A profiling survey is used to collect key demographic information about newly recruited panel members (e.g. gender, age, occupation, etc.). These surveys are used to improve your panel members’ experience by giving them an idea of what future surveys will be like, and by adding the collected information to their profiles so you don’t annoy them by asking the same demographic questions every time you send them a survey. Profiling surveys also help you intelligently target the right surveys to the right people (e.g. if you only want to survey those who are 18 to 34 years old). Simply search for the demographic you want to survey and Target Audience will show you all of the respondents who match that criteria.


When Should I Send a Profiling Survey?


It’s best to send a profiling survey immediately after a new member joins your panel. Qualtrics Target Audience sends each new panel member an individual link, making it easy for you to see who hasn’t completed the profiling survey yet and allowing you to reach out to them again.


As you begin designing your profiling survey, here are five best practices to keep in mind:


  • Keep your questionnaire short – less than 20 questions. Long surveys can result in significant drop-off and cause respondents to think twice about joining your panel.
  • Make it personal and conversational. Make them feel like they’re a part of something special. Consider adding in a couple of “fun” opinion questions, even if you do not plan on doing anything with the data from those questions.
  • When it comes to what profile data to gather, stick to the basics. You can collect more data in subsequent studies.
  • Remind them the benefits of joining and what they should expect as a member. Ensure that once a panelist has completed the profiling survey, they automatically receive a welcome email confirming their membership.


Not sure where to start? Here’s an example profiling survey you can download and import into your Qualtrics account right now!


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To learn how to import this survey into your account, follow these simple instructions.