How To Get The Right Survey Audience For Your Online Questionnaire

Philip Cleave
July 4, 2016

Do you need to reach a specific survey audience, but don’t have the people in your address book? Would guaranteed responses help you with your research? You’ve spent time and resources on designing a state-of-the-art survey, but your efforts will be wasted unless you get the number of respondents needed to meet the survey objectives. Read on to find out how to get targeted audiences to take part in your survey…

One commonly asked question is ‘How many people should I send my survey to?’ The key to getting an accurate result to a survey is a representative sample of the population you are looking at. A large sample size does not necessarily lead to an accurate representation of the target population.

The goals you have set for your survey will determine the number of respondents you need. Your desired response rate (the percentage of people who take part in your survey) will influence the number of people you need to send the survey to.

Survey Audience

If you need to interview a certain demographic group, then buying responses via Consumer Panels can get your survey in front of your chosen audience and generate responses when you need them. If you need to have a guaranteed number of people take part in your survey, you can state the number of responses you require. Specific criteria used for targeting will find the respondents you need.

3 Tips to Avoid Selection Bias in Survey Responses

Bias can creep into surveys when the methods used for conducting research favours certain outcomes over others. In an effort to eliminate bias when designing your survey you should:

  1. Identify your survey goals.
  2. Select clearly defined requirements for your target audience.
  3. Give all potential respondents an equal chance of taking part in your survey.

With our live survey audience service, you can get access to an on-line market place of more than 20 million respondents in over 70 countries. You can choose from a wide selection of consumer profiles to suit your survey requirements, here are just a few examples of audiences you may want access to:

  • Parents in the North of England.
  • Decision makers in the Greater London area.
  • Smartphone users in France.
  • Students in Spain.

Online surveys will have increased response rates if you target demographic groups relating directly to your objectives. Live Audience lets you interview any demographic, from general consumers to niche audiences. It’s a great tool to help you start getting real opinions from real people.

How does it work?

The process is straightforward and can be set up in a few easy steps:

  • Create your survey/questionnaire.
  • Access the Collect Page of your survey.
  • Click on Buy Responses.
  • An order form will open, allowing you to select your target audience criteria.
  • When you have selected your panel, click on Order Summary.
  • Check your order is correct, then click on Place Order.
  • A confirmation message will appear to say that your order is complete.
  • A new tracking link will have been created, containing an overview of your panel.

How much does it cost?

Select your desired demographics, regions and profiles; feasibility and pricing will be displayed. Price is dependent on the number of responses required, targeting criteria and survey length. Contact our support team for help or with any enquiries about reaching a specific audience.

8 Tips to avoid Survey Bias

Results from your survey audience can help you make important decisions, but it is crucial that you avoid survey bias in your answers. Your job, as the survey creator, is to send out a questionnaire that is easy to understand, containing impartial questions to all those that take part.

Survey bias generally can’t be completely avoided, but here are a few tips to get you started on designing a survey that will provide you with accurate results:

  1. Ask the right questions, use clear language that your market will understand.
  2. Avoid leading questions that prompt or encourages the answer wanted.
  3. Provide the right amount of options to multiple choice questions.
  4. Randomise your questions for each new respondent.
  5. Test your survey on a small group to assess the scope of your survey.
  6. Choose the right people to survey whose profiles fit your survey goals.
  7. Select a survey method that suits your target audience.
  8. Use advanced reporting to correctly interpret the data you have collected.

Pros and Cons of using Survey Panels

With advanced features, designing and distributing an online survey has become an easy way to gather feedback from targeted audiences. Here is an overview of some of the advantages and disadvantages of using survey panels to receive data from respondents.

3 Benefits of Survey panels

  1. Accessibility – It is easy and convenient to select an audience with the right demographic parameters to meet your survey objectives.
  2. High response rates – Your consumer panel is incentivised to take part in your survey, which can lead to consistently high responses.
  3. Fast responses – From the selection of respondents through to gathering and analysing results, using consumer panels can give you quick and effective insight.

3 Disadvantages of using Survey panels

  1. Level of engagement – Your respondents won’t have an emotional investment in your survey or goals.
  2. Absence of an interviewer – You won’t be able to further investigate answers instantly.
  3. Non-probability sampling – You won’t be able to reach certain population segments due to them not having an internet connection.

Data Quality and Validation of Respondents

Consumer panels have dedicated quality assurance teams, with checks and tracking mechanics. Each panellist can only be invited once and are tracked via email addresses.

As Benjamin Franklin famously commented: ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’! Putting the necessary thought into your survey before you start, will stand you in good stead for receiving the results you will need to meet your objectives and make smart decisions.

If you would like any further information about consumer panels or how to get survey responses online, please get in touch with our team.


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