Impact of question topics and filter question formats on web survey breakoffs

Web surveys have become increasingly popular over the last decade, but they tend to suffer from breakoffs, which take place when respondents start the survey but do not complete it.


Surveys have been widely used in different fields, such as market research and political polling. Due to the cost concern and tight schedule, an increasingly number of surveys have been conducted online. However, running surveys on the web has some limitations, one of which is survey breakoff. Survey breakoffs happen when the respondent starts the survey but fails to complete it (Tourangeau et al., 2013). As a result, missing data are produced, causing subsequent analysis to have lower statistical power as well as potentially biasing results (Steinbrecher et al., 2015).

To address the breakoff, it is important to understand...

Not a subscriber?

Schedule your live demo with our team today

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

We’re long-term subscribers to WARC and it’s a tool we use extensively. We use it to source case studies and best practice for the purposes of internal training, as well as for putting persuasive cases to clients. In compiling a recent case for long-term, sustained investment in brand, we were able to support key marketing principles with numerous case studies sourced from WARC. It helped bring what could have been a relatively dry deck to life with recognisable brand successes from across a broad number of categories. It’s incredibly efficient to have such a wealth of insight in one place.

Insights Team
Bray Leino

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands