In our last Panel Management blog post we discussed the 4 key steps to recruiting your own research panel. Next, we’ll learn how other organizations’ opt-in panel strategies have helped them build their panel and in return have received higher response rates, increased research capacity and faster insights.


Let’s look at some best practices and examples from companies that have recruited their own research panel:

  1. Leverage your Promoters. Schwan’s Grocery Delivery Service was already doing customer satisfaction research before beginning their panel. They decided to reach out to all of their Net Promoter Score (NPS) promoters and invite them to join the panel. They knew that these people were loyal to the Scwhan’s brand and would be the best starting point for recruiting panel members.
  2. Recruit with every purchase. Driscoll’s, a leader in fresh-tasting berries, took a different approach with their in-store packaging. On every Driscoll’s container is a QR Code that directs potential panel members to a sign-up form that will add them to their panel.
  3. Recruit from your website. CDW, a provider of integrated information technology solutions, uses their website feedback form to recruit potential panel members. Each time a website visitor takes the website feedback survey, there is an option to join the panel to be part of their exclusive feedback panel.
  4. Build a custom landing page. UMarketing, a marketing research firm, has built a custom landing page to explain what it means to join their panel. A landing page can either be your main source of recruitment or an additional piece of recruitment. In fact, it’s one of the ways that UMarketing recruits. This is very helpful to clearly explain what it means to be a part of the panel. See UMarketing’s landing page for an example.
    Panel 5
  5. Email. Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League research college, was able to use the easiest form of recruiting panel members – email. Dartmouth’s research panel focused exclusively on Dartmouth alumni. Because they had access to anyone that had graduated from Dartmouth, they were able to simply email them, explain what it meant to join the panel, and easily recruit about 2,500 alumni in their first efforts. If it is available to you, email is by far the best resource for recruiting people into your research panel.

There are many other options that you can also consider when you recruit your panel – social media posts, buying members from someone else’s panel, website intercept based on pages they’ve visited on your website, and ad campaigns begin the list of recruiting methods.


The key to deciding how to recruit your research panel is to understand what resources are already available to you. You may have access to an entire database of emails that you can reach out to as your recruitment method. You may have a website that your exact demographic is already coming to. You may need to capture them on a receipt as they are purchasing your product. What is the best way for you to recruit your panel?


The other key part to the recruitment process is to make it very clear in the recruitment process what it actually means to be apart of your panel. Explain that joining the panel means getting X number of surveys each month, that their feedback will drive future changes, and, if you’re planning on incentivizing, what it takes to earn the incentives.


Regardless of the method that you choose for recruitment, Qualtrics makes each method easy and automated. Do you want to email your database? Qualtrics Target Audience can help you target and email the right people. Do you want to capture people on your website? Let Qualtrics Site Intercept target your website visitors based on website logic. Every aspect of the recruiting process is easy to set up and is automated to make the process easy for you as the researcher and easy for the people you’re recruiting into your panel.


In our next Panel Management blog post we’ll help you decide if you should do a double opt-in process when recruiting your panel. If you can’t wait till then, then download the Best Practices Panel Management Guide below:

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