Step 5: Recruit Participants
You may want to offer incentives for participating, especially if recruiting is
difficult or your data collection significantly inconveniences participants.
Incentives don't necessarily have to be costly, but they should be relevant to
your audience. Sometimes a meal and free childcare are enough, other times you
may need to offer something more substantial. Taking a few moments to find out
from your audience what incentives are motivating could save you quite a bit of
time and money in the long run.
Think about any biases inherent in the method of your recruitment. For example,
if you plan to use a commercial marketing research firm's recruitment database,
you may have difficulty reaching low-income participants. If you recruit
participants from a clinic or other setting, think about if they will be
inherently different from people who do not go to that clinic or who wouldn't be
at that specific setting.
If you don't have money for financial incentives, be creative. Try to find
things that will appeal to your audience without costing money such as time off,
recognition, or publicity/positive PR. Or, see if you can get your partners or
stakeholders to donate food, childcare, or other appealing incentives.