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Most Americans are overloaded with ‘things to do,’ jumping from one task to the next. As if today’s over-booked family and work schedules are not frenetic enough, popular culture seems to support the fast pace with constant emailing, fast food drive-thrus, sound bites, text messaging and more. No wonder our heads are spinning and we’re losing sleep!

At The Sample Network, we are seeing the fall-out from this type of maximum overload lifestyle firsthand with people registered in our survey pools. We reached out to past respondents of one or more of our recent surveys to ask a new set of questions, questions that focused on their lack of participation. The overwhelming top two reasons for non-participation were “I was too busy to participate at the time” and “I don’t remember getting an email survey invitation.”  These two reasons alone accounted for more than 65-percent of the more than 2,500 return responses.

To break this down further, more than 33-percent of respondents reported that they were “too busy” to click through the survey link. This suggests that increasing the window for completion from 1 to 5 days to 7 to 10 day, in conjunction with follow-up reminder emails, will improve the response rate with busy individuals.  This longer window with follow-up emails would also help to reach the 33-percent group of responders said that they never even noticed the email in their inbox. Also, the fact that 16-percent of those queried expressed a desire to take the survey but reported it was closed at the time of log in supports these improvements.

An interesting side note plucked from the data – it’s not all about the money. Only 3-percent of respondents stated that their primary reason for non-participation was because “I didn’t like the amount of the cash award.”  So keeping in mind that time, rather than money, is a more valuable resource with many of us, The Sample Network is motivated to find ways to capture the attention of our potential respondents and streamline the survey-taking process while widening the response time.  If your business has come across challenges collecting research data or would like ideas on how to improve your best practices, please contact us today at 1-888-572-3255.