3 Best Practices When Recruiting for Online Focus Groups | Market Research Company

So, you’ve decided you want to conduct online focus groups! Now, you’re left to find participants who are a good fit for the study. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. 

  • How do I find research participants for remote focus groups? 
  • How do I make sure they’re qualified? 
  • How do I know if they fit my screening criteria? 
  • How do I make sure they will actually show up on the day of the online focus group?

Regardless of what type of qualitative research you are conducting (online focus groups, web interviews, in-home usage tests, mobile ethnography, etc.) recruiting the right participants is essential to the success of the research. 

Recruiting for Online Focus Groups

Drive Research, an online focus group company, has several best practices for qualitative recruiting. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three tips we use each day to find qualified, articulate, and trusted participants for our clients.


Find Participants Where They Are Most Likely to Be Found

How does your target audience like to communicate? For the most part, the days of cold calling a list of individuals to screen them for qualitative research are over. 

Especially if there are very specific criteria participants have to meet, dialing is not always the best use of resources. In order to win participants over, it is important to meet them where they are most likely to be found. 

Above all, meeting participants where they are means being present and convenient to the target audience. 

For example, our remote focus group company often utilizes social media platforms, such as Facebook, to pre-screen and populate a list of pre-qualified and interested potential participants. 

Social media often allows us to target niche B2B or B2C audiences and reach qualified, newbie research participants. 

We also have access to a large in-house research panel from participants all over the United States. This enables our qualitative recruiting team to sort and filter based on our client’s screening requirements to find those who are a potential fit for the online focus group. 

However, it’s important to consider that recruitment methods are not one size fits all.

Drive Research can help take a close look at who your target audience is to recommend the best approach when recruiting for your online focus group.

For example, if your grocery store would like to conduct a study with primary shoppers it might be more fitting to actually meet participants where they are - your store!

This might mean exploring other methods such as picking up a tablet and heading to your grocery store to conduct mini intercept interviews to screen and recruit potential participants.

Also, if your target audience works 9 to 5 jobs or is difficult to reach, recruiting participants might mean putting in hours outside of your typical schedule to be available when it is the most convenient for potential online focus group participants. 


Make Potential Participants Feel Comfortable and Important 

Without participants or respondents, market research would be nearly impossible. Drive Research utilizes a number of methods to ensure participants feel as though they can trust us and are not scam artists trying to steal their information. 

Our online focus group recruitment team typically starts with a quick phone call to double-check their qualification, ask any questions that weren’t initially asked in the screener, and ensure they are a good fit for qualitative research. 

During the phone call, our recruiters make potential participants feel comfortable and important in a number of ways. 

It is essential for a recruiter to be personal and positive in order to build a rapport with a participant. We’ve found that building trust and forming a relationship with participants is essential to a near-perfect show rate for online focus groups. 

Remind participants how important they are to the study. Also, it can be helpful to let them know if there are a limited number of seats in the remote focus group, so you’re counting on their participation. 

Learn how Drive Research earned a perfect show rate for online focus groups with school and district-level decision-makers.


Follow-up with a Reminder Call 

Once you have recruited your participants, how can you assure they will actually show up the day of the online focus group? Just like every doctor’s office calls to confirm your appointment, it is important to follow up with research participants via phone call the day before. 

Following up with a reminder phone call reminds participants of a commitment they made, especially when the person who recruited them initially is the person completing the reminder calls. This only furthers the established trust and relationship.

Our online focus group firm also sends out reminder text the day of with important details, such as how to access the discussion group link, time, and what they will need access to in order to participate.

This ensures participants have easy access to important information and login on time. 


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to find qualified participants for your online focus group project.

Interested in learning more about our online focus group recruiting services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Focus Groups Qualitative Recruiting