A comprehensive guide to finding respondents for your next academic survey

academic survey
Written by Nigel Simpkins

In qualitative and quantitative research, even when you have a great questionnaire, you are at risk of getting nothing without the right respondents. If you need help finding respondents to complete your online survey, this article will help you understand different ways of finding survey participants or questionnaire respondents.

Whether you need to produce survey results quickly or have all the time you need to do so, try any of these methods to find survey respondents. Each of these techniques can be useful in various circumstances, so be sure to carefully consider your survey’s objectives before choosing the specific method to find survey respondents.

Grow your email list

If you have several email contacts, it means you can still increase the number of emails you have. Suppose you own a business or participate in various activities at school or even in your community. There are different ways to collect emails from your friends, colleagues, family, and even online acquaintances. If you have a website, you can start collecting emails from your target audience by asking them to sign up for a newsletter or giving them something to download. 

Having a long email list gives you many email addresses from different demographic sectors and people with varying levels of education and enthusiasm. Remember, building or growing your email list is an ongoing process. You can send your survey questionnaire or any other information collection method to your email list as part of your survey participants.

Use third-party partners and channels.

It is possible to ask your partners or friends if you can use their network or even marketing channels to reach out to potential survey respondents. There are also professional Third-parties who specialize in helping researchers find relevant and more reliable survey participants. This technique can be a great source of respondents across various situations and disciplines. Be sure to evaluate the multiple aspects of your target audience just to be sure that you’re targeting the right respondents. 

Buy panel respondents

Generally, a panel is a group of people with highly relevant backgrounds who have unanimously agreed to participate in various researches on an ongoing basis. There may be a number of services that sell relevant responses to surveys, and organizations can contact them for a timely, bespoke survey participant list. 

This technique of finding survey participants allows you to get a fast, tailored list of survey participants for your study whenever you need them. The participants are already used to answering survey questionnaires, and that means they can complete your survey questionnaire successfully and provide detailed information.

On the flip side, such services can be costly. So it is essential to shop around and see the organizations that are giving better results at an affordable price. Also, you may not be 100% sure that all the survey participants are your ideal target audience. So, it is essential to pay attention to this aspect as well if you plan to buy panel respondents.

Use social media

One effective way of finding reliable survey participants is to share your survey widely on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. This will encourage more visibility we are social sharing. It is essential to think about whether your target topic is suitable for one social media platform over another. 

Just think about it; LinkedIn is a platform dedicated to majorly professional networking and is ideal for most job seekers. That means creating a LinkedIn post with specific keywords and relevant hashtags, together with your survey link, is a good way of contacting people who are interested in a certain topic, such as business performance. These people may be part of your network, colleagues’ networks, or even other organization’s networks. 

One of the top benefits of using social media platforms to find survey participants is that you can easily reach different people across various geographical boundaries. Social media channels also allow you to communicate in real-time, and this opens up new international markets. Additionally, there is the potential for ‘digital word of mouth’ that could help spread the word about your survey, and more people are likely to come forward to participate in a survey.

Wrap up

Finding reliable survey participants is easier than most people think. However, it would be best to consider essential factors such as survey objectives and the relevance of your target audience when finding respondents to your survey. Implement the techniques or tips discussed above, and you will always find ideal and reliable service participants whenever you need them.