But sometimes, a panel can be overkill and just too expensive for your project. And for that, it's a good idea to have recruited a panel of your very own.
Here are a few ideas as to how to have an ongoing panel recruiting effort and panel survey:
- Decide on the audience you want to target. That's fairly straightforward. Get clear on the industry, title and any other demographic that you're after.
- Create a valuable free download. This can be an eBook, report or even a webinar that you want to offer. The primary requirements are that it's educational, informative and not a sales pitch. We don't want to sell them anything other than the opportunity to have their opinions counted in a survey.
- Build a landing page with a form. Landing pages are nothing more than focused pages with a form where people can register. You want to keep it as simple as possible. If all you need is an email - than that should be the only field that's required. If you need to qualify your sample -- keep those down to a minimum. The fewer fields, the more likely people will be to sign up.
- Use an email marketing tool. I recommend an email marketing tool because it allows you to manage, segment and communicate with your list easily and quickly. You can always export the lists and import them into QuestionPro and SurveyAnalytics to send customized invites.
- Nurture your list relationships. Don't just USE and ABUSE your list - build relationships with them and engage with them. Send them articles, newsletters or incentives to stay loyal and participate in your surveys. The more you engage with your list, the higher your response rates.
- Leverage your panel. If you create a large panel with more than 10,000 people, you may have another revenue channel on your hands. If your panel is specific to a region, discipline or any other super-niche (such as Chihuahua owners) you can build this list with the intent of actually sending them surveys. Just be sure to get their permission and give them a good incentive.
So now you can see that panels can come from panel providers OR from your own targeted industry audience. Besides - your panel can also become your customer. Just be clear on your objectives and be sure to get legal advice on how to manage your panel.