Recruiting research participants for not only new marketers, but even experienced researchers is a big challenge. There are multiple methods and channels to employ to find survey respondents. Different methods work distinctively, so you need to identify the suitable one for your specific project.
Even using the same methods diminishes the resulting quality. Finding eligible participants for academic research is a complex and lengthy task, especially when you desire to go beyond the college campus to find samples.
Academic research can either be descriptive, experimental, correlational, or dissertation. You will need to connect with engaged and qualified online panelists available on the experienced panel provider’s platform.
If you desire to do it on your own then here are some best practices for finding the right participants for your academic research study.
To connect with the right audience, use a blend of the following benchmarks.
- Geographic’s – City, country, state, region, area
- Demographics – Gender, age, income, education, marital status, kids
- Behavior – How they shop, what they do
- Psychographics – hobbies, interests, activities, opinions
Determine your target participants for enhancing willingness and response rate. Remember, everybody is not a potential participant in your project. If you target very broad then the chances of resource wastage on unsuitable respondents is more.
Therefore, define your research objective and define the kind of participants who will possibly offer those insights. Think beyond Geographic and demographics. Nevertheless, even determine the unsuitable participants. Understanding your eligible and non-eligible participants will help to create a strong screening process.
Create a screening survey to sieve out reliable and genuinely interested research participants.
In a screener, survey avoid too much incentivizing
Never give away a lot. Weed out participants joining the survey for incentives. To achieve this –
- Never reveal research study purpose
- Never reveal brand or company name
- Never ask leading questions
A leading question for a life insurance provider may be a choice of yes/no for a question like ‘Do you have life insurance’. If you asked, ‘which type of coverage do you currently have?’ with options like car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, or none of the above then the answer would be life insurance. It is an answer you desire to hear from the participants. Therefore avoid clues to reduce the chances of participants predicting what you desire to hear.
- Try to find expressive people in the screener survey
Expressive people can give an insight into what they feel about your brand. Avert from participants using ‘one-word answer’.
- Keep screener surveys brief and engaging
In general, the survey must not have more than 10 questions.
Cash rewards enhance the response rate of the screener survey and the numbers reduce after the research participants are narrowed down. Incentives keep respondents engaged and receptive, during the survey. How much incentive to offer can be determined with these guiding principles?
- High incentives for study in person or at home then phone or online.
- High-income earners demand high incentives.
- Long-time commitment will need a high incentive.
Make sure to pay the participants promptly and thank them for their time. It ensures happy respondents and high-quality data in the future!
Participant quality directly affects the academic research results, so specify targets, create a solid screening process and offer encouraging incentives!