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25 of the Best Website Homepage Design Examples



25 of the Best Website Homepage Design Examples

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why you need thoughtful homepage design.

When designing your site, think of your homepage as a virtual front door. If a new visitor doesn’t like what they see, their knee-jerk reaction is to hit the “back” button.

So, what makes a website’s homepage design brilliant instead of bland? In this post, you’ll learn the ins and outs of home page design. Then, you can see sites that put these best practices to work.

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Homepage Design Best Practices

All of the homepage designs shown here combine the following elements. Not every page is perfect, but the best website designs get many of these elements right.

1. The design clearly answers who you are, what you do, and how visitors can engage with your site.

If you’re a well-known brand or company (i.e., Coca-Cola), you can get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do. However, most businesses still need to answer these questions so that each visitor knows they’re in the right place.

Steven Krugg sums it up best in his bestselling book, Don’t Make Me Think: If visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.

2. The design resonates with the target audience.

A homepage needs to be narrowly focused — speaking to the right people in their language. The best homepages avoid corporate jargon and eliminate fluff.

3. The design communicates a compelling value proposition.

When a visitor arrives on your homepage, your design needs to compel them to stick around. Therefore, the homepage is the best place to nail your value proposition so prospects choose to stay on your website.

4. The design is optimized for multiple devices.

Mobile devices accounted for 65.85% of global traffic in October 2022. So clearly, your website needs to be mobile-friendly if you want to attract a significant share of the online market.

A mobile-friendly website is easy to navigate. Avoid “flashy” objects that get in the way of browsing. That includes flash banners, animations, pop-ups, and other unnecessary elements.

5. The design includes calls-to-action (CTAs).

Calls-to-action help you encourage visitors to take specific actions. Examples include “Free Trial,” “Schedule a Demo,” “Buy Now,” or “Learn More.”

Most homepages use primary and secondary calls-to-action to direct visitors to the next logical step.

Remember, the homepage’s goal is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website. CTAs tell them what to do next, so they don’t get overwhelmed or lost. More importantly, CTAs turn your homepage into a sales engine and not just brochure-wear.

6. The design is always changing.

The best home pages are dynamic. They constantly change to reflect their visitors’ needs, problems, and questions.

Some homepages also use A/B testing or dynamic content to make informed changes.

7. The design is effective.

A well-designed page is vital for building trust, communicating value, and navigating visitors to the next step. These homepages effectively use layout, white space, colors, fonts, and other supporting elements.

Now, get ready to learn about excellent homepage design through the following 23 real-life examples.

List Snippet

1. FreshBooks

home page design, freshbooks

FreshBooks is an accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. And the site’s homepage makes the company’s mission clear. The page lays out FreshBooks’ features so visitors can quickly understand what they stand to gain from trying the tool out.

There’s a great use of contrast and positioning with the primary calls-to-action. It’s clear the company wants you to convert when you arrive. “Try for Free” is also a very compelling CTA.

What we love: FreshBooks uses customer testimonials to tell real-world stories of customer success. They also employ social proof by including star ratings from third-party sites.

2. A24 Films

homepage design, a24

The film company’s homepage is made up of only trailers for its new films. This is a great strategy to showcase A24’s work in an engaging way.

What we love: This website showcases the best of simple design. Each item on the homepage is a full row — consisting only of one image and large text. Nothing is cluttered and each featured movie or shop item pops.

3. Omsom

home page design, omsom

With a headline that reads “Real Asian flavors in minutes,” visitors know exactly what they’re getting once they land on this homepage. Omsom sells packets that include the spices and base ingredients for Asian cooking. Customers just need to add veggies and protein.

What follows as you scroll is Omsom’s value proposition and how their product works. These sections are vital as they give skeptical visitors more reasons to shop with the brand.

What we love: The hero section features reviews, a free shipping offer, and a sumptuous image. These elements motivate visitors to take action even before scrolling.

4. HubSpot

homepage design ideas, hubspot

We’ll take a second to toot our own horn. HubSpot’s homepage starts with an eye-catching headline that explains what we do and for who.

This information is followed by a dual CTA. You can choose to book a demo or sign up for free.

What we love: There’s a clever use of figures and statistics to show the vastness of HubSpot’s community. Seeing 150,000+ users in over 120 countries will instill trust in visitors.

5. Pixelgrade

best home page design, pixel grade

At a glance, you can tell what Pixelgrade offers: WordPress themes. The big title, followed by a descriptive subtitle, lets visitors know what to expect.

The right side gives you a glimpse of how their WordPress themes look. Then, as you scroll, the page provides three reasons why you should use Pixelgrade. Each reason is followed by a testimonial from real-life customers.

What we love: The design is simple, and the color combination does a great job of making the call-to-action stand out.

6. Mint

best homepage designs, mint

Mint’s home page makes the company’s message clear: Their app makes managing your money simple.

Simplicity is reinforced throughout the homepage design. The site gives off a secure but easygoing vibe, which is essential for a product that handles financial information. There’s no-jargon or confusing language.

The page also contains a simple, direct, compelling call-to-action copy: “Sign up free.”

What we love: The mention of 30 million users is a great use of social proof. This will likely convince visitors to try the tool.

7. Dropbox

homepage design ideas, dropbox

Dropbox also relies on simple design and branding. It includes only what is essential: A large, relevant image with supporting copy and a “Get started” call-to-action button.

Its sub-headline is simple yet powerful: “Easy to use, reliable, private, and secure. It’s no wonder Dropbox is the choice for storing and sharing your most important files.” No need to decode jargon to figure out what Dropbox really does.

What we love: Throughout the homepage, Dropbox describes different use cases for their tool. Doing so helps visitors know exactly how (and if) Dropbox can help them.

8. Chipotle

homepage design ideas, chipotle

The homepage is an excellent example of agility and constant change. Chipotle’s current homepage is all about the latest addition to its menu.

You can also see the company’s other service offerings well. That includes online ordering, gift cards, and catering.

What we love: The food photography is detailed and beautiful. The pictures make visitors hungry just by looking. Now that’s an effective use of visuals.

9. 4 Rivers Smokehouse

 homepage design, 4 rivers smokehouse

Drool. That’s what I think when I arrive at the website for 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Fantastic photography and the headline “Family Owned. Locally Made. Community Focused” easily sell the experience.

As you scroll, you’re taken on a tour of the services, menu, and people having a great time.

What we love: A brief note about the company’s history is found at the bottom of the page. The company’s story adds to the brand’s authenticity and deepens its relationship with customers.

10. eWedding

best webpage design, ewedding

For those love birds planning their big day, eWedding is a great destination for building a custom wedding website. The homepage isn’t cluttered and only includes the necessary elements to get you started.

The homepage includes excellent product visuals, a great headline, and a call-to-action that reduces friction with the copy, “Start now.”

To convince more visitors to use eWedding, the site has a cost calculator that helps estimate how much couples could save on total RSVP, a cash registry, and a custom website.

What we love: The live counter of the number of wedding websites built using eWedding (over 900,000) is excellent social proof.

11. Spotify

best homepage design, spotify

Spotify has mastered the mantra “less is more.” Visitors are immediately greeted by a simple value proposition. They can play songs and podcasts at no cost. A simple CTA takes you to a signup page.

As you scroll, the page explains why you should choose Spotify. The site reinforces that you can get started right now “no credit card required.”

What we love: Spotify’s homepage includes a short FAQ. Each question explains how to use the platform, including how to make a playlist and where to find podcasts. Simple answers showcase that Spotify is easy to use.

12. Colorsmith

homepage design, colorsmith

Remember, your home page should explain what your product does.

Colorsmith shows that explaining your mission can be simple. The “custom hair color for men” headline immediately tells visitors what the website is about — thereby eliminating any confusion.

Under the headline is a video showing real people using Colorsmith in their routine. This video draws an audience in and helps them create a mental picture of themselves using the products.

What we love: There’s a consistent use of the “Craft My Color” CTA. A single CTA throughout the page limits distractions and clarifies the desired course of action for visitors.

13. Melyssa Griffin

best homepage design, melyssa griffin

Melyssa Griffin’s site showcases both her expertise and personality.

Melyssa does well to include an image of herself so visitors can get familiar with her. She isn’t just a random website. She makes it clear she’s a human whom people can connect to.

The page uses bright colors without being overwhelming, making it easy to understand Melyssa’s central business offerings.

What we love: Visitors are invited to take a quick quiz. This allows visitors to learn their money management archetype, while Melyssa generates leads.

14. Nine Lives Foundation

homepage design ideas, nine lives foundation

If you’re a nonprofit in search of a website role model, look no further. Nine Lives is a California-based cat adoption center. Their headline “finding homes for cats and kittens” makes their mission clear.

As you scroll, you’ll see different ways you can get involved with the rescue — and that’s not just adopting a cat. You can learn about ways to give, vaccination options for your furry friend, and ways to volunteer.

What we love: Nonprofits can benefit from multiple CTAs. Your home page should lay out the many ways people can interact with your organization.

15. Digiday

homepage design ideas, digiday

Unlike other online news publications that inundate homepages with as many headlines and images as possible, a single article takes up most of Digiday’s top section.

Its featured image is eye-catching, and the headline just asks to be clicked.

What we love: The top of the homepage only has one icon to click — which leads you to a subscription page.

16. Jill Konrath

homepage design ideas, jill konrath

This homepage gets straight to the point. From the headline and sub-headline, it’s clear exactly what Jill Konrath does (and how she can help your business).

Visitors can also easily find Jill’s thought leadership materials, which is important to establishing her credibility as a keynote speaker. The pop-up subscription CTA uses social proof to get you to join her thousands of other fans.

What we love: It’s easy to subscribe to the newsletter and get in touch — two of her primary calls-to-action.

17. Evernote

homepage design, evernote

Over the years, Evernote has turned from a simple note-saving app into a suite of business products. Evernote does an excellent job of packaging many potential messages into a few key benefits.

This homepage uses a combination of white space and its signature bright green and white highlights to make conversion paths stand out. Following a simple headline (“Tame your work, organize your life”), the eye path then leads you to its call-to-action, “Sign Up For Free.”

What we love: Evernote also offers a one-click sign-up process through Google to help visitors save even more time.

18. Telerik by Progress

homepage design, telerik

“Stuffy enterprise” isn’t the feeling you get from Telerik’s website. For a company that offers many technology products, its bold colors, fun designs, and videography give off a Google-like vibe.

The website uses a simple, high-level overview of its six product offers. It’s a very clear way of communicating what the company does and how people can learn more.

What we love: The copy is lightweight and easy to read. It speaks the language of its customers.

19. Basecamp

homepage design, basecamp

Basecamp’s homepage features a brilliant headline and sub-headline that explains what they do and how they’re different from the rest. The call-to-action is bold and above the fold.

What we love: In this example, the company chose a more blog-like homepage (or single-page site approach), providing much more product information.

20. charity: water

homepage design, charity:water

Charity: water uses visuals, creative copy, and use of interactive web design to engage visitors. The website’s main purpose, to accept donations, is brought to the forefront with the payment gateway right above the fold.

For those who miss the donation gateway at the top of the page, the website also shows other ways they can donate once they scroll below the fold.

What we love: This nonprofit employs great uses of video and photography, particularly in capturing emotion that causes action.

21. TechValidate

 homepage design ideas, techvalidate

Software tools should explain their value proposition and how their product works on their homepages. TechValidate executes this brief with mastery — pairing beautiful design with essential information.

This homepage is beautifully designed, making use of white space, contrasting colors, and customer-centric design. The headline is clear and compelling, as is the call-to-action.

What we love: The product’s video is front and center. Customers know just what to watch to learn more.

22. Medium

homepage design, medium

Medium’s homepage uses a simple header, sub-header, and CTA button before drawing visitors’ attention to the trending stories — the main point of the website.

What we love: The homepage uses social proof to get visitors to start clicking around. The “Trending on Medium” section lets visitors know where to find high-quality content.

23. Kind Snacks

best website homepage example, kind foods

Kind Snacks website makes you hungry just from the images. The bold colors produce contrast, making the words and images stand out on the page.

The website also makes use of a carousel to show the brand’s wide array of products. All of the options reinforce that anyone can find their new favorite snack.

However, Kind’s website is more than just selling individual products. The homepage also introduces visitors to gifting cubes, build-your-own-box options, and mini products.

What we love: Kind’s website also features a subscription option. Here, the brand clearly lays out the benefits visitors would enjoy if they subscribed.

24. Ahrefs

homepage design, ahrefs

Ahrefs offers many tools that can help teams improve their SEO. However, the home page keeps offerings simple, prompting visitors to sign up.

Simplicity is reinforced by the site’s design. There’s no clutter thanks to the solid background and simple typography. The color contrast between the blue, white, and orange colors is eye-catching and makes the headline and CTA pop.

What we love: Ahrefs uses different social proof elements throughout the page. For instance, visitors can see the number of new Ahrefs accounts created in the past week above the fold.

25. Ellevest

homepage design, ellevest

“Your money goals are personal.” This headline is powerful and makes visitors want to learn more about the product. The images show, rather than tell, one of the company’s value propositions: a mobile app, pair of scales, and calculator that move with you.

What we love: “Get Started” is a great CTA — in fact, we use it ourselves here at HubSpot. When clicked, it takes visitors through a few simple steps to set up a profile and start investing.

Building the Best Home Page

When it comes to beautiful homepage design, remember: Less is more. Your homepage’s job is to present your mission and explain what visitors can gain from your offering.

Keep these best practices in mind when you revisit your site. Soon, you’ll be on your way to making our list.

Canva HubSpot Website Ebook

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons



OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.

No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.

But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?

Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:

For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.

We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.

Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.

Let’s have Robert explain.

The right structure and governance matters

OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.

That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?

That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.

First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.

Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use. 

Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big

Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.

It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.

In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.

With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)

They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.

The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?

Why you should care

With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.

They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)

They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader



The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.

Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.

Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.

Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.

Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.

5. Establish communication channels (How)

Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:

Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.

Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.

Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.

Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.

Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.

6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts

As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.

Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:

  • Build awareness about your brand

  • Highlight the problems you solve

  • Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions

Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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