Standard ways of conducting online surveys
Two emails or untracked invitations sent to the entire list of respondents are almost always sufficient, as follows:
- In the first email, you invite all potential respondents in the form "I invite you to complete the survey ...".
- The second email should follow 2-3 days after the first, but no more than a week. In it, you should again address the entire list of potential respondents (both those who have already completed the questionnaire and those who have not yet done so) with the same salutation to the effect: "A few days ago you were invited to complete the survey .... We sincerely thank all those who have responded. For those of you who have not yet responded to the survey, we once again invite you to do so ..."
The two messages are sent to the entire list of potential respondents in the usual way of sending emails, where you send an email invitation with the URL of the survey in your client (Gmail, Yahoo, MS Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.). It is true, however, that there are restrictions that need to be taken into account, as in some places there is a limit on the number of emails sent per day (e.g. Gmail has a limit of 500 addresses for individuals in 2023 when sending via the web application). This can be solved by spreading the sending of your invitations acros several days, or by sending from several different email accounts.
When you want to send a large number of invitations (three, four, etc.) or when you have a list containing thousands of people, you most likely need a system to send invitations.
When using the 1KA e-mail system for sending invitations, which is available for users of the 3KA package for individuals and for users of the business packages for groups, the following should be taken into account:
- Using 1KA to send invitations is usually not necessary, especially if there are only a few hundred addresses, as it is quicker and easier to send email invitations from your own email account (Gmail, Yahoo, MS Outlook, Thunderbird ...).
- The system allows tracking the status of the respondent or non-respondent and related reminders to the remaining non-respondents.
- It is worth considering whether we really need a third or fourth e-mail reminder. It has been shown that a third and fourth reminder only minimally increases the participation rate, while complicating and prolonging the data collection phase.
- If you do not need to track the status of the respondents, we advise you to send the same (non-individualized) survey URL in the invitation, which should also be mentioned in the invitation, e.g. "We guarantee you complete privacy of your answers, so the survey URLs are not individualized...". This helps to increase the response rate, as many respondents are increasingly annoyed by the fact that they receive an individualized URL, knowing that this in principle gives insight into the individual response.