The Most Convenient Ways to Identify Survey Respondents

June 7, 2018

Identifying Survey Respondents Can Be a Challenge

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending significant amounts of time and energy on a survey research project, only to realize that you do not have a group of qualified survey respondents to fill out your questionnaire.

When using a survey to support a research initiative, it’s far too common for the researchers in charge of the project to focus on building and designing the survey, and neglect to consider the target audience.

No matter how well you’ve designed your survey, all of that effort goes to waste if you are unable to present your questions to the right group of people. In this article, we address the most convenient ways to identify survey respondents.

The Most Convenient Ways to Identify Survey Respondents

Leverage panel audiences.

The most convenient and effective method for identifying survey respondents is the use of Panel Services.

Panels allow you to provide a team, such as our own Panel Services team at Alchemer, with the criteria that your survey respondents should fit. The Panel Services team will then take the lead on identifying groups of people that directly match and fit your needs, taking the bulk of the work off of your plate.

Panels enable researchers to identify their ideal online sample audience with most of the legwork being performed by third-party experts. In addition to finding the survey respondents that are just right for your study, panels provide the benefit of making quick work of the identification process. This allows you to get to the data collection and analysis portion of your project faster, and more efficiently.

Related – Panel Services 101: How to Ensure the Best Survey Responses Possible

Send communications to in-house contact lists.

If you are limited by budgetary constraints, then in-house lists are a great secondary option to Panel Services.

If your business has been able to establish fairly large contact lists, chances are that the ideal survey respondents necessary for your study are somewhere hidden in those lists. 

Start by syncing with your colleague that’s in charge of email marketing, and begin to sift through the most appropriate lists to find survey respondents that fit your specific criteria. Then, build a landing page that succinctly explains the purpose of your study and the requirements for filling out your survey.

Now it’s time to send an email to your selected respondents and kindly ask them to take your survey. If your email copy and landing page are optimized enough, you should begin to start seeing qualified survey respondents provide answers and data.

Obviously, the size of your email list will be determined by your ideal sample size, so continue to send iterations of your email to new recipients until you have received enough response data from people that fit your requirements.

Consider offering free access to an e-book or other resource that you feel will motivate survey respondents to answer your questions. 

Depending on the purpose of your study, it’s possible that internal employees could serve as convenient and qualified survey respondents. If so, that’s great! Simply send your survey to an internal list of employees to get the ball rolling. It’s free, quick, and you’ll likely have some rapport with the people you’re asking to help you out!

Take advantage of your website traffic.

Organic website traffic is another viable and convenient method for identifying survey respondents. Depending on the nature of your study, you could potentially host an invitation to take your survey on your website’s homepage, and allow potential survey respondents to deem themselves as either qualified or unqualified to take your survey.

This method for identifying survey respondents should not be used if your topic of interest is relatively niche; however, if you are interested in broader, more approachable topics, then it’s more likely that a random organic visitor to your site can provide you with the response data necessary to derive some insight.

While the homepage of your site is a great place to start identifying survey respondents, it’s also a good idea to consider hosting your survey on a page that’s a bit more relevant to your topic of interest. By doing this, you’ll increase the chances of having the most relevant, qualified survey respondents answer your questions without much secondary effort.


The next time you need to identify survey respondents to assist you with your research, consider the options above.

While Panel Services is the most convenient, accurate, and efficient method for identifying survey respondents, sometimes it simply does not fit within the research budget.

If this is the case, carefully consider whether in-house lists or website visitors could instead provide you with survey respondents that fit your criteria.

Have you used another alternative method in the past for identifying survey respondents? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Sound off in the comments below.

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