Determination of the survey size is the first step to perform market research. The selection of the right sample size is important for any researcher. It holds a lot of importance in arriving at the right survey outcome.

There is no magic formula that will make your sample valid and perfect. In addition to the sample size alone, it is a good practice to also consider two important factors such as margin of error and the representativeness of the sample. It will provide a wonderful insight into the authenticity of your survey data.

OvationMR is a popular firm that performs customized survey research and brand tracking studies to companies. It provides a highly reliable sample-size-calculator for estimating the number of surveys completes you need.

What is the Margin of error?

A survey that is consistent is viewed as reliable. It provides more or less the same information every time to the researcher. The margin of error is a measurement of reliability. It is important to consider at the time of looking for differences between segments of respondents and waves of benchmark research.

A survey takes a certain population into consideration from the entire population and generalizes the outcome to the entire population. This results in a higher possibility of error in the market research.

Fundamental rules behind the margin of error and sample size

Here are the basic rules about sample size and margin of error.

  • The larger the size of the sample, the smaller will be the margin of error
  • By increasing the size of the sample, you get a diminished return. This is because the increased precision will be nominal.

Representativeness of sample

The next important consideration is to ensure the representativeness of the sample. For this, it is important to compare major behavioral and demographic statistics for the whole study of the population to that of the sample.

Tips to gather a good sample

Here are some good tips that will help you collect a robust sample. It is important to ensure that the survey is kept open for a long duration, let us say for a few weeks with regular reminder emails.

This ensures adequate participation of potential respondents. This strategy will increase the total number of responses as well as the rate of overall participation. It will also ensure no bias in sampling.

To ensure a good sample, a company can also partner with a 3rd party for specific types of projects such as raising funds. It will help ease concerns regarding potential solicitation and ensure that raw, and respondent-level data doesn’t get shared.

Another important advantage of partnering partnership is that it helps to gain the expertise of survey specialists. When the survey is designed poorly, potential respondents would not complete the survey. This will increase the possibilities of bias in sampling.

The last tip is to do email marketing wherein you are sending survey requests via mail.


By implementing the best practices, and understanding the fundamentals of survey statistics, a researcher can feel confident that his survey data are valid and his decisions are backed by solid information.

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