How to Design Better Survey Invitations
Of all the many components that need to come together for great research, one piece not often discussed is the art and science of getting people into your study. Recruiting respondents is part targeting, part persuasion, and part persistence. For researchers, it is probably the closest thing we do to actual marketing. In the Versta Research Summer Newsletter, A Snazzy Revamp of Survey Invitations, we show you a new template designed with careful attention to elements of content, layout, and user design that can make or break the success of a survey.
Here are four tips to guide you if you need to create a similar template for your own work:
- Put crucial information “above the fold.” Your survey invitation needs to tell people right away who you are and what you are asking them to do. No windups, no tedious history, no beating around the bush. Tell them what the survey is about, how long it takes, and what they will get in exchange for doing it.
- Offer a quick and easy call to action. Keep in mind your primary objective, which is to get a click-through to your survey. Make a big, beautiful button that says “Take Survey” and place it so that it is one of the first things that a recipient reads. Avoid offering up a plain URL link until later in your invitation (which you should offer as an option).
- Lay out lots of details … later on. Your instinct to include too much information is a good one. There are additional details you must include and that some recipients want to review before agreeing to participate. This includes information about who qualifies for the survey, and how the information is going to be used. Lay out all these details strategically (and beautifully) below the fold of your invitation.
- Use good design. Take a look at current websites and other e-mail marketing you receive to get a feel for current styles and graphical standards. For example, our template uses color shading to create regions instead of lines, and it uses simple flat icons for imagery. We also recommend using pre-header text at the top of an invitation to tailor a quick message for recipients who see the invitation in preview mode.
The quality and care that you put into survey invitations will definitely pay off with higher response rates. Try replicating what we have done, and then start customizing it for your own needs.