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What are some free ways to collect survey responses from a specific region in short time?

We are conducting a study about dried food and its market in the gulf area, especially in UAE. The client has not set a budget to spend for survey responses collection, so we are trying to get at least 100 responses, but so far we got only 52. Is there any free way to get more responses?


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You haven't mentioned the number of people whom you invited to take the survey, the nature of the target audience, nor the administration mode, so it's tough to answer the question with any specificity. The best "free" way is to send reminders to those who have not responded. Otherwise, you have to invite more people, perhaps with some incentive. But that requires getting a contact list, which likely involves some cost. None of these methods is really free since at minimum they involve researcher time.

Also, with even 100 responses your statistical accuracy will be weak, probably in the +/-10% accuracy range at 95% confidence. I can send you my survey accuracy calculator if you wish.

I know this is a promotional comment, but I will be running my Survey Workshop Series in Dubai in late November. These are exactly the kind of issues we discuss.

I am targeting UAE residants, so those are any one living in UAE. I posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. However, there was very weak response. I filtered my contacts in LinkedIn and messaged them, the response was better. However, I did not reach the target sample size I need, which should be not less than 385. I know that I need to spend some money on this, but actually I am limited by the client's budget and I had to spend some time on researching, posting, and messaging. I will work on developing better ways in collecting responses in future projects so that my job becomes easier. I thank you very much.

Anonymous User

If you're based in UAE, then obviously you should ask friends, relatives and colleagues.
If you don't want to spend much money on this, your next step would be social media (but offer a prize in a draw or something similar) as an incentive.
If there are any suitable websites, perhaps you could put a link there.
Does your client have a database of customers they could contact?
Could you ask people face to face? A couple of interviewers should be able to get you the remainder of your sample in a day, if you could put them somewhere appropriate, like a shopping mall (remember to ask the owner's permission!).
If it's an online survey - you would be able to use a survey panel (e.g. Cint) to gather your remaining responses for only a few hundred pounds.
Just remember, wherever you get your sample, make sure it's as representative of the population (or target population) as it can be - some of these suggestions might introduce bias...
Hope that helps!

Peter's last comment is very important. Getting more responses to improve statistical accuracy is a fool's errand if the way the responses are solicited introduces a sampling bias. The data wouldn't be representative and would not provide a sound basis for decision making.

I am based outside UAE, and I am using surveymonkey tool. So I used only the internet to collect responses. I was keen to get responses from UAE residents only so that my sample can be as representative as possible, even though it is not big enough.


Hi Marwa,
If you are active in linkedin and have the contacts you could do a poll there by your contacts in that region. if you decide to pay there is Survey Monkey.

Yes, I have already done similar tasks. Many thanks.


Send out an email blast and offering something of value as a reward for the answer. Coupon for next purchase or free advice on things that pertain to your business. Limited time only.


collect the dried food recipes from web, make a pdf brochure and promise to send to everybody who will response


Hi Marwa,
Conducting a survey is really a great way to reach the target audience. There are different ways to get quick survey responses like social media, forums, discussion communities like Reddit etc.
In my opinion, social media one of the best way to get effective and reliable survey responses, but you need to choose the right target audience according to your survey category.
If you can afford for the required responses, then online paid survey community like Global survey market(http://www.globalsurveymarket.com/conduct_distribute_survey.php) is a great option for you.

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