How we Group: The Focus Group Recruiting Process


To make any project work we have to recruit the right people to participate. There is no group discussion without a group. To find the best fit for our groups we recruit in three main ways: through random digit dialing, through our database of opt in research participants, or from a client provided list of potential research participants.

Random Digit Dial (RDD) Recruiting

One of the main ways we recruit participants for our focus groups is through Random Digit Dialing (RDD). For the most part RDD is targeted via zip code for the area where we are recruiting; which produces the area codes and random numbers within that area. This allows us to target the most relevant people for a project. Because we are a market research firm and not trying to sell anything we do not have to subscribe to Federal “Do Not Call” lists according to the FCC Telephone Consumer Protection Act. However, we do maintain our own internal “Do Not Call” list for anyone who does not want to hear from us. Simply email us any phone number you would like us to permanently remove from any future calling at info@strategicresearch.net.

Database Recruiting

Strategic Research Associates maintains a database of over 10,000 potential focus group participants. These people have either participated in one of our groups in the past or have elected to be added to our list through an online sign up form or during one of our RDD phone calls. In accordance with our Privacy Policy we do not sell or share any personally identifying information but keep their contact details on file so that we can contact them directly about any group we think they may qualify for.

Whenever a client allows for database recruiting we will contact database participants we think may qualify for a project with a qualification survey. The survey serves the purpose of verifying the potential participant will fit into project requirements.

The database participant may be contacted one of two ways. We first send out an email with a link to the qualification survey, which can help speed the recruiting process. However, not all database participants have emails on file so we also conduct some database calling.

Anyone who is a member of our database can be asked to be removed at any time either directly by phone or email or by clicking the choosing to unsubscribe themselves in the profile update options they are sent via link with every email.

Client List Recruiting

In many cases the client has a list of specific people from which a project is to be recruited. For these client provided lists the recruiting process is much the same. These lists can be either email or phone lists and are only used once in the context of the specific projects. They are not added to any other internal lists we maintain. For projects where past customers are required, client lists can be a more efficient recruiting option than RDD or database recruiting because they often represent a particular cross-section of the population which the client wishes to reach. Potential participants from a client list are screened as thoroughly as any database or RDD recruits to ensure they meet the project specifications. Screening allows us to provide the highest caliber research participants possible to create a productive discussion and ensure results are actionable and representative of the total population of customers.

The Recruiting Process

The qualification questionnaire is the same for database, RDD, or client list recruiting to screen participants and ensure only the right people are recruited for a project. The questionnaire determines whether a potential participant is recruited for a focus group or not through a strict script to determine eligibility for a project and a strict adherence to quotas ensuring the correct number or participants in each demographic group for optimal results.

Those who are recruited for a focus group are called a second time to rescreen by re-asking the original qualification questions to double checking their answers and ensure group eligibility. Once their eligibility is confirmed and their participation assured they are sent a letter and email with details about their group (such as date, time, and location). They are also contacted a third time the day before the group to confirm participation to ensure optimal attendance.

Those who do not qualify for the focus group have a few options. If they were contacted via the database their answers are updated unless they request to be added to our “Do Not Call” list.

To learn more about the kinds of focus groups we do come back in two weeks when we’ll be talking about Focus Groups, Mock Trials, and What They’re all About.