What’s the formula to guarantee success of a data collection campaign?

As part of my role as Supplier Engagement Consultant, I work on campaigns to collect information for my retail clients from their private brand suppliers about the suppliers themselves and their products.

How to guarantee a 100% response rate

I’m often asked by my internal stakeholders when reflecting on a successful data collection campaign, what made that work? And is there a formula that ‘guarantees’ success?

Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers in this blog and I certainly can’t give you methods to guarantee a 100% response rate. However, there are definitely some techniques to consider when planning your campaign that I can guarantee will make all the difference to the quantity and quality of your responses.

Never underestimate the power of data.

Like any type of campaign, the contact data that drives it is fundamental to your success. Frankly, you’ll never get 100% pure, clean data, but you should be able to get close and at least to a point where your data is consistent i.e. First name, last name and email address etc. Therefore, when collecting information, validation is key, especially on key data fields.

Making specific fields mandatory in a contact data request, e.g. mandatory numeric response into a contact number field, can make all the difference to the accuracy of the data that you capture in your campaign. Alternatively, a softer option is to provide a prompt or message that pops up to inform the end user what is missing or required of them to proceed or complete the request.

What do we want, and when do we want it?

Make the process memorable and be obvious about what exactly is required. Be clear about what you are offering. State the benefits of providing the requested information, the content of any future emails, the frequency and when the respondent should expect to hear from you again.

By planning your data collection process and sharing this process with your audience, you will set the tone and expectations with your customers and gain their trust at the very start of your relationship and campaign. And don’t ask for more than you need or are going to really use. The fewer the questions the quicker and easier for someone to respond, so focus on the questions which really matter to you and the information you really need.


It’s best to keep it simple! If your request is too long or complicated this could cause the respondent to drop-out, losing them at the first hurdle. A trick I have found useful in many of my campaigns is auto-population. For example, using a pre-filled tick box on your sign-up form or anything similar that has effectively completed their decision for them is a great way make your process quick and simple for the end user. Where you already know information about the products in question auto-populate the list so it is easier, but importantly also less ambiguous and removes the potential for human error if this does not need to be re-entered.

Set achievable deadlines

Finally, and probably my best bit of advice is to set realistic deadlines for not only the audience but also for yourself. With the best will in the world, you will always have a handful of contacts that are more difficult to get a response from than others. Always factor in enough time to chase and follow up with your audience, be it through targeted chaser communications or other engagement methods to get those last few responses in. We normally find a campaign to collect information takes around 4 to 6 weeks, from the initial getting in contact with the right people, through the collection process and then following up with the stragglers to get the high response rate required.

All of the techniques I mention above should not only benefit you from a customer engagement and loyalty perspective but will also help to build a positive sender reputation which will in turn improve your deliverability and response rate for future campaigns.

We have recently applied these data collection techniques to capture data on GMO ingredients in private brand products and to survey suppliers about the volume and usage of palm oil and palm oil derivatives in their private label products.

Read more about increasing efficiency and effectiveness of data collection campaigns.

Tags: Supplier engagement

Team S4RB

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