As a full service research firm we are experts at finding hard to find participants for focus groups and research projects, but I find it amazing how often our clients don’t understand just how many people we really have to contact in order to find that one perfect recruit!
For example: Participation from one business expert in your field can take upwards to 500 cold calls and emails to recruit, assuming we choose not to harass them and only contact them once or twice. Think of the size of the names list required to collect 1,000 responses this way!
… one significant reason for low response rates: not everyone has the time, or the want to sacrifice their time just for your research study.
Charles Dickens, rejecting an invitation from a friend:
“‘It is only half an hour’ — ‘It is only an afternoon’ — ‘It is only an evening,’ people say to me over and over again; but they don’t know that it is impossible to command one’s self sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes — or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometime worry a whole day … Who ever is devoted to an art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and to find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it; I must go in my way whether or no.”
Kevin Ashton, Creative People Say No – https://medium.com/thoughts-on-creativity/bad7c34842a2, September 12, 2013
We openly encourage people who feel they do not have time to participate in our research efforts to hang-up, and quickly! In the end, hang-ups save us time on the phone, and allow our researchers to move on to someone who is interested and willing to share their opinions.
How does this affect the validity of your research project? It does reduce survey validity as we are only able to talk to those who are willing to talk; which is why ensuring every project has adequate sample size and is closely managed for quality is so important.
With large enough samples (think 400-500 names per recruit), and tight recruiting requirements you can ensure that the responses you receive for your research are of high quality, engaged members of the community you wish to target for feedback.