Recruit participants

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The quality of your participants is an important thing to consider when you start recruiting. You want people who are as close to the right demographics as possible, and willing to take the activity seriously.

How to source participants

You can recruit participants in a bunch of different ways, and how you do so will depend on a few different factors. If you have access to a pool of participants (like employees if you’re working on an internal product, or your customer mailing list) then sending them an email invitation, along with an incentive or chance to win a prize, can be a useful way to get responses. Similarly, you could invite people via your social media channels or add banners to your website.

Keep in mind that if people don’t receive an incentive or are not obligated to participate, you’ll need to invite a whole lot more people than your minimum required.

If you’re recruiting participants via the above sources, we always recommend using a screener survey to make sure you only receive responses from participants that meet your criteria. You can read more about creating a screener survey here.

You can also make use of high-quality recruitment panels, which can be effective if you want fast, pain-free recruits with minimal effort. You can recruit participants from quite specific demographics, and be confident that the participants will take your study seriously (they are getting paid, after all).

After you’ve launched your tree test, you’ll be given the option to recruit participants via our integrated panel from within your Optimal Workshop account. You’ll then enter your required demographics and be presented with a quote based on the types of participants and the complexity of your study. After hitting ‘place order’, you can sit back and watch the results come in while you get on with other work.

Write clear instructions and expectations

Tree testing is a new concept and activity for many people, so it’s important your instructions are clear and concise. Treejack comes with default instructions that we’ve found are easy for people to understand, but you can tailor them to suit your own participants or the particular features of your tree test. You can do the same thing with the text you write in your invitation email or social posts.

Managing participant expectations will reduce abandonment rates because people will know what they’re in for before accepting. If you say an activity will take five minutes at the most, people will take that quite literally. Offering an incentive is a good way to let your participants know how much you value their contribution, as well as ensuring they are committed to completing the whole study.

Recommended number of participants

Ideally you’ll have around 50 participants complete your tree tests so that you can see trends clearly and account for variations and outliers. In Treejack, the more participants you get, the more confident you can be in the accuracy of your quantitative data.

However, you can still get plenty of useful insights with fewer participants, so even if you only have a limited number of participants, running a tree test is still worthwhile.