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7 min

7 effective ways to find survey respondents

Choose the best way to find survey respondents for your next market research project

Jan 13, 2023
B2B market research
B2C market research


If you want to get a good idea of what your customers think about your products or services, there's no better way than sending them out a survey. But if your business doesn't have time for that, or if you're just not sure where to start (or how), don't worry. We have some suggestions to find survey respondents who can help you out.

1. Find survey respondents through a volunteer panel

Volunteer panels can be a very effective way to reach the right audience. They're also free and easy to set up, which means you can get going right away. All you need is a simple online survey tool, and you're good to go!

Volunteer panels are the most cost-effective way to reach your target audience. These panels are typically filled with people who are eager to help you out. They're great for providing feedback on new products or services. Additionally, they're great for testing out concepts like new advertising strategies, messaging, etc. Learn more about message testing in market research here.

2. Use an online moderator to find survey respondents

One of the best methods for finding survey respondents is to use an online moderator. A moderator is a person who will administer your survey for you. You can find online moderators by searching online or by asking around in your network. They are typically college students or people who need extra income and have a reliable internet connection at home. An added benefit of using an online moderator is that they can ensure that your survey reaches a targeted audience. If you're looking to get feedback from only young adults who live in urban areas, then an online moderator could be just what you need!

A downside of using an online moderator is that they typically charge more than volunteers. They also have to be paid ahead of time, whereas you can pay a volunteer after they complete the survey.

3. Host your survey on social media

  • Social media platforms are a great way to reach people. As we've mentioned, surveys can be hosted anywhere. However, social media is a good place because it's already where so many people spend their time.
  • Recruiting respondents via social media is also easy. Just post about it on Facebook and let your friends help you out with finding participants!
  • Social media is a good place to advertise your survey. You can pay for ad space on Facebook or Twitter and promote your survey in real-time, day or night!

4. Advertise your survey on Facebook

To find survey respondents you can use Facebook ads to target specific users based on location, age, and interests. For example, if you want to reach people who live in New York City and are interested in gardening, simply create an ad and target those people with your survey link.

Another advantage of Facebook ads is that you can run them for as long as possible. However, a possible downside to Facebook ads is that they are shown to people who are most likely to click on them. This might create objectivity issues in the data that is collected. Another way to use Facebook is to promote the survey on Facebook groups that function a lot like forums. However, a potential con might be that they have stricter rules and don't allow survey links straight away.

5. Use a panel provider to find survey respondents who fit specific criteria

If you are trying to fill a specific niche, or if you have a very specific set of questions, then using a panel provider can be helpful. These services are able to provide you with access to people who fit your criteria, and they do so at scale. Panel providers can also help you get the right mix of respondents in terms of gender, age group, ethnicity, and location. They will typically charge to find survey respondents. However, it is worth considering whether this is something that could save time and money down the road.

A panel provider is an effective way to find survey respondents if your project is complex and requires extensive research. This is because panel providers will usually have years of experience in conducting high-quality surveys.

6. Contact organisations in your area that serve the group you're hoping to reach

If you're looking to reach a specific group of people, such as women or people who live in rural areas, it's always a good idea to contact organisations in your area that serve the group you're hoping to reach. You can ask if they'll help spread the word about your survey. Organisations can help by sharing the survey link on their social media pages, printing out copies of the survey for people, and handing them out at events. Also, they can put up posters advertising your study and ask for feedback. They can even assist in calling members of their community directly.

This is a great way to get your survey in front of people who might not otherwise see it. Additionally, it can also help you build relationships with local organisations that could be helpful in the future.

7. Ask your employees, family, and friends to take it, if they fall into the population you're hoping to reach

Surveys are most effective when they ask questions of the right people. And who better to answer these questions than someone who falls into the population you’re hoping to reach?

  • Employees: Asking your employees is a no-brainer because they have firsthand experience with your products and services. They can tell you what works well and what doesn't. But don't limit yourself to asking your own staff; also consider asking other businesses or organisations that use or sell similar products or services.
  • Family members: If you have family members who fit into this category (e.g., parents, grandparents), then by all means include them in your survey! They probably know more about the topic than anyone else will. In addition to this, they'll be happy to share their knowledge with others who may find it useful too!
  • Friends: Friends are another great resource because many people trust their friends' opinions more than those of strangers online or even experts. So why not get some data from someone who knows what they're talking about and has already seen success doing so themselves?
  • Neighbours: Finally, if you live in an area where you're surrounded by other people who could also benefit from your research, then it's a good idea to ask them about their needs and preferences as well. For example, imagine that you run a local catering business and want to expand into wedding catering and need to run a survey about it. You can reach out to other companies that offer wedding services (or those who've already done so) and ask them to participate in your survey.

There are many ways to find survey respondents for market research projects

There are several ways to reach different audiences for surveys. You can use the internet, social media, your own network of friends and family, or a panel provider to find respondents for your survey.

Let's look at each method in more detail

The internet is a fast and easy way to get responses from a large audience. You can post ads on sites like Facebook Marketplace, or you could create your own survey landing page with Google Forms. There are also paid ad campaigns that target specific demographics such as age group, gender, location, etc. These ads can allow you access to niche audiences (e.g., if you only wanted women aged between 25-40 years old who live in New York City). However these ads tend not to be cheap so it is best if they are used sparingly (e.g., when testing out new ideas).

Social media can be a great way to reach people but it’s important to use the right platforms. Facebook is the most popular platform for businesses and if you want to reach younger audiences then Instagram is probably your best bet. You can create posts about your survey, ask people for their opinions on certain topics, or even run a competition where respondents have the chance to win something in return for completing the survey (e.g., an Amazon gift card).

You can also go old school and simply post flyers around town. This might be a good option if you want to specifically target certain areas without spending too much money on advertising.

Pro tip: find people who have already participated in similar surveys. They're more likely to be interested in taking part again and can save time by providing you with their contact information.

Some additional tips to find survey respondents

Finding survey respondents is one of the most challenging parts of creating a survey. Here are some tips for finding participants who are willing to answer your questions:

1. Make it easy for people to participate. Include contact information for how to fill out the survey online or via phone, provide a way for them to receive a link via email or text message, and make sure that your instructions are clear and easy to follow.

2. Know where your audience hangs out. If you're targeting students, find out which student organisations they're involved with, and reach out to them there. If you're targeting business owners, put up flyers around local businesses and hand out surveys at events where those businesses might have booths set up.

3. Be specific about why you need participants' input on this topic in particular. What will their participation do for them specifically? The more personal you can make your request, the more likely people will be interested in participating!

It’s also important to make sure that your survey is asking the right questions. If you want to know about someone’s shopping habits, then a question like “How often do you go shopping?” might not be very useful as it doesn’t allow respondents any room for interpretation. Instead try asking them what types of items they usually buy and where they usually shop (e.g., supermarket vs. online).

This will allow you to get a better idea of what people are looking for and how they prefer to buy them. You should also make sure that your survey is clear and easy to understand so that respondents don’t get confused or frustrated. Make sure there aren’t any spelling or grammar mistakes either, as these could lead to inaccurate results.


Finding survey respondents can be challenging for a number of reasons. You might have trouble finding people who are willing to take your survey or are able to complete it. Or maybe the topics you're researching aren't relevant enough for most people in your target audience.

But there are some best practices for finding survey respondents that can help make this process easier for you. These include:

- Targeting specific groups of people based on demographic information like age, gender, and location (e.g., asking college students about their student loans). This helps ensure that the feedback you receive is relevant to your business goals or research questions.

- Targeting specific groups of people based on when they're likely to be online (e.g., targeting millennials during hours when they're more likely to be at work). This helps ensure that the feedback you receive comes from representative members of your target audience.

- Using referrers like email lists or social media groups where participants already have an existing relationship with each other (e.g., an alumni group).

Looking to find survey respondents for your next research project? Contact us today to see how we can help. 

Survey research is a great way to get in touch with your target audience and determine their opinions. While the internet is the most popular way to find survey respondents, there are also other effective ways. We hope these tips will help you make an informed decision when choosing a method to find survey respondents. If you're looking for further reading, we've got a related post on how to incentivise survey respondents. Check it out here to learn more!

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