Response Rates to Expect from Web-Based Surveys and What to Do About It
This article reports research that calculated the response rates of 84 Web-based surveys deployed over 33 months. Response rate varied by survey type: (1) Meeting/Conference Evaluations - 57%; (2) Needs Assessments - 40%; (3) Output/Impact Evaluations - 52%; (4) Ballots - 62%. Having a high survey response rate is critical. When resources permit, reduce non-response error. Considering cost versus benefit, a less than optimum (85%) response rate for needs assessments/conference evaluations may not be critical. A breadth and depth of respondent reactions will provide much information for program development. Dealing with non-response error for program/impact will generate the most value.