Writing a survey introduction probably isn't something you think about very often. That is until you're looking at the first screen of your almost finalized survey thinking "I should put something here. But what?"
While a potentially overlooked piece of the survey creation process, a good survey introduction is critical to improving survey completion rates and ensuring that the responses you receive are accurate. Taking the time to think about what information to include in your introduction can have a big impact on the success of your survey.
What is a Survey Introduction?
A survey introduction is the block of text that precedes the questions of your survey. It might be included at the top of an email requesting feedback or be the first slide in a series of questions. The survey introduction serves to set the stage for what the survey is, why the recipient should take the time to complete it, and what you're going to do with the information you collect. It should be compelling, informative, and reassuring.
How to Write a Survey Introduction
Start by thinking about the purpose of this survey. Who will be taking the survey? What information do you need for the project to be successful? Distill this information down into a sentence or two for your audience. Some examples may include:
- We're looking for feedback on our new product line for men.
- Tell us about your recent customer service experience.
- We're revamping our spring menu! What do you want for dinner?
Secondly, follow up with any logistical information they need to know about the survey. How many questions is it? When does the survey end? Who should they contact if they have additional questions? This might sound something like:
- This 5 question survey will take around 10 minutes to complete.
- Click below to access the short, two-question survey. For further information or feedback, please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This survey will be open until April 24th, 2022. Please take 5 minutes to provide your feedback before that time.
Finally, reassure the survey participants that their data is safe, and offer any information about how the survey data will be used:
- Your answers are anonymous and will be used to improve our future customer service strategy.
- Responses will be anonymized and analyzed for our upcoming report on consumer perception of insurance companies in the US. Please leave your email address if you'd like to receive a copy of the finished report.
- We read every response to our customer happiness surveys, and follow-up to make sure you're left with a positive experience.
No matter what you include in your survey introduction, make sure to keep it concise and as short as possible. Too long, and you risk readers dropping off and not completing your survey. It's also important to keep your survey messaging on-brand. If you typically use a brand voice that's quite corporate, switching to a conversational tone in your survey introduction will feel out of place. It might even make some readers question if the survey is truly coming from your company - causing distrust in its authenticity.
Finally, thank your respondents for their time. Even if their responses are negative, the fact that they're engaging with your survey is a great indicator of their loyalty. Customers will not take the time to provide feedback to companies they don't care about. Here are some phrases you can use to show your appreciation:
- This feedback is very helpful for our team in developing new features. Thank you so much for taking the time to complete this survey.
- We read every comment you leave on these surveys, so thank you for your feedback!
- We truly appreciate your insight and your time.
Want to make sure you've got it all covered? Save this checklist of the most important aspects to include in the survey introduction:
- How long will it take? (Minutes or number of questions)
- Why are you doing this survey?
- Why should they fill it out? Is there a giveaway for respondents (such as a draw for a $50 Amazon card) or another incentive to complete it?
- What are you going to do with the results? Are they anonymous?
- When does the survey close? What is the overall timeline?
- Are there any definitions or things they need to know before filling out the survey?
- Where should they go if they have questions or more feedback?
- Thank your participants for their time and feedback.
- Any additional information they need to fill out the survey with good, accurate data
Good Survey Introduction Examples
These survey introductions hit all the right notes. Read on for inspiration and additional tricks on how to write your own!
1. Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA)
- This intro is clear about how long the survey will take so customers can set expectations. Even though this is a longer survey, SORCA is upfront about it, suggests grabbing a beverage, and tells recipients how long the survey will be open for if they want to schedule a time to do it later.
- Mountain bikers in Squamish are passionate about their sport, so this survey introduction is very compelling. By seeking input before creating their four-year strategic plan, the team at SORCA is definitely going to receive a bunch of valuable feedback from opinionated members of the community.
- TextExpander offers customers a way to contact them if they need help or have additional feedback outside of the scope of the survey. This makes customers feel like the company is there for them.
- It's clear from the survey introduction that these responses are anonymous, so respondents can be as direct as they want.
- Adding a definition to the survey introduction makes it more likely that respondents will provide helpful information. If they don't meet the criteria or don't understand the terminology in the survey, your data will be flawed.
- This survey also offers respondents the opportunity to get a free copy of the report that the survey will be used for. This can provide an added incentive for customers to complete the questionnaire, and potentially make them feel more comfortable about what the data is going to be used for.
4. Scott's Cheap Flights
- Keep it short! If there's no need for lots of additional information, don't make your respondents read a lot before the survey.
- Be clear about what the survey is for. Scott's Cheap Flights research team is clear about wanting feedback on future features.
The Importance of a Good Survey Introduction
Customers aren't obligated to offer their opinion. Any feedback that they provide should be treated as a gift: they took time out of their busy schedule to interact with your company and offer valuable data. Keep this in mind as you're creating your survey. Keep the introduction short and helpful, and give your respondents a reason to want to complete the survey. When it's well written, your survey introduction is a pivotal part of your survey strategy!