How To: Onboarding your Participants

Written by Josh Barr • Posted on November 20, 2019
Participant Onboading

Onboarding Your Participants

Depending on your project and resources you have at your disposal you may be sourcing your participants from very different places. Whether you’re using a recruiter, getting people from a panel, transitioning an existing community population or drawing from social media, you’ll want to get your participants onboarded in the best way possible for your situation.

Every Recollective project can add and invite participants in 3 different ways:

  1. Import Participant List
  2. Send Email Invitations
  3. Share Invitation Link
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1. Import Participant List

Bulk importing is the best choice for when you have a list of participants, their emails and any additional information that you want brought into the platform. The additional information could be as simple as the participants’ names but could also refer to metadata you want housed as Profile Fields or Segments on your site. If you’ve used a recruiter and have a resulting participant file or already had this from a client or internal database - this is the onboarding option for you!

The bulk import is the preferred option as it allows you to execute on 3 separate steps with a single Excel file:

  1. Creates the Panelist accounts
  2. Assigns participants to their community space
  3. Allows for metadata upload (i.e. Profile Fields, Segment assignment, etc.)

Bulk importing is also desirable from an account control perspective as you can set the accounts' initial default passwords for example. You can give everyone the same initial default password (e.g. password123) which allows you to mitigate any email delivery issues since participants can always:

  1. Go to the site URL
  2. Enter their email address
  3. Enter the default password (e.g. password123)

This option is also desirable in projects where you are providing pseudonym usernames for anonymity purposes in an otherwise social environment.

When you’re ready to open the community and invite participants from the platform, you can make use of dynamic values like first name to personalize the invites. If you want to send the community invites externally, your email simply needs to reference the 3 steps just above.

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2. Send Email Invitations

The basic email invite option is ideal when you only have an email list at your disposal and nothing else. This option allows you to draft your general invite verbiage, paste in the intended recipients and send! If you will be screening participants to qualify them appropriately and capture any desirable data prior to their community involvement, this option can help you save time and get in-field quicker.

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3. Share Invitation Link

The invitation link option is designed for onboarding participants via social media or an email newsletter for example by providing a shared URL that enables registration. This onboarding method also gives you anonymous access options that are relevant to certain projects:

  • Show option to enter study anonymously
  • Generate link for instant anonymous access

The anonymous options are intended for projects looking for one-time engagements from participants (e.g. pop-up community or survey). If you are looking to have people re-access your online community, but without having to submit an email for account creation, usernames and passwords can be made mandatory.

You can also Segment anyone who is added to the community via the invitation link (especially if you’re onboarding people a variety of ways). Similar to the basic email invite option, we recommend pairing the shared invitation link with screening and even quota limits to add a level of quality control to your participant population.

Finally, the shared URL can also be leveraged for single sign-on (SSO). The SSO option allows for direct piping of participants from a panel or the ability to bring someone in from a screener survey you might host on a different platform for example.

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As you can see, there are plenty of options to quickly onboard your participants directly onto Recollective! Whether you’re tweeting a general shared invitation link for an open recruitment community, or meticulously migrating a robust customer database with our bulk import tool, Recollective provides a quick and seamless onboarding experience for you to hit the ground running with your research project!

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