How to write a survey introduction (plus examples)

Spending your time creating an online survey that ends up getting few to no responses isn’t fun. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an introduction or welcome message at the beginning of your survey.

A survey introduction is your opportunity to make a good first impression by giving respondents some background information about your survey and why they should care about helping you out.

The tone of your introduction can be warm, funny, formal — even somber — depending on the goal of your survey. Done right, a good introduction can warm participants up to your survey and make them more willing to respond.

Keep reading to learn how to craft a perfect survey welcome message.

Just so you know

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The ideal survey introduction: Important details to include

The name of your company or organization

If you met a stranger on the street, you wouldn’t ask them for a favor without properly introducing yourself, would you? The same principle applies to an online survey — people want to know the person or organization behind it.  Your survey introduction should identify who you are and include your company’s logo and name for brand recognition.

If your survey is intended for an audience that’s familiar with your organization, your logo and name will help respondents feel more confident about filling it out. If your audience isn’t acquainted with your organization, then it’s even more important to identify yourself. If you fall into the latter group, give a brief description of your organization, explain what you do, and include a link to your website or another place where they can find more information.

The goal of the survey

Make your objectives clear. State the goal of your research and what it will help you achieve. The more your readers understand your goal for the survey, the more likely you’ll be to get responses. Being transparent about the purpose of your research will engender trust and make people more willing to complete your survey.

Privacy and confidential information

Privacy is a big deal — people want to know how you’ll process the information they provide and how you’ll handle their personal information. Let everyone know up front whether their responses will be anonymous or not.

If you’ll be collecting personal information, let your respondents know what you intend to do (or not do) with that information. For instance, if you need their email address to follow up with them, make sure they know they can opt out at a later date if they decide not to continue with the survey.

The time required to complete the survey

The length of your survey can be a deal-breaker — people are busy, and they want to know right away how much time your survey will take to complete. This is why you should ask only the most essential questions pertaining to your goal.

So give a realistic estimate of how long it might take to complete your survey. For a more accurate estimate, take the survey yourself (or ask someone to do it for you) so you can see how long it takes to reasonably answer the questions.

Other relevant information or instructions

Each survey is different, use your best judgment about any information you should disclose. Your goal is to be as transparent as possible so your respondents don’t find any unpleasant surprises ahead. If you think something could pose a problem, then it’s probably a good idea to state it in your welcome message.

Examples of good survey introductions

Let’s look at a few real-life examples of surveys that have great introductions or welcome messages, and see what we can learn from them.

Example no. 1: Keep it short

customer service survey form preview

This survey by Resco Products shows respect for the user’s time. It gives the exact number of questions in the survey and the approximate time needed to complete it. In Jotform Cards, you can display the question count as part of your survey introduction.

Example no. 2: Make the terms clear

terms form preview

This survey about cycling habits lets participants know how the organization will use the data the survey collects. It also explicitly asks people to agree to the terms before giving them access to the survey.

Example no. 3: Say it with video

example reopening survey

This survey uses an introductory video instead of a written introduction to get participants’ attention.  Videos are far more engaging than text. In fact, one study showed that social video gets a lot more shares than text or images — a shocking 1,200 percent more for video than the other two combined.

If your introductory video hits the right note with your participants, you could see a lot more shares and responses.

Example no. 4: Provide necessary details

covid-19 rapid assessment survey

Survey introductions are best when they’re short and sweet, but there are occasions when you need to get into the details.

This COVID-19 rapid assessment survey explains the reasoning behind the survey in a comprehensive way, and here’s why: Not only does the survey ask for personal health information, but the organizers also want to follow up on the participants as appropriate. In this instance, participants need all the information they can get about the survey’s importance and how the organization will handle their personal data.

Example no. 5: Stay upbeat

How to write a survey introduction (plus examples) Image-1

This survey from the National Bicycle Organization projects an enthusiastic and positive tone. It also tries to promote a sense of “we’re all in this together” by using inspirational language: “Be part of the 1st 1,000 responders who will change history.” If your survey situation calls for it, include some inspirational words of your own to encourage people to respond.

Create the perfect survey introduction with Jotform

There you have it! A well-crafted survey introduction will, in many cases, encourage users to fill out your survey. Using the Jotform Form Builder, you can customize a welcome screen that includes your survey introduction. Jotform’s flexible features allow you to customize your survey introduction and your survey to meet your needs.

Start building forms with Jotform today!

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