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What’s the Best Time to Send a Survey

Best Time to Send a Survey

Ever wondered why some surveys succeed in getting the highest response rate while others often go unopened and unattended?

No points for guessing the answer.

While multiple factors impact the response rate, timing is one of the most important ones. Timing determines whether a survey sits in the inbox forever or manages to catch a customer’s attention.

In a world where organizations are vying for customer attention, pulling all stops to learn about what customers think about their brand, products, and services, how do you make your survey stand out?

Time it right!

Find that perfect moment when the chances of customers completing your survey are the highest. But it’s easier said than done. This blog is here to help you find the best time to send a survey and elicit genuine customer feedback that can help your business flourish.
Let’s get started.

What is the Best Time to Send a Survey & Get Maximum Responses?

If you send surveys at an inopportune time, be ready to receive no response, or worst, inaccurate answers. On the contrary, the right survey timing can substantially improve your survey completion rate.

It is challenging to find that one magical moment to send surveys. Worry not. We are here to help you out. Read on to explore the various ways you can shoot your surveys at the most appropriate time.

On the Basis of Research

GetResponse analyzed a whopping 4 Billion emails sent between July 2018 and December 2018 across the globe and various industries. Here are some interesting insights from the analysis:

1. Less is More. An email sent one to five times in a week has a 20 – 34% open rate on average. On the contrary, when emails are sent, say, 15 times a week, the click-through rate drops to 2%.

Experian Marketing Services also analyzed the best time to send surveys, and here is what its research reveals:

2. Saturdays have the lowest email volume but the highest open rate.

3. Sunday has the highest click rate, but its open rate is similar to those on weekdays.

sending survey on weekends

Source: Experian Information Solutions

While most studies advise not sending out surveys on Weekends, Experian’s research shows the opposite. This is a sign that determining the best days to send surveys is not such a good idea, as what works for X company might not work for Y.

Convertful carried out a similar study in 2019, which showed that the best time for emails in the professional services industry, e-commerce, and Saas is 10 a.m, 12 p.m, and 2 p.m respectively.

This is a strong sign that the best time to send surveys depends a lot on the industry you are into, which brings us to our next point.

On the Basis of Your Industry & Target Audience

The best time to send out a survey depends largely on the industry you work in and the audience you cater to.

For example, if your target audience is accountants, March and April are the months you would not want to send the survey. We all know why. It is the busiest time for accountants as they are loaded with tax-related work.

On the contrary, if your audience is college-going students, the best time to send surveys is during their summer or winter break, when they are free from school work and have the time to look at your surveys.

Suppose you want to target people in the travel and hospitality industry, winter is not the ideal time to do so. Winter holidays are when most people take a vacation, which makes the travel and hospitality industry one of the busiest. Sharing surveys at this time would mean your email is bound to get lost in the heaps of other important emails.

All this proves that your industry and target audience matters the most. You’ve to adjust the survey timing accordingly to get most respondents to take your survey.

Day of the Week

Which weekday is the best to send surveys?

That’s a difficult question to answer. Based on our experience, here’s what we think about the best day time to send that email blast to your audience. It worked for us, so it might work for you too.

Let’s start with Mondays first. Monday is, undoubtedly, the busiest and most stressful day of the week. There is a lot that people have to do on a Monday, especially in the morning. They have their priorities, personal and office work, and what not. So, ideally, sending a survey on Mondays is a big No.

But if you see the positive side, Mondays are the days when inboxes are usually empty, thanks to the preceding weekend. If you want to send the survey and get your surveys completed on a Monday, ensure that you send it in the second half of the day, ideally at noon.

Tuesdays are the days when people start getting in action, coming out of their relaxing zones. Most people are active on this day, so yes, Tuesday is good for sending surveys.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, people are wrestling with deadlines and working hard to meet them. Expect a delay in response if you are sending a survey on one of these days. Late afternoon is the best time to send surveys on Wednesdays and Thursdays as by this time people are usually done with high priority or urgent work and can take out time for filling surveys.

Next comes the Friday feedback surveys.

Most people working in organizations are in a rush to complete the work at hand on Friday and start the weekend early in the evening. People are usually in a relaxed mood on Fridays, so there are substantial chances of your survey receiving the attention it deserves. The trick to getting your survey noticed on this day is to send it as early as possible, ideally in the morning.

Regardless of how lucrative the idea of sending surveys on Saturdays and Sundays might sound, it’s best to stay away from it. Weekends are for the family, so people are less likely even to notice your surveys on these days.

Key Takeaway – The best days for sending surveys are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Mondays, people are usually recovering from the weekend and planning the week ahead, they are simply not in the mood for surveys.

If Friday surveys look like an ideal option, think again. On Fridays, the weekend mood creeps in, and people are in a hurry to wrap up their work, so there are chances of noticing or completing the survey. This leaves us with three days – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when you can try your luck.

Hour of the Day

Another question that haunts businesses is deciding which hour is the best to send surveys.

To achieve higher response rates for email surveys created with survey software, consider both days and hours of the week.

We went through various research studies, and this is what they reveal:

  • Email open and click rate is high after midday and even higher when people finish their work hours.
  • 3 p.m to 6 p.m is a favorable time for sending out surveys on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • According to MailChimp, email open rates are good between 2 p.m to 8 p.m.
  • MailerMailer thinks that click rates are highest, around 6 in the evening, ten at night, and at midnight.

In a nutshell, the response rate for email surveys is good when they are sent in the later part of the day. At this time, people are done with most of the work and have time to go through the surveys.

Mistakes to Avoid While Sending Surveys

Sending surveys at the right moment is tricky. You might end up making mistakes in the process that can cost you dearly in the form of unopened and unseen surveys.

Knowing about these mistakes beforehand will help you keep a considerable distance from them and take every action carefully.

Here are the common mistakes that can hit your survey game badly.

Sending Surveys During the Weekend

Imagine you are unwinding with your friends and family at home or somewhere else, after a hectic week at work, and while you are having your best time, an email pops up and stares at you from your phone’s screen, asking you to fill out an XYZ survey.

What would you do?

Well, don’t we all already know what we would do in such a situation?

We will swipe it away without even caring to look at what the email contains. Weekends are for fun, and no email has the right to ruin them.

Sending surveys during the weekends is a perfect recipe for pushing away potential respondents.

Forget about people filling your surveys, they are less likely to even open the email in their leisure time. The unopened email sits in the inbox, and when Monday comes, it gets lost in a large number of work emails. Competing with more urgent emails is tough, and your survey invite clearly doesn’t stand a chance to get noticed.

Sending Surveys on Holidays

Starting with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and ending at New Year – this is the holiday season everyone waits for eagerly. This is the time when the last thing people want is to be disturbed with a survey email.

This is a bad time to send surveys, so do yourself a favor and stay away from the urge to bug people at this time of the year. Even if you send surveys, it’s going to do you no good. The chances of people even looking at the surveys are little to zero, forget about filling them. All it will cost you is your valuable time and effort, and give absolutely no returns in the end.

Not just this, even single-day holidays are not a good time to send survey invites. Most people club the single holiday and the weekend to go on a vacation, so sharing surveys at such times and hoping for a response is not such a great idea.

To get maximum survey responses and accurate information, consider waiting for some time and shooting surveys when your audience is back from the holiday mode and start checking their emails regularly.

Achieve Maximum Response & Quality Answers by Timing Your Surveys Right

Finding the exact day and time that guarantee timely survey completion and quality responses is difficult.

There are numerous studies regarding what time and day are ideal for sending surveys, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Regardless of which survey you want to create – customer feedback survey , employee feedback survey, or customer satisfaction survey, you’ve to experiment and see what really works for you. But following some standard rules does no harm.

For example, it’s obvious that sending surveys on weekends or holidays is a waste of time and effort. We all know how unenergetic and hectic Mondays can be, so again – not a good time for sending surveys. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the days when people are in the work mode, which means sending surveys on these days can lead to a high click and open rates.

But, even this can’t be generalized for all businesses. It depends mainly on your target audience and industry. Therefore experimenting is important to come up with the time and day that best suits your business.

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About the author

Emma David is a seasoned market research professional with 8+ years of experience. Having kick-started her journey in research, she has developed rich expertise in employee engagement, survey creation and administration, and data management. Emma believes in the power of data to shape business performance positively. She continues to help brands and businesses make strategic decisions and improve their market standing through her understanding of research methodologies.