By now, you already know why you should have your own research panel. For example, you know that organizations who have their own panel to collect feedback see response rates as high as 75 percent, while those who survey their customer base at random average 10 percent. We’ve taught you how to recruit your research panel and how to avoid annoying your respondents. But now that you’ve built your panel, how do you keep them engaged?


Panel member engagement is determined by the overall commitment and satisfaction of your panel members based on response rates, email open rates, unsubscription rates and incentive achievement rates. It seems like a lot to keep track of, but there are several things, that if done consistently, will increase your panel member engagement and keep your respondents excited about giving you high-quality feedback. In this post, we’ll highlight six, including several we learned from Kara O’Brien of She Rocks Research, in our panel management webinar “Engaging Your Own Panel.”


  1. Know Your Audience. Gather all of the information you have about your panel members. Read reports, talk to sales reps and get on the phone with real customers. Design your survey to be as tailored to your customer base as possible. Then, once you know who your panel members are, use Display Logic to pipe in contact and demographic information you already have so you don’t have to ask each person again.


  1. Make it Easy. Make taking your feedback surveys as easy as possible for panel members to participate. Keep your surveys short and interactive. Ensure that they can easily respond to your surveys on any device. Avoid using login portals, which adds an extra step.


  1. Personalize Your Surveys. Address your panel members by name, target intelligently so you send the right surveys to the right people, and give them a point of contact if they have questions or comments about the survey. We suggest including a contact name, email address (you can make one specifically for the panel) and a headshot in every email so your panel members feel like they’re interacting with a real person.


  1. Brand Your Research Panel. Give your research panel a name and a logo – something simple, clean and congruent with your company’s brand, but different enough that your respondents don’t mistake it for a promotional email.


  1. Reciprocate. Make sure that panel members see the impact that their feedback has on your organization. Send them updates and insights about how the feedback from the panel is being used to shape decisions and change the direction of your organization. Few things are as motivating to panel members as seeing their feedback in action.


  1. Offer Relevant Incentives. Offer relevant incentives that will excite your panel members. Make the requirements for how to earn incentives clear and reasonable. If you are not getting the response you expected, don’t be afraid to try a new approach. If you don’t know what they like, ask them.

For more tips on panel management, recruiting a research panel, incentivizing your panel members and increasing panel member engagement, check out our webinar  “Engaging Your Own Panel.”

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