GuidesSurveysCreating an engaging introduction to a survey: Our how-to guide

Creating an engaging introduction to a survey: Our how-to guide

Last updated

29 May 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

When you send out a survey, you want as many accurate responses as possible. To do that, you have to convince people to take the survey and take it seriously. 

The first step is to get them to view the survey and reel them in with a compelling introduction. This aspect of a survey can profoundly impact its results. 

Let’s look at how to craft a perfect survey introduction for quality results.

What is a survey introduction?

The opening lines of a survey form a survey introduction, providing an overview of: 

  • What the survey’s about

  • Why you’re conducting it

  • What participants can expect

It functions as a hook that encourages people to complete the survey. 

The introduction sets the tone for the entire survey, influencing the participants' willingness to complete it accurately. 

The ideal survey introduction: Key details to include

The introduction needs to include key details to maximize the chances of would-be participants becoming actual participants. 

These play an essential role in getting people engaged with the topic and helping them decide whether they want to participate. 

Often, when people have unanswered questions, they'll pass on the survey instead of wasting their time. Providing key information upfront reduces the chances of that happening.

Introduce the survey creator

Who are you? 

If you're asking people for their information (especially if it’s personal), they'll want to know who's asking for it. 

Always introduce yourself or your organization within the survey introduction. Tell people why they should trust you with the information you're requesting.

Explain the purpose of the survey

Why are you asking? 

People are often very willing to provide information if they know it’s going toward a cause they care about or deem worthy of their data. 

They're often much less open when the purpose of sharing is unclear. Explain what you’ll use the data for and why it’s important. 

Explain how you’ll use the data

How will you use the data? 

This is the usual follow-up question people will have after learning what the data’s for. 

People want to ensure their data is safe in an increasingly privacy-conscious world. That means you’ll use it for the intended purpose, not in a way they may disagree with or find objectionable. 

Be upfront and honest about how you’ll process the data and who will be doing the processing.

Estimated time to complete the survey

How long will the survey take? 

All of us have started something, thinking it would only take a few moments. When it's something we want to do, this isn't such a big deal. 

But if someone volunteers their time, they don't want to find out halfway through that it will take much longer than anticipated. 

Give your respondents a timeframe to encourage completion.

Any other relevant information

We’ve provided a general overview of what you should mention in your survey introduction. However, only you know your survey’s specifics. 

If you think more information will make it easier for someone to decide whether to participate, be sure to include it. 

For example, a complex or confusing survey might include instructions to set readers at ease.

Survey introduction writing tips

In addition to the critical details above, these tips may ease respondents' minds and encourage participation:

A simple thank you can go a long way

Express your gratitude for the time participants take to respond to you. This can make them feel appreciated, increasing the chances they'll want to help you. It’ll motivate them to complete the survey thoughtfully and honestly.

Keep it brief and to the point

Nobody wants to spend ages deciding if they want to give you their time. A lengthy introduction defeats the purpose, and it’ll push participants away rather than reel them in.

Create an inviting and friendly atmosphere

You're asking people to give you their time and thoughts, so it’s important to be as welcoming as possible. 

A warm, inviting atmosphere will lower your participants’ guard and make them feel more comfortable helping you.

Use a conversational tone

Surveys have a reputation for being boring and tedious. You can combat this by adopting a conversational tone. 

If your introduction is stuffy and difficult to read, the participant will assume the survey is the same.

Avoid the word “survey”

Another way to distance yourself from the negative connotations of surveys? 

Just don’t say survey.

Instead, you can use more neutral terms like questionnaire or feedback form. Or, you can simply say you'd like to ask a few questions. 

Highlight any incentives or rewards

Sometimes, people conducting surveys offer incentives or rewards to encourage participation. 

If you're offering an incentive, mention it early to ensure the participant sees it.

Examples of good survey introductions

Using some of the tips above, we can see what informative survey introductions look like.

Employee satisfaction feedback form

"Hey [Employee Name], we appreciate everything you do at [company name]! 

We want to ensure you love working here, and we’re looking for ways to improve things. Can you help us out by taking our quick employee satisfaction feedback form? 

It won't take more than [estimated time] of your time, and your input will help us create a work environment that everyone enjoys. 

Thanks for your help!"

Customer experience questionnaire

"Hey there, [customer name]! 

We're so happy to have you as a [company name] customer. 

We're always striving to provide the best service possible, so we want to know how we're doing! 

Would you mind taking a quick customer experience questionnaire? It'll only take [estimated time], and your feedback will help us improve our service to better meet your needs. 

Thanks for being awesome!"

Product/service opinion poll

"Hey, [product/service] lover! 

We're always looking for ways to make [product/service] better and more awesome. 

Can you help us out by taking our quick opinion poll? It'll only take [estimated time], and your feedback will help us ensure our offerings meet your needs. 

Thanks for being a part of our journey!"

Use our tips to craft a great survey introduction, compelling respondents to answer your survey. Keep your introduction friendly, clear, and concise to ensure accurate responses for quality insights.

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