How Many Questions Should I Ask In My Survey?

May 15, 2018

Wondering how many questions you should ask in your survey? We can help with that! Drive Research is a market research company that helps organizations across the country with market research needs. 

 

There are a variety of factors that determine the ideal survey length. This includes the research approach, type of survey, target audience, and survey objectives. For any type of market research survey, it is important to keep the survey respondent in mind. Remember, survey respondents are somewhat less invested in the survey than the sender of the survey. So, the goal is to get respondents' attention and keep them engaged throughout the survey to collect all of their feedback.

 

To keep respondents engaged and ensure a high survey response rate, be creative when developing your survey invite email or script. This means creating a short, yet enticing message to encourage respondents to start the survey. To do this, consider offering an incentive for participating in the survey (if appropriate). For most surveys that target general consumers a small reward, like the chance to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards, will encourage participation in the survey. 

 

Learn more about how many questions should be asked in market research surveys below.

 

 

Is there an ideal number of questions to ask in a survey?

The short answer is yes!  

 

 

Online Survey Questions

The length for a typical online survey is 15 to 20 questions. While that might sound like a small number of questions, an online survey with 15 to 20 questions will take respondents 3 to 5 minutes to complete.

 

There is some wiggle room, but take caution before increasing the number of questions in an online survey. The attention spans of general consumers is getting shorter, so surveys longer than 15 to 20 questions will likely have a high dropout rate. This means a survey respondent will close out of an online survey without actually finishing the survey.

 

Survey dropouts can be a big issue if the online survey software used for the survey does not collect partial responses. Some online survey software only collects data if the respondent reaches the end of the survey.

 

If the survey is being conducted on behalf a well-known, reputable brand you'll likely be able to ask roughly 20 questions. On the other hand, you'll want to aim to ask 15 questions or less if the organization the online survey is being conducted for is unknown or not mentioned.

 

Learn more about how an online survey works!

 

 

Employee Survey Questions

The ideal length for an employee survey is 20 to 35 questions, which will take employees 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Since employees have a direct tie to the organization and high interest in completing the survey, organizations are able to ask more questions than a typical online survey to general consumers.

 

Employee surveys typically use benchmarking questions, which make up the bulk of the survey. This allows organizations to compare the data collected to other organizations in its industry, its region, or of a similar size. Benchmarking question topics range from employee engagement to pay and benefits to work environment. Learn more about how to use employee survey benchmarks.

 

Also, remember to use a third-party market research firm when conducting an employee survey to ensure employees know their responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. 

 

 

Voice of Customer (VOC) Survey Questions

A VoC survey can include up to 15 to 20 questions. This will take customers up to 5 minutes to complete. Whether your organization is B2B or B2C keeping a VoC survey to 15 to 20 questions is ideal. 

 

This ensures respondents are not overwhelmed with the number of questions or time needed to complete the survey. If there is a struggle to limit the number of survey questions, revisit the research objectives to ensure they are clear and concise. Oftentimes, organizations get ahead of themselves and end up with a 50 question customer survey that will be overwhelming and cause respondent fatigue. 

 

Also, remember any data that is already collected, like customer relationship marketing (CRM) data, can be tied to customers' responses and used for analysis and reporting. Examples of this type of data could be company name, company size, ZIP code, date of last purchase, amount spent to date, and more. So, remember to not ask questions you already know the answer to!

 

Are there best VoC survey questions to ask? You bet! 

 

 

Intercept Survey Questions

Intercept surveys can include up to 10 questions. The goal for intercept surveys is to have the survey take less than 2 to 3 minutes to complete. It's important to keep intercept surveys as short as possible to ensure a high response rate.

 

Here again, it's important to keep the respondent top of mind. It can be difficult to approach someone and encourage them to complete a survey, but it can be even more difficult if the survey is more than a few questions and takes more than a few minutes to complete. Typically, intercept surveys are done in high traffic areas. This could include malls, waiting areas, or at the organization the research is being done on behalf of. 

 

Wondering how an intercept survey project is done? We've got you covered. 

 

 

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a market research company serving organizations across the United States. Want to learn more about our services? Or, do you have a question for us?

 

Feel free to contact us using the information below!

 

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