For any market research team, the success of its qualitative study depends on its participants. If you do not have a representative sample of your target audience, your results will not be accurate. 

However, the process of recruiting participants can be difficult and often expensive. In this article, we will discuss different methods for market research and provide an example of how to increase show rates for your study.

  1. Know Your Audience Before You Start

Qualitative research is a subjective analysis based on the researcher’s interpretation of the data. The success of your qualitative study depends on participant engagement and their willingness to share their opinions. 

It is essential to know who you are talking to understand how they might behave during your study. Some people are more outgoing than others, and some people are shy and prefer not to share their thoughts with strangers.

To increase show rates, you must know your audience before recruiting them. Think about the method you are using to find participants in the first place. For example, if you are using an online panel, social media, or cold calling, consider using a different method to engage your target audience. 

If possible, use new methods such as prescreening through a survey questionnaire to qualify or disqualify a potential participant. For example, if you want to conduct a focus group, ask questions about your topic area to understand how much your potential participant knows about the topic at hand and how interested they seem in participating in such an activity.

  1. Develop a Verification Process for Participants

To increase the number of people who show up for your qualitative research, develop a verification process for participants. At a minimum, make sure participants answer screening questions over the phone. It may be more time-consuming than gathering responses online, but it provides a more accurate picture of the person and their willingness to participate in your study. 

Our qualitative recruitment firm doesn’t only rely on screening surveys but follow-up phone calls to rescreen potential research participants. The call also acts as a gut check that their answers from the online survey were truthful. 

A day or two after the call, send a confirmation email or calendar invitation where the person has to click “Yes’ or “No” for an RSVP. When a participant doesn’t respond, it is a red flag that they might not attend.

  1. Remind People About Their Participation in the Market Study

Reminding your participants about their commitment is an excellent step to increasing show rates. At Grapedata, we found that using two different confirmation methods is best when trying to remind people about their participation in a market study. 

For example, we call our participants two days prior and send them a reminder text on the study day. Reminding your participants early in this way has several benefits:

  1. It gives you time to know if a participant cancels during the reminders, which provides you with time to find a backup participant.
  2. It shows your participants that you are invested in their commitment because it indicates you care enough to follow up with them multiple times before the study begins.
  3. It helps your participants remember they have committed to participating in the study, which increases their likelihood of showing up on time on the study day.

Always remember that nobody’s perfect, including your participants. Sometimes participants forget or have something come up last minute, so it’s essential to have backups if someone cancels during the reminders.

  1. Form a Bond with Qualitative Research Participants

A good relationship with your participants is essential for many reasons. Once they have committed to participating in your research, some will feel obligated to show up because they have already spoken with a recruiter several times over the phone and via email. 

Participants will have built a mini relationship with the recruiter and may not want to cancel since they feel they are letting them down. The bond is compelling for increasing participation rates for qualitative research. 

By connecting personally, you’ll help ensure that your participants know they are speaking with a natural person whose time is just as valuable as theirs. It also helps them realize you’re an ally who has their best interests at heart—and who doesn’t want a friend in this industry? All of these feelings will help increase participation rates for qualitative research.

Final Thought

No matter how much you plan, the success of your qualitative research depends on the participants. So you must make sure they show up to your focus group. GrapeData will use our experience and skills to recruit targeted participants for your research purpose. Contact us today to get started.