The Best Time to Send a Survey

Having done everything to perfect your survey, you’ll want to achieve the best possible response rate after sending it.

From your survey length and your respondent’s profile type to your distribution method and the time you send your survey. There are many factors that can influence how many people complete your survey.

However, for the purposes of this blog piece, we’ll be exploring whether there’s an ideal window for issuing a survey. And we’ll examine whether a specific day and time, is more likely to generate a better response rate than others.

While addressing some important considerations, we’ll also look at the types of audience you’re most likely to send surveys to. This is important as each will have different requirements and preferences about what would entice them to complete your survey.

Important points to consider

When it comes to different audience types that businesses are more likely to target with their survey, these predominately fall into four main groupings – consumer customers (B2C), business customers (B2B), staff and those targeted for market research purposes.

These audience groups are typically defined as follows:

B2C customers

Business-to-consumer. This model focuses on businesses selling their products and services directly to the consumer, with no middle person involved.

B2B customers

In contrast, the business-to-business model focuses on business conducted between companies. This could involve anything from the transaction between a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer.

Employees

Another key audience for businesses to communicate with is their very own employees. As one of the company’s greatest assets, it’s important to keep them happy, engaged and productive. The feedback from surveys offers businesses one of the best ways of achieving this.

Market research

Businesses may also look to target a wider range of audience groups for market research purposes. This could involve anything from trying to better understand their likes and dislikes, to their attitudes, behaviours and habits. And in doing, helping to improve how they market and sell products and services to their key stakeholders.

It can also be useful to think about the devices used by the different audiences, as that can have a bearing on when they’re most likely to view different content. For example, business customers are more likely use desktops and laptops, as opposed to consumers who are more likely view content on smartphones and tablets, which could affect the time of day that they choose to do this. In addition, email tends to be the most popular distribution method for B2B surveys, as opposed to a much wider range of methods including SMS for the B2C audience.

It’s important to be aware of these differences, as all these factors and preferences can make a difference in terms of the days and times when you’d be more likely to have success in engaging these different groups.

The best day to send a survey

Having looked at the different audience types, we can now examine each group individually. We’ll assess the best days for sending surveys under each approach.

B2C customer surveys

When it comes to business to consumer surveys, the general consensus from a mixture of research sources is that Mondays are generally the best day for sending out a customer questionnaire.

B2B customer surveys

Similarly, Mondays are also popular for business audiences, along with other strategic times on different days later in the week.

Employees

Interestingly Mondays are a favoured time for staff too. Research highlights 13% more responses on average if a survey is issued on a Monday, compared with other days. The general consensus being that employees and other the stakeholder groups, are less likely to be overwhelmed with work and therefore more likely to set aside time in their day to complete a survey at the beginning of the week.

Market research surveys

It’s harder to suggest an ideal time for administering a market research survey, as there’s many more factors to consider. Not only can the audiences you’re targeting transcend a much wider set of stakeholder groups than consumers, business customers and employers, but so can the issues you’re trying to get answers to. This could involve anything from competitive analysis, brand awareness, concept evaluation and pricing research surveys, to ad concept and product testing surveys and more.

When it comes to online market research, there’s also a much wider range of ways to distribute your surveys. So, it’s really about testing, then finding the ideal time to meet your own particular audience needs.

The best time of day to send a survey

Besides an ideal day, evidence also suggests there can be a best time of day to issue surveys. However, again this will depend on the audience you’re trying to reach out to.

B2C customer surveys

Generally, response rates tend to be higher for surveys that issued during 9am – 5.30pm working hours. However, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you consider that surveys sent during working hours, often get mixed in with other emails and can therefore be more easily skipped and ignored. In addition, if they’re distributed using another medium such as an SMS, the recipients are unlikely to see them until they view their smartphone outside working hours.

B2B customer surveys

While Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are viewed as the most successful days for issuing a survey, particularly by email, there are some key times when it’s best to send a survey.

Research suggests before 10am and then around 2pm, when workers return from lunch as strong times to send a survey.

Employee surveys

Given that you’re also targeting staff at work, the best times for sending surveys will mirror the B2B survey audience.

So, if you’re looking to issue an HR survey and want to maximise staff engagement, try experimenting with these times.

Market research surveys

Similar to the issues we discussed earlier about market research surveys, it’s difficult to suggest an ideal time of day for issuing them. This is due to the many factors you need to consider with these types of surveys.

Once again testing the times you send your survey, then identifying the ideal time to meet your own audience needs is key.

Special cases

Having explored some of the most common audiences, you’re likely to send a survey to, there are some additional cases that it’s useful to consider.

NPS survey

The Net Promoter Score ® survey is a popular and valuable survey for evaluating stakeholder happiness with what you offer. While for customers this involves measuring their satisfaction with your business, products or services, with staff you’ll focus on their contentment with working for your organisation.

The NPS survey also looks to measure happiness by assessing stakeholders’ loyalty with the following question.

For customer groups:

“On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend [our company] [our product] [our service] to a friend or colleague?

For employees:

“On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend our organisation as a place to work?

It’s great for enabling organisation’s to assess the happiness of different stakeholder groups, at key stages of their journey with them. This then allows them to take any necessary actions they need to improve.

Event feedback survey

Lastly, a further special case to think about is the event feedback survey. It’s a useful survey to explore, as events are great for reaching out and engaging consumer, business and employee audiences. They’re also beneficial for market research purposes too.

By running pre-event, mid-event and post-event surveys the stakeholder feedback you can collect, can be extremely valuable in helping you improve and maximise the success of any future events that you host.

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