2 people having a meeting whilst drinking coffee

How on earth does list recruitment work in market research?

We all know how important it is to recruit the right people for your market research project. After all, quality participants mean quality results! But often in order to get participants that are the right fit for your project, you’ll most likely have pretty specific criteria to deal with.

It could be that you’re looking for female participants aged between 18-34 who live in a certain area and shop at a particular store, or even customers of a specific company who have purchased a particular product. In these situations, you could well be asked to use list recruitment to ensure you target the right respondents. Read on to find out more…

What is list recruitment?

List recruitment is exactly what you would imagine it to be - it’s when your client gives you a specific list of data to recruit from to make sure you are targeting the right type of respondents who match specific criteria. This is particularly useful for banks or financial companies who have a list of customers they want to recruit from, as well as for retailers who want to reach out to loyalty card holders or even research customers who do or don’t shop at particular brands.

When dealing with specific search criteria, these types of lists can be a great starting point for targeting and ultimately recruiting the right people for your study. In fact, even if you aren’t using list recruitment it’s still worth asking your client for any extra information that might help such as the range of customers and market penetration.

Things to consider

When it comes to using list recruitment, there are a number of things to consider to make sure your recruitment goes smoothly, from the quality of the data to the amount of times you contact potential respondents. Here are the most important ones:

The devil is in the detail

First things first, you need to look at the quality of the data. The amount of detail in the data provided will have a huge impact on both the feasibility of your research and the timings required for the recruitment phase as well. For example, if you have a list of full names, email addresses and contact numbers, things are going to go much more smoothly than if you just have an initial and an email address to work with.

Think about hit rates

Just because you have a collection of names and email addresses of participants, it doesn’t mean that they’ll want to take part - or even that they will qualify when you go through the detailed criteria with them. In fact, when looking at potential participants for market research, whatever the recruitment method we generally estimate a response of one in 25, which means that for every 25 respondents you contact only one will go on to take part. Therefore you need to make sure your list is extensive enough to generate the right amount of participants - and if it doesn’t, you’re going to need to look elsewhere.

Ask if you can free find

Which leads us on to our next point: another important thing to think about is whether you can free-find participants if you have limited or no success with list recruitment. Yes, you want your respondents to meet specific criteria, but if possible you should be careful not to be too pedantic. After all, the more specific you are with your criteria, the more restricted you are and the smaller your pool of candidates will be - which could have a direct impact on both your timeline and your costs.

Three strikes and you’re out

Once you start reaching out to the people on your list it’s important to limit contact attempts to a maximum of three. We’d recommend starting with an email, following up with a phone call and then sending a text. It’s always good to speak on the phone where possible because you’ll really be able to get to know your respondents and assess whether or not they are eligible. However, if you try more than three times then you risk bombarding them, so it’s safe to say that if they haven’t responded after the third attempt, they’re probably not interested. You should also be aware that some people might not even be aware that they are on the list in the first place, so it’s really important not to overdo it and come on too strong.

List recruitment can be a really great recruitment methodology when you’re working with specific criteria - just make sure you’ve got enough quality data on the list, and you’ll be good to go! If you’d like to find out more about how to recruit the best possible participants for your qualitative market research study, download our guide.

Download Now


Related Articles

4 people standing around a table planning to run a pilot study for qualitative market research

Six Reasons to Conduct a Pilot Study for...

Pilot sessions are used extensively throughout market research in order to reduce risk or uncertaint...
hard to reach audiences for qualitative research

Top tips to unlocking hard to reach audi...

As market researchers, our job is to capture the thoughts, opinions and voices of different people t...
Market researchers reviewing a consent form as part of participant recruitment in qualitative research.

8 things your qual market research recru...

When it comes to participant recruitment in qualitative research, informed consent is vital. As outl...