How To Humanize A Survey

No one enjoys filling out a survey. 


People don’t see what’s in it for them.


Many lose interest halfway through and leave, thinking it’s a waste of time.


It’s a truth that’s universally acknowledged: surveys aren’t fun. The typical response rates for surveys range between 5% to 30%. People often feel like answering one is a chore, and this is to be expected when most surveys are created with very little effort to make it engaging, from the visual design to the language used. 


Surveys shouldn’t look or feel like a test. Asking your customers or employees about their experience should also be an experience. This is where humanizing a survey comes in. Humanizing a survey will make it feel like more of a conversation instead of a set of questions that they feel forced to answer.

Don’ts When Humanizing A Survey

1. Boring Survey Design 

One of the most common mistakes people make is not taking time to make their survey visually appealing. A cold and boring survey design does not compel people to be interested enough to respond or stay long enough to complete your survey. In contrast, a well-designed survey is likely to get a 40-60% response rate.

Lack of creativity translates to the consumer not feeling like their experience is special, and as a result engagement will not be as strong as you want it to be.

2. Lack of Company Branding

Every form of communication you have with your audience is a representation of your brand. Hence, your survey is an extension of your brand. Aside from having a visually engaging survey, it should also embody your brand. Don’t forget to put your logo or slogan at the beginning of the survey and to use the same colors you have on your website or social media platforms.

Including your company branding is a simple addition but it’s often missed, which can make people fail to recognize that the survey is uniquely yours. Moreover, not having your logo on your survey decreases the chance of people completing the survey because there’s not an obvious reminder of who it’s for or why they started filling it out in the first place.

3. No Personalization

Many companies make an extra effort to personalize their websites and email campaigns, but a lot of them forget to add this extra touch to their surveys. 

Personalizing your survey is one way of humanizing a survey. It helps when engaging customers, clients and employees; increasing responses overall; and sending a message to your audience that you took the extra time to tailor the survey specifically to them. 

Including a small touch of personalization to surveys such as including the customer’s name at the beginning can make a huge difference in engagement and completion percentage. If a survey refers to you as “Dear Customer” you wouldn’t feel as special as you would if the headline directly addressed you by your first name.

Do’s When Humanizing A Survey

1. Add A Personalized Message

At the very beginning of your survey, craft a short personalized message from someone in your company explaining the purpose of the survey and what the consumer will gain from it. While you can add this message as text, it could also be more engaging if you have a video clip or gif. It puts a human face to your survey—a simple yet effective way of humanizing a survey.

2. Humanize Your Questions

Do away with using corporate language in surveys. Humanizing a survey also means using a language that human beings actually use. Instead, use more casual language and begin a conversation just like you would in person. 

Here are some tips to humanize your survey questions:

  • Ease people into your survey by starting with the easy questions. 
  • Keep it short. People’s time is valuable. Make questions short.
  • Don’t ask too many questions. The survey completion rate of a 10-question survey is 89%. A survey’s completion rate drops as it becomes longer: 87% for a 20-question survey, 85% for a 30-question survey, and 79% for a 40-question survey.
  • Do away with all fancy words. Write the way you talk naturally (without the fillers, of course!).  
  • Try to remove at least 3 more words. Avoid making questions longer than two lines of text as much as possible.
  • Write casually. Make your respondent feel like they are in a conversation with someone who is actually interested in what they have to say. For example, instead of asking “How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements about social media?” try asking “Love ‘em or hate ‘em, what do you think about video games?”
  • Be cautious and avoid bias. Do not make assumptions that certain answers are expected or better. For instance, a respondent would answer more truthfully if you ask “Have you bought gifts at least a month before December to avoid the holiday rush?” instead of “Are you one of those people who buy gifts at least a month before December to avoid the holiday rush?” The latter is somewhat suggestive. This is the same with humor. What you think is funny might not be funny to others. 

3. Incorporate Your Branding

Add your own logo and use fonts that match your brand. You can also add a background image relevant to your brand. This makes it easier for people to recognize that the survey is coming from you.

4. Offer An Incentive

Humanizing a survey means going the extra mile to make the survey a pleasant experience. You are asking people for their feedback, so it only makes sense to provide something in return for their time, especially if your survey is on the longer side. 

Response rates will increase when people know that they’ll receive something after they complete a survey. It could be a coupon code or you could add urgency by giving the first X number of people a gift card or promotion. For an even more specific approach, make sure that the incentive you’ll offer matches the preferences of a certain demographic if you’re looking for targeted feedback.

Why should I humanize my surveys?

Surveys are a great way to gain insight about what your existing and prospective customers want and value. The more feedback you get, the more you can discover about your audience and who invests in your brand. 


Making your surveys consistent with your other platforms—website, social media platforms, etc.—and streamlining your brand will make it more apparent that you care about the quality and presentation of your business. This will make people more inclined to trust and support you.


A digital experience is still a human experience, and surveys are no exception. Humanize your brand to stand out, and watch your company soar.


In love and respect,


Hilary Corna



Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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