Data Beaver

How To Distribute and Get Survey Participation

8 mins read



The ability to make sound decisions is necessary for an organisation’s continued existence in today’s highly competitive business environment. For organisations to evaluate alternatives and make informed choices, they must have access to timely and reliable data with which to base their decisions.

Surveys are at the root of informed decisions for improved customer experience, business development, and also increased ROI. They help in uncovering answers to specific and relevant questions and are often the number one option used to get real feedback from customers.

In the article, how to create an effective survey, we mentioned that growing businesses are 21% more likely to prioritise customer success than those with stagnant or decreasing revenue. Surveys allow you to collect valuable insights into your customers and gain data about them in real-time to understand better what they want or need. Organisations that leverage and operationalise feedback within their business will reap the benefits and ultimately be able to differentiate themselves in the market.

One of the biggest obstacles to collecting actionable data from surveys is getting people to take it. To boost your survey response rates, you must ensure that you are reaching as many people as possible by utilising the most effective distribution method.

You can distribute your survey and also get significant participation from respondents by;

Using the right medium.

Not every distribution method is right for every survey. Tailoring the delivery of your survey to your customers’ prefered channel and meeting them where they are, enables them to respond to your survey with minimal effort.

It is essential to consider all the different ways that you can reach your respondent and match your survey to the distribution method. If a customer typically reaches out via live chat, send them a pop-up survey in the chat window after your support agent engages with them. If they usually opt for emails, a follow-up email with a survey link will get better results than a telephone call.

Participating in surveys typically takes some time, so when you are asking customers to take time out of their busy schedules to answer your questions, help them by taking down any barriers that will make it hard for them to deliver on that.

The demography of participants taking part in your survey will also help in deciding how best to contact them. You can decide on several options as listed below.

  • Emails

    If you want to survey your target market, one of the best ways to do so is by leveraging your existing client base. Emails have become the most popular online survey distribution method because they are easy to set up, automate, and personalise – to better connect with recipients.

    They have remained a top choice because they cost very little for distribution and they enable you to track the performance of your survey by revealing who has opened the email, clicked on a link, and filled the questionnaire. This way, you can send follow-up reminders to those who haven’t responded, thereby increasing the chances of survey completion.

    One of the tricks to getting higher open rates and higher response rates is also to test a variety of email subject lines. By experimenting or A/B testing survey subject lines, yours will be able to stand out from hundreds of other generic emails that people receive daily.

    Aim for subject lines that are personal, engaging, and attractive. Research conducted by Experian, a consumer reporting agency company, reports that personalised email subject lines had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more click-through rates. For example, “John, do you have 60 seconds to spare?” or “Please help us improve your experience, Mary” would be more compelling than “Complete our survey!”.

  • Social Media

    You can run surveys on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms of your choice. According to Statistica, in 2019, there were approximately 24.59 million social network users in Nigeria. This means that it has now become more accessible than ever to reach and engage with your audience on social media, as the adoption rates continue to rise and create diverse pools of respondents of almost any demographic.

    Social media is a great way to extend the reach of your survey as it allows your audience to share your survey link to increase its visibility quickly. It is a quick way to get a lot of respondents because it affords users the ability also to use paid advertising to promote content.

    Suppose you are looking to distribute your survey and don’t take advantage of social media as a survey tool, you will be missing out on a wealth of potentially relevant and significant responses.

  • Website

    Website surveys are a non-intrusive way of collecting feedback. If you have significant website traffic and are interested in hearing from people who are available and interested in your product or service, sharing your survey on your website or blog is a good option. This method of collecting feedback helps you kill two birds with a stone – you get valuable feedback from customers, and you also keep visitors longer on your site.

    With tools like DataBeaver, you can easily incorporate surveys onto your website by embedding forms and then generate a link to invite your website visitors to complete the survey. You can use surveys on specific pages to gather information about your audience’s general perception of your brand, feedback on a new product, or ways to improve their experience on your website.

  • SMS

    With mobile phone penetration rates exceeding 80% in developing countries, organisations have found it a reliable way of communicating with and collecting information from stakeholders. So, if your survey audience is heavy smartphone users, sending a survey as a text message allows you to grab their attention in the place, they spend most of their time – their mobile phones.

    The average response time for text messages, according to Digital Marketing Magazine, is 90 seconds. This is because people always have their mobile phones with them and are unlikely to miss messages.

    SMS surveys are also inexpensive to conduct and can be a quick way to gather feedback from your audience.

  • In-App

    If the majority of your consumers are mobile users, in-app surveys are also a quick way to reach them. They are perfect for figuring out who your users are, what they want and what is most important to them.

    In-app surveys give your customers a voice to aid your product roadmap because they help in gathering insights about the user experience of your app and other qualitative feedback from your users that could drive five-star reviews online.

    As brands increasingly use mobile apps to drive their businesses, in-app surveys will be valuable in engaging and understanding their userbase.

Offer incentives

If your survey response rates are low, and other strategies don’t work, including some incentives for users to complete your survey is an easy way to generate more feedback. It serves as a good source of motivation for respondents and increases your chances of getting higher response rates.

Types of survey incentives:

  • Monetary incentives: These are cash-driven offers. They come in the form of actual cash, gift cards, discounts, or coupons. Example: Get 30% off for telling us what you think. Respond to this survey and get a ₦5,000 gift card.

  • Non-monetary incentives: These include offers like gifts, premium subscription, or extended product trials. Example: Get a free t-shirt by taking the survey.

In a study conducted to estimate the effect of incentives on mail survey response rates, it was discovered that the average increase in response rates when offering incentives was 19.1% for monetary and 7.9% for non-monetary incentives.

When considering incentives, it is also worthy to note that rewards should speak to the interest of your audience, and also be as decent as possible because if your rewards are enormous and highly desirable, you may attract people who know little or nothing about your organisation and will result in gathering inaccurate data.

Engage Market Research Agents

Market research agencies offer services that help organisations gather a broad spectrum of relevant data that they need. The field service arm of these organisations provides data collection services by going into a market with research questions to collect answers.

They understand the business’ strengths, limitations, resources, and desired outcomes and engage with carefully selected respondents that fit the needs of the clients by asking specific questions via interviews, focus groups, observation, emails, telephone calls, SMS. They ensure that the group selected for the survey is representative of the data that they hope to acquire.

DataBeaver has an extensive network of trained agents in every local government area in Nigeria, and we work with organisations to recruit the best hands that can successfully carry out surveys or collect data that can be trusted in the shortest time possible, even reaching remote locations.

At DataBeaver, it is our mission to help businesses make informed decisions from insights gathered anywhere in the world – online and offline. Whichever way you want to put your survey out – email, SMS, on your website, in person, you need a reliable data collection tool or service that can help you achieve real success. Start creating your survey today on


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