Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Online survey drop-outs

The online survey platform, SurveyMonkey, examined 100,000 surveys to determine how the length of the survey affects the drop-out rate.

They looked at surveys with lengths ranging from 1 question to 50 questions. The following graph shows the drop-out rate by number of survey questions.

Source: SurveyMonkey

It shows that people drop out at every point. Even 5-question surveys have drop-outs. The data also shows that the drop-out rate increases with every additional question. The rate of dropping out tapers off for longer surveys. This may be because longer surveys may be aimed at 'captive' audiences (e.g. employees), or specialist audiences who are well-prepared (e.g. technical surveys), or surveys with incentives (e.g. panels).

Some implications:
  • Keep your survey as short as possible
  • Make sure every additional question is worth the loss of some responses
  • Use skip logic to allow respondents to skip questions that don't apply to them.

Source: SurveyMonkey blog.

Posted by Gillian Savage