There’s no time like the present to get a better understanding of when to launch your survey projects. As part of our 2023 State of Surveys report, we wanted to learn more about the best time to send a survey to receive the most responses. So we analyzed more than a decade’s worth of surveys sent through our platform to see how many responses were submitted on each day of the week.
Read on to find out what we learned from looking at millions upon millions of surveys, and how our research can help you send your surveys at the right time and get better results.
Survey timing 101
So what are the fundamentals of survey send times, according to our research?
Our State of Surveys report shows that the vast majority (87.4%) of surveys in the US are taken during the workweek, with most (55.9%) taken between Tuesday and Thursday, and only 12.6% taken over the weekend. That means that weekdays see nearly seven times the response rate compared to weekends!
This adds fuel to what we’ve learned from a previous survey timing study of more than 100,000 surveys. When we analyzed a random sample of individual respondents for each day of the workweek, we found that response rates generally skewed better toward Monday and away from Friday—though there was some nuance between customer surveys and internal surveys.
But believe it or not, optimal survey send times actually involve more than just timing. Other factors contribute to the response rates on different days of the week, including survey length and mobile optimization. Even if you think you’ve worked out the perfect time to send your survey, these things can ultimately have a big impact on your results.
Survey timing tips: What to know before you send
When it comes to the latest survey timing best practices, there are two key takeaways from our 2023 State of Surveys report:
Boost your response rate by sending midweek
In the report, the chart of surveys taken by day of the week is essentially a bell curve; Sundays and Saturdays hold the lowest ends of the response pattern (5.6% and 7%), followed by a jump in responses for Mondays and Fridays ( 15.8% and 15.5%) and again for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (roughly 18.5%).
Those numbers are for the US, but the trend is equally evident outside the US, with a slight uptick in responses on Monday. So for survey creators outside the US, Monday may be a good day to send your survey, whereas in the US it may be best to wait a day, as the response rate gets a 3% boost from Monday to Tuesday.
In short, no matter where you are, it’s a good idea to send your survey early to midweek. This not only follows the data, it also takes into account most people’s daily lives and schedules. Friday through Sunday, people may be living for the weekend and less likely to jump at the chance to answer a survey. Tuesday through Thursday are the thick of the workweek, and respondents may feel they have more breathing room to fill out surveys.
If you’re sending on the weekend, keep mobile device usage in mind
So sending your survey early to midweek is generally ideal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t send on the weekend—and there are things you can do to optimize a weekend launch.
This is where another set of data from our State of Surveys report comes in: device usage by day of the week.
For both US and non-US respondents, mobile usage expands dramatically on Saturday and Sunday. In the US, mobile usage is about 15-20% more prevalent on the weekend; outside of the US, this number is slightly lower, but still significant at about 10-15% greater weekend usage.
So if you’re sending your survey on the weekend, you can pave the way for a better response rate by factoring in mobile usage and optimizing your survey design accordingly.
As mentioned above, one simple way to optimize your surveys for mobile is to keep things brief. (The State of Surveys report shows that one page, with 10 questions or less, is ideal.) You might also consider limiting matrix-style questions and reducing the number of images you include—just a few ways to get better survey results.
Remembering just these two survey timing tips can go a long way in boosting your response rate. For more on the latest survey trends, research, and principles of modern survey design, make sure you check out the full 2023 State of Surveys report.