In a previous panel management blog post, we discussed some examples that you can use to begin recruiting your own research panel. Sometimes, organizations want to make sure the people they’re recruiting really want to join the panel, are high quality panel members and are real people (unfortunately, this happens). To do this, we recommend doing a double opt-in process during recruitment. In this post we’ll answer some of the top questions researchers have about using a double opt-in process.


What is a “double opt-in process?”


A double opt-in process is a recruitment technique in which after a respondent opts-in to your panel via the initial recruitment form, they are sent an automated email to confirm that they really want to join your panel. Typically, all the recipient needs to do is answer ‘yes’ to “Do you agree to join the panel?” For example, G Adventures, a small-group adventure travel tour company, decided to implement a double opt-in process to recruit a panel of customers via email. After a respondent agrees to join their panel in the first email, a second email is automatically sent to confirm that they want to join the panel.


When is double opt-in required?


Using a double opt-in process for panel recruitment is not currently required (however, this may change depending on local laws). Many industries, such as health care, use a double opt-in process as a safety precaution because of the sensitive nature of their work. Other organizations choose use double opt-in because it’s a government-issued regulation for their industry. For example, because G Adventures is headquartered in Canada, they must comply with the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL, which Canada passed in July of 2014. Although the double opt-in process is not required for all Canadian companies, many choose to use it to ensure that their panel members have agreed to receive their surveys.


If it’s not required, when would you want to use a double opt-in process?


We recommend always using a double opt-in process if you work in an industry that handles sensitive information, such as health care, finance or government.


Other organizations might also want to use double opt-in to be sure they’re recruiting high-quality panel members who really want to give feedback to their organization. Additionally, double opt-ins help address security concerns,  such as ensuring a respondent cannot sign someone else up for the panel, or to be sure your respondents are real people and not computers.


How can I implement a double opt-in process for my organization?


Qualtrics Target Audience allows you to automate the double opt-in process so that whenever someone joins your panel, a follow-up email will always be sent to verify the person’s identity, and to be sure they really want to join your panel. If you need help setting up your double opt-in process, please contact Qualtrics Support and they’ll walk you through the entire setup.


Another way to use a double opt-in is to include it in the profile survey that you’ll send after someone joins.The profile survey allows you to collect demographic information about new panel members so you can better target surveys to your panelists. We’ll discuss profile surveys in more detail in our next panel management blog post.


To learn more about how to manage your research panel, check out our latest webinar: “Qualtrics Panel Management Product Tour: The Future of Market Research.”


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