Struggling to Find Survey Respondents? Use These Four Tips.

You've spent hours creating a well-written survey. The survey is programmed and ready for launch.

But now you're left scratching your head wondering how to find survey respondents. Or perhaps, you've sent the online survey to fieldwork and are seeing low response rates.

This is a common challenge our online survey company hears from prospective clients. Oftentimes the solution can include a mix of sourcing options.

Ultimately, it’s helpful to get an understanding of the audience and objectives of the survey before providing a recommendation on how to best research survey respondents. 

However, below we share a few different ways of finding survey respondents could be using an online research panel, reaching out to a marketing research recruiting company, using social media, and considering survey updates. 

Learn more about these finding survey respondents through various sampling methods.

finding survey respondents

Contact an online research panel

Using an online research panel is a great first step when trying to find survey respondents.

Knowing there are differences in feasibility and price, researchers typically reach out to a few panels companies before deciding which to move forward with. 

Before reaching out to a panel company, be prepared to provide key information such as

  • An overview of the project type
  • Target geography
  • Length of the survey (i.e., minutes to complete and the number of questions)
  • Goal number of completes
  • Estimated incidence rate

Additionally, it's important to note survey qualifiers (e.g., decision-makers, aware of certain brands) and quotas (e.g., a mix of gender, race, ethnicity). 

Recommended Reading: Benefits of Using a Third-Party Online Research Panel 

Partner with a Market Research Recruiting Company

Prefer to have a seasoned market research professional work with an online research panel provider on your behalf? That’s also an option! 

For instance, our market research team has an extensive list of providers that details contact information, website, strengths, weaknesses, pricing information, and additional notes.

Keep in mind there are additional intricacies and survey programming that needs to be done when working with an online panel provider.

If this is something you would like to avoid figuring out, working with a market research recruiting company is an ideal sampling method.

Recommended Reading: Benefits of Using a Third-Party Market Research Firm.

Use Paid Social Media

Looking for an additional source of research respondents outside of using an online research panel or recruitment company? Social media can be an effective next step.

Consider placing ads on platforms the target audience of the survey is likely to be using. 

For example, consider using Facebook or Instagram. Data sources report 73% of U.S. Facebook users to log on at least daily, and 60% of those younger than 35 use Instagram at least daily.

Plus, when using advanced targeting through Facebook and Instagram, ads can be placed to specific audiences such as ages, locations, interests, and more.

Watch our 60-second video to learn our tips and tricks for social media recruiting. Or read our [Ultimate Guide] How to Use Social Media to Find Research Participants

When All Else Fails: Make Survey Updates

Lastly, ask yourself if the survey is having a hard time reaching respondents because there is one of two things:

  1. A high drop off rate -- respondents are leaving the survey without completing it)
  2. A low incidence rate -- there is a low likelihood of a respondent qualifying for the survey. 

If either of these occurrences is happening, now is the time to consider shortening the survey and/or loosening respondent requirements. 

Ideally, strive to keep the survey to as close to 5 minutes or less for respondents to complete.

Additionally, our online survey company recommends asking less than 3 open-ended survey questions. It can also help if the open-ended questions are skippable, which can lower the drop-off rate.

Recommended Reading: A Closer Look At What Impacts Survey Response Rates.

Find Survey Respondents with Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in New York. Our team specializes in survey design, recruiting, and reporting. 

Need help finding survey respondents? Contact Drive Research to learn more about our pricing.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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