In recent weeks, we invited 6,000 B2B decision-makers in Spain by email to take part in a short online survey.
The purpose – to understand the appeal of alternative product features and benefits, so that we could model their influence on usage/ purchase decisions and develop the ‘ideal’ new offer/ product proposition.

Unlike proprietary online panels, response rates for client supplied sample is often an unknown quantity – typically, the more relevant the nature of the survey to the respondent, the higher the likely response rate.
However, in practice, the response rate is heavily influenced by the quality of the underlying customer database, as well as the subject line ‘hook’, the wordsmithing of the survey invitation and the content and flow of the survey itself.

If you are undertaking or considering B2B online research, here are 5 top tips from us on deploying surveys: –

1. Always send out a ‘warm-up’ email a few days in advance, so that customers know to expect a survey invitation in their Inbox

2. Personalise survey invitations with the client’s name in the subject line, their logo and signatory in the body copy and if possible, offer an incentive such as a decent prize draw or a copy of the survey results

3. Within the survey, invite respondents to (optionally) provide contact details of a decision-maker if they don’t qualify themselves

4. Plan for multiple follow-up reminders, spread over several weeks. Initial response may be slow, you will need patience, but every reminder will result in a noticeable uplift in response, i.e. B2B respondents are more likely to complete at a time that best suits them

5. Deploy a final reminder with a new subject line to mop-up responses (and provide closure for the invitees) by explaining it is their last chance to take part in the survey

Good luck!