When is the right time to survey?
5 min read

When is the right time to survey?

Choosing when to survey can help you boost your sample size and response rate, but what is the best time to distribute your survey?

If you’ve read our guide on understanding sample sizes, you may have set a goal sample size for your survey. There are many factors that influence this including survey design and distribution methods, but ensuring you ask for responses at the right time can help you reach (or exceed!) your goal.

Read on to discover our tips for when to survey.

How should you distribute your survey?

When asking respondents about a specific event or workshop they’ve attended, it’s best practice to get your survey to them quickly. Alternatively, surveys that are evaluating organisation-wide outcomes are typically distributed annually.

The Culture Counts Evaluation Platform offers three types of distribution methods to help you target specific audiences for maximum engagement:

  • The interviewer survey method allows you to collect responses on-site at an event.
  • The display survey method allows responses on a tablet whilst in your venue, which can be helpful for getting immediate responses from engaged patrons.
  • The online survey method is best to reach the largest number of attendees. This can be from QR codes on flyers or posters, or via a link that is sent to attendees via email or shared on social media.

Below are some interesting trends that we have identified in survey responses made through Culture Counts surveys.

  • Our data shows that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the days with the highest number of survey responses.
  • Saturday is the quietest day for survey responses, followed by Sunday.
  • The greatest number of survey responses for our clients as a whole came between 10am and 5pm, with 12pm-1pm being the peak.

When should I send my survey email?

There are several variables to consider when planning what time of year and day of the week (organisation-based surveys), and what time of day (organisation-based and event-specific surveys) to email your survey to your database.

Do ✅Avoid ❌
Time of the yearConsider a time when many patrons expect to hear from and engage with your organisation, such as end of financial year philanthropy campaigns or season program launches.Clashes with post-event or other scheduled surveys to avoid survey fatigue. Public holidays and standard office closure periods. You don’t want your survey to be caught in a huge stack of unread emails.
Day of the weekSend your survey on a weekday and earlier in the week. Send event-specific surveys shortly after your event so that it’s still fresh in your attendees’ minds.Weekends – patrons may have their work email in your database, or are just less likely to action emails over the weekend.
Time of dayThink about when your patrons are most likely to check their emails and have time to respond.Sending surveys at strange hours e.g. at 11pm as an event is ending.

Additional tips

  • Make sure when planning to consider your audience. For example, if you’re reaching out to teachers for feedback on your education program, don’t send your survey during school holidays, or if a large proportion of your patrons are university students, avoid sending your survey during exam periods.
  • If you’re sharing your online survey via social media, try times of the week when people are often online such as Sunday throughout the day or early in the evening on weekdays.
  • Create a survey distribution plan and schedule for your organisation in order to help you map out your survey timings, avoid survey fatigue, and achieve optimum results. Remember, you know your organisation and audience best!

Are you interested in finding out more about Culture Counts? Contact us here to organise a free demo or chat to our friendly Client Team.

About the author
Scott Beckwith is a Client Relationship Officer at Culture Counts.