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Survey Respondents: Who Are They, Types, and How to Find Them

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

23 May 2024

6 min read

The crux of any survey is its respondents. Getting the right survey respondents is where the success of a survey or research lies. The quality of the data, the insights you drive, and the decisions you make all depend on the answers from the respondents. If they don’t fall under your target market, well you can say “ta ta” to your business success.

So, how can you find the right survey respondents? Well, that’s why we are here. At the end of this blog, you will understand who the survey respondents are, how to find them, and more.

Let’s get going.

Who or What Are the Survey Respondents?

Survey respondents are individuals who provide answers or feedback in an online survey. The characteristics of survey respondents can vary depending on the goal of the survey and the target population. For example, suppose a survey to gauge the impact of remote work.

Here, the survey aims to study the impact of remote work on mental health. Therefore, the survey respondents here will be remote workers from varying industries. The reason why survey respondents are crucial is because the quality of the survey heavily depends on them.

This is why you need to target your surveys at relevant survey respondents.

So, How to Find Survey Respondents?

As discussed, if you want to get valuable insights from your survey – you need to find the right survey respondents. The following are some ways you find survey respondents for your surveys.

6 effective ways to find survey respondents

1. Leveraging Third-Party Networks

If you don’t have or can’t find the target audience, find someone who has. You can partner with companies or individuals who have a connection to the target audience. This can be anyone from suppliers and resellers to non-competing businesses in your industry.

For example, suppose you are conducting a survey on consumer electronics. Here, you can connect with tech bloggers and electronics sellers who already have the target audience. You can ask them to share your surveys on their website or social media channels.

However, be careful who you partner with. You want someone who has a significant influence on their audience. Also, be mindful of privacy regulations such as GDPR in Europe to avoid legal pitfalls.

2. Purchasing Panel Respondents

This is one of the quickest ways to find survey respondents. By purchasing panel respondents, you get a ready-made list of survey participants. So, if you are targeting IT security professionals, you can consider accessing respondent panels from providers like SurveySparrow.

The audience here is pre-screened for this expertise. Now, with respect to SurveySparrow, the audience in the panel has agreed to participate in surveys. If you are considering some other platforms, please ensure the same. This method is beneficial, especially when time is of the essence.

Also, ensure that the respondents align with your target audience. Only then can you maintain the integrity and relevance of the survey.

3. Expand Your Email List

Growing your email marketing list is one of the efficient ways to find survey respondents. The emails you get from Newsletter subscriptions, signups, and more will automatically fall under the target audience. Following the link to learn how you can grow your email list.

Once you have a list of emails to work with, segment them. It can be based on their interests, previous interactions, or the source of signup. The segmentation ensures that the surveys reach the most relevant audience. This also increases the response rate and makes the feedback valuable.

4. Utilizing Your Website for Lead Generation

Your website can also be a powerful tool for gathering survey participants. Leverage SEO and content prowess to bring a target audience to your website. You can create focused landing pages to ensure the visitors are relevant to your business. Once you are certain of the audience characteristics, implement surveys on the website.

Preferably implement a survey on that webpage that has higher engagement and visitors. You can use pop-ups or CTAs, but ensure these are unobtrusive. You don’t want to alter the user experience of the website.

5. Engaging Through Social Media

There are countless social media platforms available now, and almost everyone has an account on every platform. Therefore, social media platforms are a great way to find survey respondents. The key is tailoring the message to fit the platform and its users. You can use engaging, relevant posts and hashtags and even partner with an influencer to widen your reach.

So, if you are running a fitness app, try creating health and fitness challenges on Instagram. This will attract your target audience. Furthermore, connect and partner with top fitness models on Instagram. Encouraging shares and using relevant hashtags can significantly increase your survey’s visibility

6. Conducting In-Person Survey

This approach is ideal when people are less inclined to do an online survey. Another key thing to understand here is that in-person surveys tend to have rich, qualitative data. Like for example, a company developing a new snack could set up a stall at a food festival and collect feedback directly.

They can offer samples to taste and request the customers to do a short survey about the product. Therefore, the first thing to do will be to identify places your target audience frequently visits. As discussed, this could be events, stores, or public places.

While this method is effective, it requires careful planning and respect for the respondent’s time and privacy. Now that you have understood the ways to find survey respondents, let’s discuss the types of survey respondents.

Types of Survey Respondents

You might not know this, but there are six types of respondents out there. Each has its own characteristics and affects the quality of your survey. With that in mind, let’s see who are these survey respondents.

#1. Professionals

Imagine some people take surveys very seriously. It’s almost as if it’s their job. This is great because they will give useful and helpful feedback. But there’s a catch. If they do too many surveys, especially on the same thing, their answers might start to get a bit predictable.

It’s like if you only ever ate chocolate ice cream, you might forget how strawberry tastes!

#2. Rule-Breakers

As the name indicates, they don’t always follow rules. Don’t get it wrong. It’s not because they’re naughty, but maybe because they’re a bit confused. It’s like not following the conventional methods for solving a math problem and still getting it right.

So, what can you do to avoid this? It’s simple – make questions clearer to help everyone understand.

Here’s something to help you with writing simple survey questions. The blog includes tips as well.

#3. Speeders

Speeders zoom through surveys super fast, aiming to finish quickly, maybe to get a reward. If you are rushing through a process, you are bound to make mistakes or miss something crucial. It’s the same here. What you can do here is to make sure that the surveys are available to be responded to at the customer’s time.

Also, keep it concise and avoid good-to-have questions.

Suggested Read: Best Time to Send a Survey | Insights for 2024 and Beyond

#4. Straightliners

Straightliners always pick the same kind of answer, like always saying “yes” or always picking “5 out of 5”. It’s a bit like saying everything is your favorite. Try to mix up survey questions. This may help with getting more honest feedback from them.

Pro Tip 💡: Try using a survey question randomizer. It might help you here.

#5. Cheaters

It’s obvious what this type of respondent is, right? These people tend to do multiple survey submissions or may use robots. It’s like playing a game where someone tries to score extra points by breaking the rules. To avoid multiple submissions, you can create surveys using one-time usable links.

Another way to mitigate this is to implement email verification.

#6. Posers

Posers change their answers to fit in or to please the person asking. It’s like saying you love soccer because your friends do, even if you don’t. This might be because the surveys aren’t anonymous. So, making your surveys anonymous would be a start to avoid posers.

Each of these respondent types presents unique challenges, requiring tailored strategies to ensure the collection of high-quality, reliable data.

Want to Get Survey Participants Faster?

If you are using or considering SurveySparrow, there’s a way to find survey respondents faster. The tool offers a world-class audience panel where you can customize and find survey audiences that fit the target market. With SurveySparrow, you’re supported every step of the way to gather the data you need efficiently and effectively.

Connect with our team to learn more about the audience panel.

FAQs on Survey Respondents

1. Is 25 Respondents Enough for a Survey?

It depends on your survey goal. For small, specific studies or initial insights, 25 might work. But for broader or more detailed analysis, you’ll need more people.

2. What Is the Difference Between Survey Respondents and Participants?

Survey respondents are individuals who answer or respond to a survey. At the same time, survey participants have a broader meaning and refer to individuals who take part in a study, survey, or experiment.

3. How Many People Should I Ask to Take My Survey?

To get reliable results for your surveys, aim for 300 to 1000 people. These numbers will work well if you are unsure about how big your target group is. But if your survey is very specific or the target audience is small, then you might need a different number of people.

Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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