What Day of the Week Should You Send Your Survey?

research_data

You’ve written your questions. You’ve configured your survey logic. You’ve even had your colleagues take a spin through to make sure everything is working just right. You’re about to launch your survey, but maybe you’re wondering, “Is today the best day to send it?”

Well, wonder no more. We looked across 100,000 surveys to figure out the impact on response rates if you send your survey out on Monday vs. Friday (or any other day of the week).

 

The Data

Before we share what we learned, we thought we’d share a bit about the data. Yes, we care a lot about data!

  • Time Period: We looked at individual respondents who received survey invitations (using the SurveyMonkey email collector) in 2009 and 2010. We excluded the first week of January, the last week of November, and the last two weeks of December to normalize for US holidays.
  • Days of the Week: The majority of survey invitations are sent out during weekdays, peaking between 5AM and 4PM PST, so we only included responses to survey invitations that were sent out Monday through Friday from 5AM to 4PM PST. Survey volume during other days and time periods was too low to draw any statistically significant conclusions.
  • Survey Topics: Surveys with different topics and intended audiences may have different response rates or optimal send days. We focused our analysis on two of the most popular survey types conducted on SurveyMonkey: customer surveys (surveys of customer feedback or satisfaction) and internal surveys (surveys of employees within an organization), to make sure our analysis would ultimately be useful for you.
  • Response Counts: To avoid having any one survey with thousands, or millions, of responses skew the results, we limited our analysis to surveys that collected between 50 and 500 responses. We also only included responses to surveys created by SurveyMonkey professional accounts since free accounts can only have up to 100 viewable responses per survey.

For each day of week, Monday through Friday, we selected a random sample of 20,000 individual respondents who received a survey invitation by email, between 5AM and 4PM PST. We did this for both customer surveys and internal surveys. Within each group, we looked at how many people actually responded, and then calculated Absolute Response Rate (number of people who responded divided by 20,000) for each day.

Our goal was to compare response rates between different days of the week. This was done by showing the response rate by day relative to the average response rate of all days. So for example, if the average response rate of all days was 10%, and Thursday has an Absolute Response Rate of 12%, we get a Relative Response Rate for Thursday of: (12%-10%)/10% = 20%. In other words, surveys sent out on Thursdays received 20% more responses than average.

What did we learn?

CUSTOMER SURVEYS

Response rates were highest for survey invitations sent out on Monday, and lowest for invitations sent on Friday.* On average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10%** more responses than average, and surveys sent out on Fridays received 13%** fewer responses than average.

* Response rates on Monday and Friday are statistically different from average response rate at 0.01 significance level.** 10% and 13% are relative measures. The absolute response rate does not change by 10% or 13%. For example, a 10% average response rate with a 10% increase would be 11%, not 20%.
INTERNAL SURVEYS

Response rates were significantly higher for invitations sent on Mondays versus those sent between Tuesday and Friday.***  Surveys sent on Mondays collected 13% more responses than the average.

*** Response rate on Monday is statistically different from average response rate and response rates on other days at 0.01 significance level.

What does this mean for you?

Next time you send out a customer or employee survey, you can use this analysis to help you decide what day of the week to send out your survey to get the most responses. You can always test this yourself by sending a portion of your survey invitations out each day of the week to see if response rates differs.

Have you already seen differences in your own surveys based on what day you send them? Or have questions on how we conducted our analysis? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Inspired? Create your own survey.

Inspired? Create your own survey.

  • http://www.smartling.com Elizabeth

    Thanks for the post – was just wondering what day to send our survey… perfect timing to find this recent blog article / data!

  • http://www.tonyfelicepr.com Tony Felice

    Were you able to determine from your data, what time of day on Monday would be most effective?

  • Gohar

    I love the systematic approach to figuring this out. It’s nice to have scientific evidence backing this up.

  • http://www.casadenton.org Lauren

    Great post, Survey Monkey! Thanks for the info!

  • Collins

    Good info to know! Thanks

  • Jill Z

    Hi Tony, that’s a great question! So we didn’t draw conclusions on what time of day should people send out surveys. We picked surveys sent out during countrywide peak hours, i.e. between 5AM to 4PM Pacific Standard Time. Due to data availability we didn’t know specify timezones of survey senders and survey takers, making any results on “best time of day” less informative. Please let me know if you have any questions!

    • http://www.NEXT.cc LKeane

      Wow! REALLY Interesting research. I am always wondering about posts…AND surveys. Thanks. Keep more coming!

  • Christopher Joseph

    Hi,

    Monday noon in India (south Asia) would be Sunday midnight of Pacific time.
    For best effect surveys should be sent out on Mondays of Pacific time or Mondays of local time?

    Christopher

  • Petronilla

    Thanks for the info.
    I like the way you back it up!

    • http://www.jasondonaghyconsulting.co.uk Jason D

      Thank’s SurveyMonkey! Very useful piece of research.

  • Sam

    To assist in interpreting these response rates, it would be helpful to know the duration of time that participants were given to submit their responses (were responses collected over one or two days vs. over one or two weeks). Equally important, it would be helpful to know whether reminder emails were sent out to the participants (and what days those reminders were sent out on). Thanks.

    • http://www.nickbettes.co.uk Nick Bettes

      Good post.

      My email stats show highest click-through in this time of day window to be Wednesday – while Mon & Fri are both poor. The best click-through overall for me is 10pm Thurs -but I am sending to business owners. I surmise they are catching up with emails then.

      Obviously a much smaller sample than SurveyMonkey but it suggests that you need to understand your target audience to improve response.

  • Denise Worrell

    Good information indeed. Have you analysed WHY people choose not to respond to client surveys??? I would be interested to know. While the answers may be varied, I would like to focus on the survey “appeal” or look, time required, and other logistic concerns – setting aside those related to content, results or anonymity.

    • Jill Z

      Christopher – good question. The research was based on U.S. survey creators only, and assumed most survey receivers are based in U.S. too. If your target respondents are located in India, it’s better to send out surveys based on your local timezone.

  • Peter Lawlor (Law)

    Your survey details are very interesting; Thank you.
    I live in Ireland, same time zone as London UK. Am an independent music professional.I hope to have my website up and running in next 4 weeks. I would be glad of any advice you could give. Kindest regards,
    Peter

    • Eli

      Thanks for the data (always interesting). One other intervening factor is that an organization doing employee surveys may have people on shift work which can impact when they have time to respond. Also, some employees can complete a survey at work but others must wait until they are home.

  • fretz

    Thanks for the data, really good info to know.

    • Hanna J

      Thanks Fretz, We’ll continue to post the latest survey data and intelligence, so check back in for the latest. Have a great day.

  • http://www.corporatepsc.com Jeanne Wagner

    This is interesing. I have been told it’s best to send out emails and surveys on Tuesdays. Since there’s so much junk mail built up from the weekend to deal with on Monday, people have a tendency to skip it or put it to the side and never get back to it.

    • Hanna J

      Hi Jeanne – That makes sense as well. We got this data from analyzing real survey response rates, but it’s important to keep in mind your particular audience and their schedules and cycles as well. We hope this data is a good tool you can put in your survey making toolkit, but you should also pay attention to what works for your respondents. Let us know. Thanks!

  • SYED RAFAY ZAHOORI

    HAVE A GREAT DAY ,WEEK,MONTHS & YEARS WITH MY ALL BEST WISHES.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SENT THIS INFORMATION.
    WILL YOU GUIDE ME PROPERLY ABOUT SURVEY, HOW I AM SUCCESSFULLY WORKING FOR SURVEY ? + HOW MUCH WILL YOU PAY FOR SURVEY WORK ?
    I LIKE TO START SURVEY WORK FOR PART TIME FROM HOME ,IT IS REALLY GREAT WORK IF YOU PAY AS YOU ANNOUNCE.
    WAITING FOR YOUR KIND 7 positive response (syedrafayzahoori@gmail.com )
    good luck & GOD BLESS EVERYONE.
    YOURS,
    SYED RAFAY ZAHOORI………………………….

    • Hanna J

      Hi Syed – Thank you for your comment. We don’t pay people to take surveys. We DO donate $.50 to charity for every survey you take. To sign up to take surveys for charity, check out: https://contribute.surveymonkey.com/ Thanks!

  • Kristin

    Has this data been updated? It was just shared on an email from Zoomerang, however I see most of the comments here are from last year. Any notable changes?

    • Hanna J

      Hi Kristin – Not right now. We’ll post the latest updates and survey data here, so check back in. Thanks for your survey curiosity! Have a great day.

  • http://same Sandra Marineau

    Thank’s for the data..good info

  • http://same Sandra Marineau

    Thanks for the info, any day will be ok

    • Hanna J

      Hi Sandra – We agree, any day is a good day for survey making! Thanks for your comment. Have a great day.

  • Shirley

    Everyday is great, but I cannot to find it.

    • Hanna J

      Hi Shirley – Maybe we can help! What is it you’re looking for?

  • Rituj

    Hi,

    If we try to divide the sample population of this research based on employed and non-employed(like students or vacationers ) users, how much will it affect the results. Depending on the free time that people get to take up surveys(customer surveys) the results should vary. Are the trends different in these 2 cases? Also, why have the weekends been omitted ?

    • Bennett P

      Rituj -

      We asked our very helpful methodology team and they say that the only way to know how much it will affect results is to ask the question “Are you employed?” and see if the two groups answer the other survey questions differently.

      BTW, weekends were omitted in this research because, at the time we looked at the data, we only sent out surveys on weekdays.

  • http://www.clairewhite.co.uk Claire White

    Great stuff! I was just trying to figure it out when I came across the blog. Mine will be going Monday instead of Friday :D

    • Kayte K

      Hi Claire! Awesome, we’re glad we can help. Let us know if you ever have any questions on any of your survey projects. Have a great week. :)

  • Ardith

    what about Saturdays?