Survey completion rate

Survey completion rate definition

The survey completion rate is the number of people who started the survey and completed it (clicked the 'Submit' button) divided by the number of people who started answering.




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What's the difference between the survey completion rate and response rate?

When calculating the survey completion rate, the calculation only takes to account those people who had some interaction with the survey, meaning that they actually started it. We don’t count the number of people who were invited and ignored the invitation.

The survey completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who completed the survey by the number of people who started the survey. If 400 people start the survey, and 200 of them fill it out until the end, your completion rate would be 50%, since (200/400) x 100 = 50%.

The survey response rate is the number of people who answered the survey divided by the number of people you sent the survey to (the sample), then multiply that number by 100, since it is usually expressed in the form of a percentage.

If you sent a survey to 500 people, and 200 of them fill it out, your response rate would be 40%, since (200/500) x 100 = 40%

Tips for boosting your survey completion rate

  • Surveys that opened with a simple, multiple-choice question had a higher completion rate on average compared to surveys that began with an open-ended question. So on average, you’ll lose about 6 people out of every 100 just because the opening question seemed too much work.
  • Ask only what you need to know- It doesn't come as much of a surprise that longer surveys have lower completion rates. Why? Because the time needed to fill it out goes up. The chances of someone completing your survey are related to the number of questions. A 10 question survey has an 89% completion rate on average, 20 question surveys are slightly lower at 87%, followed by 30 question surveys at 85%.
  • Use skip logic – you can reduce the number of questions that respondents need to answer by creating rules so that they are only shown the questions relevant to them.
  • Make sure the layout is clear, user-friendly, and intuitive - anything that makes it more difficult for respondents, such as a font that is too small to read comfortably, can result in increased drop-outs.
  • Add some fun to the survey – check out our slot machine and scratch card questions to spice up the survey and keep respondents interested and moving through the survey!
  • Consider running a pilot study where respondents will go through your questionnaire and can give you feedback about the questions at the end. You could find out, for example, at which point they felt that the survey was getting too long, any questions that were worded in an unclear way, or that they felt were too taxing.

Sample size calculator

Looking to find how many responses you need? Check out our survey response rate calculator - see tip 8 in this blog post.

Get started with Survey Anyplace today! Log in and create your first assessment.

Vincent is the author of this solution article.

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