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5 min

6 effective ways to reach survey respondents in an online survey

Here are the 6 effective ways to reach survey respondents in an online survey

Mar 19, 2023
B2C market research
B2B market research


The success of an online survey depends on many factors. However, the most important thing is reaching the right survey respondents with your message. When you have limited resources and time, it can be tough to find the right audience for your survey. Here are six ways you can increase response rates:

1. Use response incentives for your survey respondents

  • Giveaway or gift card: This is one of the easiest ways to get people interested in your survey. You can offer a giveaway prize that is relevant to your business, and make it easy for people to enter by providing them with an entry form and asking them to complete it with their email address. You can also offer an instant coupon code for those who complete the survey (or even just start it).
  • Prize draw: Prizes don't have to be physical objects. They could be experiences like free tickets or dinners out at restaurants where you're conducting the survey. Or they could also be subscriptions or memberships such as movie passes or gym memberships.
  • Discounts: Another way of attracting respondents is by offering them discounts on products or services that companies offer if they complete a certain number of surveys within a certain timeframe. This works particularly well when combined with other incentives like giveaways or cash back.
  • Cash back: Cash back offers are an excellent way to encourage people to take part in your survey. You can offer a cash back prize for completing the survey or for each question answered correctly.

2. Keep your survey length short

 It will be worth it when you're able to send out shorter surveys that are much easier for respondents to complete in their own time frame.

When writing your survey, think about how much information needs to be collected from each respondent. If there's only one piece of information needed per response (such as "What is your age?"), then there's no need for multiple pages or questions in this section. If however there are multiple pieces of data needed per response, then consider splitting these up onto separate pages or questions.

3. Make your questions easy to follow

Here are a few tips to better target survey respondents by making sure your questions are easy to follow:

  • Use short and simple sentences.
  • Use words that are easy to understand and relate to, like "yesterday" instead of "the day before yesterday."
  • Choose a good font size, style, and colour so that respondents can easily read what you've written in your survey.
  • Use bold text and italics to highlight important points in your survey. Make sure every question has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

If you are going to use multiple questions in one section, then it's important to make sure that each page is well organised and easy for respondents to understand. For example, if you have several questions about age but only one answer choice for each question (such as "What is your age?" with possible answers of "Under 18 years old," "18-24 years old" or "25-34 years old"), then consider adding a number before each answer choice. This is so that respondents know exactly how many answer choices are there.

4. Use the right question types for your survey respondents

Open-ended questions are a great way to allow your respondents to provide their own answers. They give you insight into their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. They're also useful for getting feedback on new ideas or products that may not be well understood by the respondents.

Multiple-choice questions are good for providing specific answers about something that respondents may already know.

Rating scale questions allow you to collect data using scales such as "very satisfied" or "extremely likely" rather than just yes or no answers. This can give you better insight into how people feel about certain things than just getting a binary response would allow!

Checkbox or radio button questions are another popular option when asking multiple-choice questions. This is because they don't require any typing on behalf of your survey respondents.

5. Include an instruction or introduction section

This is the first thing that survey respondents see when they open your survey, so it's important to make a good first impression. An introduction should explain what the survey is about and how long it will take to complete. In addition, it should explain why you are doing this survey in the first place. It should also explain what you will do with the results and how you will protect their privacy (if applicable). You should also include a link to the survey itself so that participants can skip over any introductory information they don't want to read.

6. Target survey respondents through newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to reach respondents. By creating a newsletter, you can send it out to people who have already opted in or target those who may not have an email address. Newsletters can also be used as part of your email marketing strategy. You can use newsletters as either an opt-in or non-opt-in tool.

Reach your survey respondents through the correct incentives

Incentives are a great way to encourage people to take your survey. Offering a prize or gift card will help you attract more participants who want to win something valuable. In fact, offering an incentive is one of the most effective ways to boost response rates. This is because it makes completing your survey worth their time and effort. The most important thing about incentives is that they must be relevant to your target audience.

Incentives can be anything from a small prize like a coupon or gift card to larger rewards like an iPad or even cash. You should always test different types of incentives to see which ones work best for your audience. In addition, you should also make sure that you're offering something that is valuable and relevant to your target audience.

Determining the right incentives for survey respondents

When you are conducting an online survey, incentives can be used to encourage respondents to respond. Incentives can be monetary or non-monetary and include gift cards, coupons, or freebies. The most effective incentives are relevant to the survey topic and its target audience. It's also important not to overwhelm respondents with too many options; they may opt out altogether if they feel overwhelmed by too many choices.

Giveaways for survey respondents

These are a great way to incentivise people to take your survey. You can give away anything from gift cards to coupons for a free product or service. This depends on the type of business you're conducting the survey for. The bigger the prize, the more likely respondents will be willing to fill out your survey and share their information with you! Giveaways are an effective way to incentivise survey respondents. Giving away something of value will encourage people to take your survey because they want what you're offering.

Here are some ideas for giveaways:

  • Giveaway a free product in exchange for completing the survey (e.g., $20 off your next purchase!)
  • Offer a discount code that expires after X amount of time (e.g., 30% off all purchases made between now and Friday at midnight)

Use social media to target survey respondents

Social media is an excellent way to reach respondents and engage with them. This is especially the case if you're running a survey about a topic that's relevant to your audience.

There are a number of ways to target respondents through social media. First, you can use social media ads to target people who are interested in the same things as your brand. This will help you reach a highly relevant audience. It will also make it easier for them to take action on your ad.

Second, you can run sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram that share information about your survey. Since these platforms have lots of users, they are an effective way to get your message out there quickly and easily.

Finally, if you're trying to reach people in specific countries or regions around the world, consider creating ads targeted at those areas. For example, if you're looking for more customers in France, create an ad aimed at French-speaking users only who live in France. 

Create surveys that are relevant to your target audience

When designing your survey, make sure it's relevant to the target audience. If you're targeting young people and want them to fill out your survey, make sure it isn't too long or complicated. Conversely, if you're trying to reach older people who may not have strong computer skills or English fluency (or both), then keep things simple and easy to follow in terms of language use and structure.

Reach survey respondents through online ads or social media ads

You can also use online ads to reach survey respondents. Ad platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to target specific groups of people who fit your demographic criteria, such as age, gender, and location. You can also set up retargeting campaigns that will show ads to people who have already visited your website or looked at certain pages on it. This is a great way to remind them about taking part in the survey,

Final thoughts on reaching survey respondents

The success of an online survey depends on many factors. However, the most important thing is reaching the right people with your message. You need to make sure that you've done everything possible to ensure that your survey reaches relevant respondents who will actually respond. Reaching out via email or social media can help you reach more people than just posting a link on your website. However, if they're not interested in taking part or don't have enough time, then they won't participate and your data will be skewed by non-responses.

The next step is making it easy for respondents to complete their responses and even better if there's an incentive involved! Offering points toward rewards like gift cards or discounts can give people extra motivation when filling out surveys online.

The target audience of your survey is a critical factor in determining the success of the survey. Your target audience is the group of people who will benefit from the results of the survey. It is best to keep your target audience as narrow as possible to ensure that you'll get meaningful data back.

For example, if you're creating a customer satisfaction survey, you might want to include only customers who have had at least one interaction with your company in the past six months. This will help you get more accurate results because those customers are more likely to remember their interactions with your company. They will therefore be able to answer questions about them honestly. Surveys that are too broad or too narrow can also misrepresent the population being surveyed. A survey that's too broad will include too many different types of people and not enough respondents from each group, while a survey that's too narrow will leave out important groups altogether.


The right survey target audience is incredibly important for the success of a survey. If you don't have the right people responding, then you won't get the most accurate results possible.

When choosing your target audience, think about who would be most likely to answer your questions. If you're trying to get feedback about a new product, for example, it might make sense to include people who bought similar products in the past and have expressed interest in buying things like yours.

The more specific your target audience is, the better, it will give you a more accurate picture of what your customers want and need.

If you want to increase response rates for your online survey, it's important to consider the different ways in which people can be reached. You can use incentives, giveaways, and other types of rewards; social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter; newsletters; or even online ads. Also check out: 7 effective ways to find survey respondents.

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