Every research platform relies on a database of participants (or members) to complete research activities. The database is where key information about members is stored. It is this information that is accessed when segmenting groups, sending invites and recording results.
Equally important to building a database of participants, how it will be managed over time should be given due consideration. In this video, Charlotte Evans discusses three approaches to maintaining a clean database – specifically the role of participant profiles, churn management and splitting recruitment into multiple waves.
When members join your site, a great way of knowing their demographics and behaviours is to ask them to complete a profiling survey. The responses from this survey can then be appended in your Hub database and this will allow you to filter specific groups of participants. A profiling survey can include a variety of questions, from age, frequency of shopping and preferred channel used to purchase. If your participants have been a member of your platform for quite some time, it’s a good idea to also resend your profiling survey to ensure their profiling data is kept up-to-date.
The natural churn of participants in your platform can lead some participants to become unengaged in your research activities and they may no longer be logging into your site. Churn management is a process that ensures your database remains filled with active members and non-active members are then removed from your site. Before removing your participants, it’s best to target non-active members to encourage them to log-in and to have the chance to remain in your database. A good way to do this is to introduce re-engagement activities, such as discussions, and prizes to motivate participants to re-engage in your research.
If you’ve completed churn management, a new recruitment wave is a great way of adding new members to your database and introducing new participants to your research activities. There are a lot of options for doing this including using your customers’ data to invite them to join your research site, promoting your community via a social media sign up or using an external sample provider to recruit non-customers.
Online Research Hints & Tips
The Online Research Hints and Tips series is designed to provide quick, easy-to-digest and actionable advice to help you make the most out of online qualitative and quantitative efforts. Tackling topics that range from participant communication to database management, getting the most out of focus groups to engagement strategies - we're aiming to make the world of online research easier for everyone to understand.