Consequences of survey fatigue
Respondents who experience survey fatigue tend to provide poor survey responses with no depth or context or simply abandon the survey-taking process before it's completed.
The respondent also is less likely to return for future surveys and is more likely to have a negative perception of the business that sent out the survey. Meanwhile, you're left with low data quality that's not very useful or informative and doesn't contribute to your marketing and analytical efforts.
Chances are you've put a lot of work into your survey and want the best possible results. You can achieve this by not overwhelming your respondents and making it as easy as possible for them to complete the survey-taking process.
How to combat survey fatigue
Combating survey fatigue requires using best practices that don't wear out the respondent. That means keeping the survey short, asking clear questions, and offering incentives for the respondent.
The following tips can help you avoid survey fatigue from your respondents:
Shorten your survey length
The survey length depends on the subject matter, but generally, you want to keep them to about 10 minutes. This helps the respondent stay fresh and willing as the survey progresses. A status bar also helps avoid survey fatigue because the respondent knows how close they are to the finish.
Avoid asking repetitive questions
Some survey research methods encourage asking the same question in different ways to determine the truthfulness of the respondent. However, this can cause the respondent to get tired of answering the same question multiple times and feel like they're not making progress. This results in survey fatigue along with survey abandonment.
Keep your questions relevant
Make sure that the questions you're asking are related to the main topic of the survey. While you may want to ask a few demographic survey questions initially, try to get to the relevant questions as quickly as possible.
Including irrelevant questions can result in the respondent abandoning the survey or filling out incomplete answers. AI writing tools can help you create survey questions related to the topic so you can overcome survey fatigue.
Use simple language
Resist the urge to use large words or industry jargon as the survey questions are worked out. You're better off with a plain language explanation, even if it takes up more screen space than you would like.
Respondents have to think about their response, and they're more likely to get worn out if they have to put a lot of effort into something that's not supposed to take up a lot of their time.
Decrease survey frequency
Surveys are a great source of information, but if you're sending them out too frequently, you're most likely reducing the quality of the response from survey respondents. You can poll your customers to find out how frequently they'd like to take a survey in order to find the best time interval for all respondents.
Offering incentives to complete the survey can help you combat survey fatigue. People are more likely to engage with the survey if there's a benefit to pushing through and putting in their best answers.
Incentives can include a free trial period, a discount code, or a trial extension. The goal is to provide the respondents with something exciting they cannot receive unless they complete the survey.
Prevent survey fatigue and keep your audience engaged with quality surveys
Learning how to avoid survey fatigue doesn't have to be a trial-and-error process when you use these best practices during your survey design process. Instead, you can create a survey that keeps the respondent engaged from start to finish and delivers high-quality data as a result.
The data you collect from surveys help you create consumer profiles, determine your ideal demographic, and get customer opinions on how the business is doing.
At Mailchimp, we can help you create free online surveys that engage your customers and prevent survey fatigue from setting in. We can also help you grow your audience, create effective marketing campaigns, and track website metrics to learn more about who's looking at your website.
You can access all these things and more with Mailchimp's free resource library and marketing tools that show you how to map your path to success.