Sometimes, to get more, it makes sense to ask for less.

That sounds strange, but it’s not a contradiction of terms. It’s reality, and it certainly applies to the world of online surveys. How many times has a business asked you to provide feedback. You click the link and a long survey pops on the screen. No thanks. Who has time?

On the other hand, a friendly message that promises just a handful of questions that won’t take more than a minute has a much better chance to earn a click.

The same is true in online music research. Music research response rates have plummeted. To get more response, programmers must adjust their approach. And one thing that will work is simple: ask for less. More will respond.

Campaign Monitor, a leading email and data collection company, strongly recommends that clients follow that advice for best results:

Keeping things short will ensure you get as many people to complete your survey as possible. It might be tempting to ask about everything you want to know, but you’re better off optimizing a small number of questions and making them really count. It shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes to fill out your survey.

Yet most radio stations are still testing 20, 30 or even 40 songs in each survey.

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Take the test yourself. When do you start to lose interest? Usually after about 6-8 songs. After that, it becomes a chore, and many respondents bail out early, leaving you with incomplete information.

What’s more, even if they do make it to the end, they’re probably just clicking on a button to qualify for the prize, or rushing through because they’ve already invested some time and they just want to get it over with.

Either way, they’re certainly rating songs at the end of the survey with a different mindset than the beginning.

And when there’s a negative experience, it’s harder to get them to come back next time. That’s a major contributor to declining response rates.

How to Ask For Less And Get More

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