Market Research

How to Determine the Sample Size for an Online Survey

Sample Size
Written by SurveyPolice

Factors on this decision include budget constraints, sample availability, time available, etc. Obviously a sample of 1000 individuals will produce more accurate survey results versus a sample of only 100 people. This is simply because generally, a larger group of people will more accurately reflect the attitudes of an even larger group, simply because there is more individual variety, and this therefore will yield a larger variance in answers.

Now, admittedly this is a general and over-simplified answer. Complicated statistics on sample sizes, confidence intervals, and statistical validity on how all of these relate would better explain how this all works.

A similar question was posted on Infosurv’s website, and the following response was provided:

“To achieve statistically valid results, we recommend that a statistically significant sample of n=400 completed surveys be obtained for online market research surveys. This will provide statistical validity at the 95% confidence level with +/- 5% confidence interval. For clients on a tighter budget, we sometimes recommend a sample of n=200 completed surveys which provides statistical validity at the 95% confidence level with +/- 7% confidence interval. In any event, a reliable sample source is very important, as is an unbiased random sampling methodology.”

Originally sourced from:

“n” in this case simply represents the number of people comprising the sample.

As you can see then, there needs to be a decent sized sample in order to eliminate as much bias as possible. This does not mean that it is necessary to conduct a survey with 100,000 participants in order to get accurate answers.

What does this mean for you?

When there is a chance to win cash or a prize as a survey taker for an online survey panel, your chances of winning are decent. The chances of winning the jackpot in a national lottery are usually less than 1 in 10,000,000, and you must purchase a ticket, which involves a cost. With online surveys, you could very well be offered a chance to win a cash prize worth hundreds of dollars for a mere 15 minutes of your time. If there are only a few hundred other people who complete the survey, you could very well walk away as the lucky winner!

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