One of the most common questions I get about research is “How do I find the right people to take my survey?
Finding people to take a survey isn’t that hard. But ensuring you have the right respondent group for your survey is incredibly important.
It’s common to include customers in your survey, and this is the easiest group to get as long as they buy directly from you. You have their email addresses and as long as the survey is sent by you, this group is the most likely to participate in your survey.
But if you sell through distributors or other third parties like retail stores, you may not have the information you need to contact your buyers directly.
The other thing to know about surveying your customers is that it’s dangerous to assume they represent your prospective customers as well. People who have bought from you — and even people who have been in contact with you who haven’t purchased — may be very different from people who don’t know your company at all.
And if your emails are mostly people who contacted you because they had a problem with your product (such as those in a warranty claim database) they may have additional biases in terms of your company.
So incorporating people who haven’t purchased is often also very important. You can find these people on social media with organic posts or paid ads, through partners who have the right audience in their own email databases and are willing to share your survey to their customers, or through a paid option like a panel provider who’s in the business of cultivating large groups of people willing to participate in surveys.
As you can see, respondent strategy is incredibly important! The most important thing is to work with a knowledgeable researcher to discuss your respondent targeting and options. It’s very important that you get the right group of people in your survey, or you could risk relying on results that don’t represent the audience you want them to.