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Cornell University

Survey Research Institute

at Cornell University

High Response Rates

SRI can help you maximize your response rates so your survey data are representative and statistically significant. Low participation rates will subject your study to non-response bias, which can skew your results.

We use a multifaceted approach to achieve high response rates:

Mixed-mode surveys

We often recommend hybrid surveys for clients looking for exceptional participation rates. Mixing two or more data collection methods compounds the advantages of each mode while keeping cost and error rates relatively low. For example, our multi-year NDATSS study used mailed invitation letters, telephone interviews, and a web survey option to attain a 90% response rate with substance abuse treatment providers. This response rate remained consistent across multiple study waves, in part because the mixed-mode approach makes it more convenient for respondents to participate.

Building relationships with respondents

It's essential your sample group understands why their input is so valuable and how your study can benefit them. We know how to convey that importance in a way that motivates respondents and engages them with your research. Participants can also speak with someone at the SRI office any day of the week. We're always available to explain project details, answer questions, and resolve any issues that may pose a barrier to survey completion.


There's plenty of research suggesting incentives boost survey response rates, and we will help you implement them strategically to get the best return on investment. We will manage all aspects of cash, gift card, or online incentives to make it easy for you. We can also recommend lottery and non-monetary incentives that would best appeal to your audience so you can improve response rates without breaking the bank.

Please let us know how we can help with your next project.