New travel survey methodology obtains 75% response rate!

Here at Smarter Travel, we understand that Travel Planning is a continually adapting industry. As well as being marketing professionals, we understand the importance of regularly reviewing our work, methodologies, and designs in order to improve engagement whilst aiming to be more cost effective for our clients and achieving Travel Plan targets.

Back in 2018, we reviewed our qualitative travel survey methodology to increase the response rate from residents and to achieve industry expectations which can be up to 40% in some areas of the country. Towards the end of 2021, we reviewed this once again. Although our 2018 methodology was working, we felt there were better and more efficient ways of surveying residents.

We first trialled our new way of surveying on Thurston Park in Suffolk during September 2021 with the aim to roll out across our Norfolk based TPC developments the following month.

The new design involved removing postal surveys completely and asking residents to complete online only. In the interest of social inclusion, it was made clear that those without access to the internet, we could be contacted directly by telephone or post to complete.

We had typically found in previous monitoring there was around a 50/50 split between online and postal responses, so we were taking a risk with the removal of the postal option. Initially, each dwelling received an A5 postcard detailing the travel survey information including a QR code which directly linked to our online survey platform. As with our previous surveys, we included a prize incentive to encourage responses. Within the first 24 to 48 hours, we receive the majority of the completions, however, we followed up with a smaller A6 postcard to encourage a few more residents to complete, between one and two weeks later.

By removing the postal copy of the travel survey, this saved our team time in terms of design and print costs, allowing us to focus more attention on creating a sophisticated, user friendly, digital survey which included logic jumps dependent on previous answers and also provided links to our website for more information on the relevant Travel Plan. We also spent time reviewing and re-wording questions to ensure high quality data in which we can use to draw conclusions from within our Travel Plan monitoring and additionally, being conscious to not record or store unnecessary data.

This has also made our processes more efficient. By not having survey responses returned by post, we reduce our time data inputting responses and analysing the information. We’ve also seen a reduction in our postage costs.

Thurston Park received just short of a 35% response rate which was one of the highest response rates we had seen throughout our 2021 Travel Plan monitoring, which we deemed a success. Subsequently, we rolled this methodology out across our Norfolk TPC sites and one of our proudest achievements was hitting a 75% response rate with White Rose Park residents!

Due to its success, we will be continuing with this survey method throughout 2022 and hope to undertake some face-to-face interactions with our residents. We look forward to hitting high response rates across all our developments!

We create SmarterTravel for...