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Creating Your Own Research Panel: 6 Benefits & 2 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes

Having the ability to deliver high-quality participants at a super-fast speed has been the common goal among market research recruiters and agencies for years. However, the increase of fraudsters, bad actors, and speedsters has made the overall average quality of participants decrease recently. Even external vendors who once were reliable are being negatively affected as well. Creating your own research panel has proven not only to be the cure to this problem but also a way to gain an advantage over your competition. Creating your own research panel may be more time-consuming but the cost and value is a no-brainer and a game-changer. Below are the top 6 benefits for creating your own research panel. 


  1. Do More Research Faster

Sending out a screener to your own well-managed research panel allows you to quickly and easily get qualified participants for your project lighting fast. By default, you save a ton of time and can complete more projects. 


  1. Build Deeper Insights   

When you own your research panel, you consistently go back to the same group with new projects. With every project, you gain deeper insights into each respondent. As a result, you build rich profiles to help target the right people with the right study.


  1. Reduce the cost of research

Creating and managing your own research panel is a lot cheaper than you would think. Mostly due to the latest and greatest software tools that help you do so. In addition, you can manage it yourself with no expensive agency fees to worry about.


  1. Higher Quality Participants 

The quality of participants you have is the seed to the quality of data you collect. Recruiting and managing a panel created by you gives you control of the sample and ultimately the quality of the data. 


  1. Increase Response Rates

When you have your own panel of “willing” participants that have opted-in, the response rates go through the roof. Fewer emails hitting junk mail, more opened emails, and higher response rates. 


  1. Your panel members are more invested in your research 

All of the panel members in your own research panel have opted-in so they are more invested in your research. In addition, after each completed project and after each received incentive, participants put more effort into giving you their best feedback on their next study. 


2 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes When Creating Their Own Research Panel


While creating and managing your own research panel there are two big mistakes that most people make that can strongly decrease the benefits of having a panel. Avoid making these mistakes to ensure you get all the pros and none of the cons of creating your own research panel. 


  1. Lack of organization 

Having 100s, or 1000s or participants in your panel is great, but if it is not organized properly, you can be wasting a lot of time just sorting through your panel. One of the benefits of creating a panel in the first place is saving time so it’s important you build custom characteristics and segments to easily save time.

Most people naturally create a list on excel or build a table in their CRM or Airtable and manually pull from it. Instead, the way to go is having software that gives you the ability to easily and effortlessly pull a desired group of participants. This way you will also be able to track which participants have been invited to which studies and can engage with inactive profiles.


  1. Not Determining Your Panel Size

One of the first things you should consider is the ideal size of your panel. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about how many people they need to recruit to their panel until they realize it isn’t big enough to fulfill the average amount of studies per month they have.

  • The easiest way to determine the number of participants is needed is to project the number of studies are going to do and the total N for all those studies.
  • From there, you need to estimate your average response rate per study. Meaning if your average response rate is 25% and you need 1,000 participants per year, you need a panel of at least 4,000 participants. Be sure to include churn in your calculation.
  • Lastly, geographic, gender, and age are also things to consider. You should aim to have 10-20% above your minimum number to be safe. 


Creating your own research panel may very well be the single most powerful way that you take the quality of your participants and the speed of your recruiting to the next level. It will take a weakness most recruiters are having and turn it into your strength. Leveraging the latest software tools to help you build and manage your panel is an easy way to avoid the most common mistakes people make when creating their own research panel.