Put A Stopper In Your Survey Abandonment Rates

Is there anything more frustrating than when you see that 1000 people have started to answer your important survey…but only 600 actually completed it?

Why is it that your respondent are quitting half way through your questions? Survey abandonment is a common problem that surveyors encounter.

Whilst you can never ensure a 0% abandonment rate, there are some tips and tricks you can apply to your survey to increase the chances of respondents seeing your survey through to the very end.

Survey Length

The longer the survey, the higher the abandonment rate so try to keep your survey as short as possible. A customer feedback surveys for example shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to fulfill.

Depending on your survey topic or type, you can acceptably have a survey as long as 1 minutes to complete (especially if you have an incentive to keep your respondent enthusiastic and also let them know beforehand how long your survey will take).

Although 6 – 10 minutes can be an acceptable length, any longer than 11 minutes will likely increase your abandonment rates.

Question Types

The easiest question for your respondents to answer are quantities questions. By avoiding open questions where your respondents need to think harder and form their own answers, you are increasing the likelihood of survey fatigue.

Try to use questions types such as:

• Multiple Choice
• Ratings
• Rankings

If you alternate your question types (but not your question topics) you reduce the risk of your respondents becoming disengaged and unlikely to complete your survey.

Try to keep your questions simple and keep answer choices to a minimum.

Wording & Language

Make your questions as short as possible and avoid using technical jargon. If the person responding to the survey has to struggle to comprehend the question or gets confused by the wording, they are more likely to leave your survey incomplete.

Be very aware not to use leading questions unless you want to destroy the authenticity and sincerity of the data you get back. You don’t want to lead your respondents into answering a certain way based on the wording of the questions.


Asking irrelevant questions is the fastest way to create survey fatigue. If you don’t need to know the answer to a particular question, don’t waste your respondent’s time by asking!

Use branching questions in your survey to also ensure that only the relevant questions are displayed based on how a participant answers a given question.

Also, ensure you are sending your survey to the relevant audience only. If you are asking questions about a new product, only ask these questions to people who have bought or used it.


Using incentives to encourage people to answer your survey definitely works and can have a positive effect on your abandonment rates when used the right way (see Obsurvey’s Using Incentives The RIGHT Way article for more information)

Your respondent is more likely to complete your survey if they know that they will be rewarded for it at the end. Remember, your incentive does not need to be big to generate interest in your survey, but it does need to be relevant to your survey topic or company vision and goals.

Using the tips above will help you reduce your abandonment rates and make sure that you get the most full survey responses possible. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste and end the frustration of incomplete survey submissions.