How to Recruit Existing Customers for Your Research

Once you’ve managed to bring your company and colleagues around to investing in user research it’s time to recruit participants.

There are tons of different ways to recruit, but for the sake of word counts and attention spans, we’re just going to be focusing on how to recruit existing customers for user research in this piece. As well as potential customers, current customers are important to talk to when you want product feedback.


1. Incentives

First and foremost, it’s important to offer an incentive for participants. This is likely to help you recruit customers in general and reduce the chance of no-shows. You can incentivize customers to get involved by offering cash, gift cards, or a discount on your product.

According to our Research Participant Happiness Study, 95% of participants want cash directly to the bank – a key reason why Ayda offers participants a choice of how to claim incentives, including direct to the bank. Not only will incentives encourage participants to take part, but studies offering participants incentives have been found to have higher completion rates and fewer dropouts along the way.


2. In-product communication

This is perhaps the most obvious of all, but it still deserves its own time in the spotlight. If your product is digital (e.g., software, app, a website with a login component), why not catch customers when they are in the product?

This could be as simple as inserting a pop-up that asks if they’re interested in taking part in future research or an email campaign to current users asking for them to take part. Tools like Appcues or UserPilot are great ways to communicate with your users and catch them during usage in-product.


3. Social media!

We’re all reliant on social media for social and business these days so why not use it to your advantage? Those following you on social media may have used or purchased your product. At the very least, they’re familiar with your brand. Social media is an easy way to connect with users.

You can post links, polls, call to action, etc. We wrote a blog post about recruiting via LinkedIn, which you might find helpful. Ayda’s newest feature includes campaigns and screeners. Both can be shared via links on social media emails to recruit and collect potential participant information.


4. Current customer touchpoints

You probably have more touchpoints with customers than you realize. Using current touchpoints is a perfect way to recruit customers that won’t require much extra work. Maybe just a little back and forth with the marketing team 😉.

I bet you’re already sending confirmation emails after purchasing or signing up. You can use these communications as a bouncing-off point very easily to ask if they’d like to be contacted for future research or take part in a specific project.

The same goes for customer support. Your support and success teams are already speaking to customers, receiving both praise and complaints. If a participant is willing to give feedback to your customer team, it is likely that they would be excited by the prospect of taking part in research.

Last but not least – take advantage of your marketing team. Collaborating on email campaigns, social posts, and even paid ads can save you a lot of time recruiting. Like all contact with your customers, try to ensure you add value every time you contact them. In 2020, the average email open rate dropped to just over 21%.


Always communicate securely

Staying GDPR compliant is one of the most important things you can do as a researcher. Check out this blog article we wrote about the importance of GDPR and user research.


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