How to Calculate Email Response Rate Surveys for Research

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E-mail is now the preferred method for conducting surveys for research. Sending surveys through e-mails elicits a quick response. This reduces the time taken to plan and conduct the survey and also the time required to collate information and arrive at a conclusion. If you know your population and the number of responses, calculating e-mail response rate is easy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Survey population size
  • Detailed numbers in terms of responses

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  1. 1

    Gather the necessary information with regard to your survey. This includes the total cost of the survey, the number of questions on the survey and the total number of e-mails that were distributed.

  2. 2

    Find the number of e-mails that bounced back from the email address of the recipient. Deduct this number from the total number of e-mails sent as it would not apply towards calculation of response rate.

  3. 3

    Gather and divide the surveys in terms of completed, partially-completed, clicked-through or opened and delivered but not opened. While the final survey rate is only calculated using completed survey forms, the remaining data is also necessary for the final reporting.

  4. 4

    Calculate the response rate for completed surveys using the following formula:

    Number of Surveys Completed / Number of participants e-mailed = Response rate.

    For example, if you sent out 200 e-mails and received a total of 40 responses with completed surveys, your survey response rate would be:

    40 / 200 = 0.2 * 100 = 20%

    Similarly calculate the response rate for partially-filled surveys.

  5. 5

    Calculate your average response rate by deriving an average from the total completed surveys and partially-completed surveys.

    Total completed survey rate + partially-completed survey rate / 2 = Average survey rate

    For example: (20% + 18%) / 2 = 19 per cent

Tips and warnings

  • Different surveys will have different response rates. The guide above takes into account only completed or partially- completed survey responses to calculate an average response rate.
  • If your survey is based on just the click-through rate, you should calculate your e-mail response rate by taking into account the number of e-mails that were opened and the number of respondents who clicked through to the URL mentioned in the email.
  • For e-mail surveys, 40 per cent response is considered an average response rate, 50 per cent is a good response rate, and 60 per cent is considered to be very good response rate.

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