So you've sent an online survey out to qualify participants for an upcoming focus group. You have 28 participants that stated they are interested. So that means all 28 will show up the night of your focus groups and your work is done right? Think again.
Your work is just beginning as a qualitative recruit firm and in a lot of focus groups, interviews, and qualitative recruits, you need to manage these participants with baby gloves. It's not their fault but understandably so even though this market research project might be your priority, it is not theirs.
Life gets in the way. People forget. Respondents change their minds. No matter how much work you put into reminders and follow-up you will still undoubtedly have drop-outs. Schedules and minds change which is why it is important to build processes into your qualitative recruit.
Multiple contact points and steps are required to ensure strong participation rates. Don't expect everyone who signed up weeks ago to show up without a formal process of reminders and re-contacts. Four of these tactics are outlined below.
Tactic 1: Place a Confirmation Call
It's a digital world and it's easy to ignore an email or text. As a qualitative recruit firm it's important for us to create "mini rapport" with each and every market research participant. Similar to the way a focus group moderator creates rapport with each participant quickly in the group.
Face it, when you put a real person with a live voice behind an invitation it means a lot more than just an email. Placing a confirmation and welcoming call after a participant qualifies is a great way to increase engagement and commitment from them.
This personal reach out is something all qualitative recruit firms should build into their process. Digital communication is not enough. A person-to-person phone call is required to ensure high participation rates.
Tactic 2: Send a Reminder Email
It takes multiple contacts and often a mix of types of contact to get in touch with participants. After you reach out by phone, make sure you send them a confirmation email. This confirmation email includes all of the details you discussed by phone, in writing.
This is an excellent time to confirm dates, times, locations, parking, rewards, and any other FAQs the participant might have about the focus groups, interview, or other type of market research.
The confirmation email is a key piece of the recruitment process and it gives the participant something in writing to refer back to if they have questions.
Tactic 3: Place a Reminder Call
Think you are done with reminders and contacting participants at this point? Not quite. It's always a good idea to place a reminder phone call about 24 to 48 hours before the engagement. If your focus groups are on Thursday night, make a phone call to the participant on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The other side benefit of this is you have a window just in case someone drops out. If they drop out you have a day or 2 to find a replacement. The confirmation call is a good practice as part of the qualitative recruit for our firm.
Tactic 4: Send a Reminder Text
As a last point of contact, it is best practice to send a text the day of the event. This is sent to participant the morning of or 3 to 4 hours before the focus group or interview. It serves as a final and well-timed reminder for participants and isn't as pestering as another phone call or email.
An informal text is a great final way to reminder participants. If you employ these 4 tactics you'l be much more likely to have a stronger participation rate with a smaller number of drop-outs. In cases where you do have drop-outs, you will be well set up to replace participants in time.
Need Participants? Contact Us.
Drive Research is a qualitative recruit firm located in Upstate New York. Our team recruits participants for qualitative market research projects across the country. This includes focus groups, executive interviews, usability testing, user experience interviews, and other types of studies.
Questions about how our qualitative recruit firm can help you on your next market research project? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 315-303-2040.