response Rates

In part one of our two-part series on Do’s and Don’ts to Increase Response Rates, we discussed 4 simple “dos” your organization can implement to increase response rates. This post will highlight some “don’ts” to avoid when completing a study.

In a previous blog post, we discussed 6 Solutions to Common Survey Mistakes when writing a survey, but what about when marketing? Again, it is vital to your organization to make sure you are reaching all of your target audiences and boosting your response rate to achieve the most accurate results possible.

The following “don’ts” will help improve response rates: 

1. Don’t Go In Without a Plan! 

When implementing a study for your organization, you must go in with a concrete plan. Do you need an external evaluator, or can your organization handle it? Remember, time is limited, and you want to ensure efficient efforts. REC can support your organization with planning your study from the ground up!

2. Don’t Only Use One Platform 

Your participants will often have different interests and demographics. After determining your target audience, you might need to use more than one channel to get your study to them. Some participants are easy to reach on social media, and others may require a phone call. Covering all your bases will ensure your organization can get more participants, which will help increase response rates.

3. Don’t be Unclear About Expectations 

Letting participants know how long a study could take will help them plan to complete it. Keeping it short will make it easier for participants to complete it. If it is longer, let them know so they can plan accordingly. This will prevent them from rushing through or not finishing, which could skew your results and ultimately waste your company’s time. Open your study with an estimate of how long it will take and include timing in the study to let them know how much they have left. 

4. Don’t Forget to Plan Your Timing

While it depends on the type of feedback you want to receive, generally, the more frequent and quicker you complete your study, the more accurate the answers will be. The longer time goes on in between, the easier memories or feelings will fade or change. If your organization wants the most accurate answers, utilize survey timing rules of thumb to help decide when to implement your study. Common types of studies are transactional feedback, relationship feedback, and consumer feedback. 

Timing’s impact on response rates in these studies:

Transactional Feedback: Immediate to 24 Hours 

If you want to know how a specific interaction went, such as the enrollment process for your organization, ask as soon as you can. This will help prevent your clients from forgetting details that could be important. You can boost response rates by asking your clients or customers immediately after the touchpoint before they exit your service. For example, if you open a new museum exhibit, having a survey ready for the visitors right after they leave the exhibit will make it easier for them to answer questions about the exhibit.

Relationship Feedback: Every 30-90 Days 

If you want to check in on how client’s experiences have been going while they continue to utilize your service or product, do this repeatedly. Don’t wait until a year later because this could cause clients to forget details that could be important to your study. You want to get clear pictures of what is going on so you can make accurate data-driven decisions. For example, if your service is ongoing therapy, you can have 90-day assessments that ask your clients how things are going. This can help you pivot quicker if needed and hopefully prolong your client’s experience.

Product Feedback: 1 Week to 1 Month After Use 

If your service or product is a one-time interaction, give the consumer time to use it on their own. For example, if your clients went to a class on how to grocery shop on a budget, give the consumer time to put what they learned into action. Maybe you want to ask them how the class was immediately and then check in about how they implemented what they learned and what could be better. This will give you feedback to change anything that could be better and give the client time to utilize what they gained from you. Consumers will have more detailed feedback and answers about a product after they use it on their own. 

Have more questions about data collection “don’ts” 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! 



Carpenter, A. (2023). How to Increase Survey Response Rates. Qualtrics. Link:

Chung, L. (2019). 16 Best Practices to Increase Survey Response Rates. Delighted. Link:

Shtivelband, A. (2015). Getting Things Done. Research Evaluation Consulting LLC. Link:

Shtivelband, A. (2019). When to Hire an External Evaluator – A Checklist! Research Evaluation Consulting LLC. Link:

Shtivelband, A. (2023). 6 Solutions to Common Survey Mistakes. Research Evaluation Consulting LLC. Link:


Related Posts: 

Data Collection in Practice: A Non-profit Case Study

4 Data Collection Methods – Pros and Cons 

6 Tips to Collect Quality Data 

How Tracking Time Increases It  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *