Tips to increase your Community Survey response rate

  • Updated

Note: Looking for tips meant for other types of Zencity surveys, like Community Asks and Pulse surveys? Find them here

Once you’ve launched your survey, check out these best practices for getting the word out. Not only do higher response rates mean higher quality results, many cities and counties have noticed that directly sharing the survey with their residents:

  • Creates moments for conversation with their residents

  • Improves their public perception as a body interested in growth and feedback

  • Raises resident engagement levels

To spread the word about the survey, we’re seeing local governments get creative. From displaying posters with a QR code at a county fair to including a link within online utility bills, there are many ways to advertise your survey, while retaining the ease of digital access for your residents.

Find ideas and resources below to support you as you develop an effective distribution campaign for your community.


Digital distribution strategies

All of the distribution strategies below are based on materials Zencity creates and delivers as part of your Zencity survey package.


Strategy one: QR code

What is it? A barcode that residents can scan with their phone cameras to be taken directly to your survey’s start.

How can you use it? Insert the QR code in printed materials, such as promotional flyers you can place in community centers or libraries or posters to hang at a booth you set up at a farmer’s market, street festival, or fair. Other ideas include printing as stickers or magnets to distribute at community events or local government meetings that are open to the public. All of these options allow you to place a direct link to the survey in the hands of your residents.


Strategy two: Shareable link

What is it? A shortened link leading right to the survey.

How can you use it? Add it to any online communication you have, such as e-bills, newsletters, listserv announcements, and post on platforms from Facebook to Nextdoor (find example posts below). You will receive a link at the survey’s outset; if you need it to be re-sent at any point, please contact your Customer Success Manager.


Strategy three: Kiosks

What is it? Computer stations with a browser continuously open to the survey.

How can you use it? Place kiosks in any highly-frequented public area, such as community centers or libraries. This method is particularly effective in minimizing the access barrier for residents who might not have reliable Internet connection at home, or who are experiencing houselessness and rely on public computers.


Strategy four: Embed in website

What is it? Code to embed an entry point within your official department page or local government website.

How can you use it? Select how you want the survey to appear on your website following these steps. Once you’ve decided, share that information with your Customer Success Manager. They will generate the necessary code your website manager needs to incorporate the survey.


Energizing your community: Distribution resources

Beyond making the survey available across multiple platforms, framing the survey in a way that excites residents and motivates them to answer the questions is essential—not just to solicit feedback but to successfully communicate that their voice matters and that you are listening.

Find suggested text below to use when you share the survey via email or social posts.


Social assets

Find social post and email templates below. Just add in your community’s name and unique survey link, tailor the language to your topic, and you’re ready to go live! Before you hit publish or send, a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Eye-catching images go a long way. Add an image that relates to your survey topic to catch the eye of your residents as they scroll through their feed or open their email. Bonus for on-image text that highlights what the post is about.

  • When posting on social, keep the algorithm happy by adding the link to the survey in the first comment instead of within the post itself

  • When sending an email, send it from a real employee’s name. The more personal effect is shown to increase open rates.


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