First before considering how to gain respondents, think about your survey’s target group. Different channels work best for different targets. Let’s say you need university students to respond to your survey. You might want to consider posting it on your University’s forum. Think about other platforms (TheStudentRoom, Quora etc.) which are known to gather a big amount of students. If you require participants of different nationalities, join Facebook Survey-Swap groups or Survey Platforms. On the other hand, if your responses must be in the form of an interview, or your study is particularly long or draining, you might want to look for participants through social media or by leaflets posted around campus/on your department.

So, to conclude, what are your options to consider?

  1. Survey Platforms
  2. Social Media
  3. Online Forums
  4. Leaflets/other

1. Survey platforms should be your first choice. They are undeniably cheap, quick and bulletproof. They gather people from around the world, different professions and ages. Thanks to many additional functions, survey platforms prevent biases and faulty responses, as well as provide time control.

Among survey platforms, there are the ones that require you to pay per response. However, if you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider survey platforms such as PollPool. PollPool provides you with responses for free. The currency we use, PollCoins, can be obtained by filling surveys of others. In that way, you get help in collecting your responses by helping others in the same position. 

Or if you have not even started to create your survey yet, don’t worry - PollPool also offers an intuitive tool for survey creation!

2. Social Media are another easy way for getting countless responses. However, your use of them should not be limited to simply sharing survey on your feed. You might want to join survey-swap groups, student-help groups and general interest groups. Those communities are full of potential survey participants, depending on the target group you are pursuing. If such a community allows sharing surveys, then you can potentially gain plenty of respondents by being friendly, enthusiastic and agreeing to answer other surveys in return.

3. Online forums - although they might be not as popular as in the past, they still have a lot of dedicated users who want to help you reach your goal. Just as Facebook groups, online forums vary thematically and you can join them depending on your target group needs. The first instance to look for is a general forum of your University - it might be located somewhere within the official webpage or on some external platform, such as Discord.

4. Leaflets should be your last option - after all, they need resources to design and print. But if you want to attempt this method, consider placing your leaflets wisely. Eg. if you are a student, place them within your department or the departments you are targeting. Moreover, post them in the places visited frequently -- library, leisure areas, study spaces. By offering some kind of compensation - money, vouchers, points, experience - you might attract more participants this way.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you feel more secure about reaching your goal. As you should! If you still have doubts about your questionnaire, check our other articles, namely, how to clean out your survey data or why does no one want to answer your questionnaire.