Over the past year, I've been asked a number of times how best to engage participants in order to get good levels of participation from them during the research community. In my response, as well as telling them about the importance of communication, openness and transparency etc, I tell them that engagement starts way before people are invited or first login to the community; it starts when people are first recruited.
Here are three things we look to achieve when recruiting people for online research communities, each of which forms part of the engagement process.
1. Evaluate for articulation
Even if people make it through the screening criteria, you should evaluate their articulation. Don't be afraid to disqualify people at this early stage, articulation is super-important in online research communities as you want people that are interesting and interested. As an example, ask them to share with you the best thing they've done in the last three months, or get them talking about what they can't live without.
2. Get verbal commitment
Making a phone call to confirm they are committed to the online research community. It is key to building engagement and will result in a greater levels of participation. It also helps to establish rapport and supports one of the key psychological hacks to achieving better engagement (Commitment).
3. Launch day follow-ups
Providing your recruitment partners with access to the online research community (using the Recruiter login on Dub's platform) provides them with the tools to monitor login and participation rates. They can then make any necessary calls (reminders and nudges) to participants to check they have received the welcome email and field any questions they might have.
When recruiting for your online community, take these extra steps and you'll exceed client expectations and ensure they get the most interesting, active and motivated people who are ready for action and willing to learn about themselves and the subject matter. A well-qualified respondent means going beyond simple screener-based qualification, so put in the extra effort and you won't be disappointed.