Unlock valuable insights from your customers

Self-recruitment is a method of finding participants for user testing. It involves reaching out to your existing customers or using social media and online forums. It's a cost-effective and efficient way to recruit people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.

This approach enables you to invite your own participants to take a test you create in Lyssna. According to the Product Designer Manager at YNAB, using a combination of self-recruitment and recruiting from a research participant panel can be beneficial. 

“We'll send a test out internally to gather feedback and see how people respond to it and then we'll send out a set to the panel to get this sense of how it's working for people who have never even seen our app.” 
– Alan Dennis, Product Designer Manager at YNAB.

Beyond internal recruitment, there are many other avenues to find the best participants for usability testing. Let’s explore self-recruitment and how it works in Lyssna, and discover how you can optimize your recruitment process and gather valuable insights for your product or service.

5 tips for self-recruiting research participants

Self-recruitment can be a daunting process, so to get you started on the right foot, we've compiled five tips to help you recruit the best research participants. 

self-recruiting participants
  1. Identify your target audience: Start by defining the characteristics of the users you want to test with. This will help you identify where to find them and how to reach out to them.

  2. Leverage your network: Ask friends, family, and colleagues if they, or anyone they know, would be interested in participating in your research. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to help out.

    For example, the design team at YNAB frequently seek input from their customers by sending usability tests to their current users. They look at factors like those in their third month of usage, relatively active users, or people who asked a related support question.

  3. Use social media: Share your user testing recruitment message on your social media channels, or even consider running targeted ads to reach your ideal audience.

  4. Look for online forums: Look for online forums or groups related to your product or service and post your recruitment message. You can also reach out to individual members who match your target audience (although be sure to follow community guidelines!).

  5. Offer incentives: Consider offering incentives, such as gift cards or discounts, to participants who take part in user testing. This can help motivate people to participate and provide valuable feedback.

How to self-recruit participants using Lyssna

There are two ways to recruit responses with Lyssna – from your own audience or by ordering responses from the Lyssna panel. Below, we'll take you through the steps for recruiting from your own audience.

  1. Finalize your test in Lyssna and click Save and continue.

  2. This takes you to the Recruit tab, where you make your way to the panel box and click Set up link.

  3. A modal will appear where you can customize the settings of your link. Configure your link by selecting the relevant options. These options include:

    Response limits: Stop recruiting participants once you've reached your desired number of responses. For example, if you want to share a link on a social post but don’t want an influx of responses, this feature will help you cap the number of responses you receive.

    Post-test redirects: Tailor the experience of your test by redirecting participants to another website once they've completed the test. 

    Not only will this improve the user experience for your participants, but it can also serve as an effective analytics tool for tracking those who complete your test on an external system. 

    This functionality can be particularly advantageous if you’re recruiting participants through a third-party panel that mandates a specific completion URL.

    Kiosk mode: This option is designed specifically for in-person usability testing, enabling participants to take the test multiple times within a single session. 
    This would be particularly helpful in a lab or on a single device being used by multiple testers.

    Let’s say you're testing a new interface or product and want to measure how quickly participants learn to use it. You could have them take the test multiple times within a short period to see if their performance improves.

    Demographic questions: Before starting the usability test, consider asking pre-defined demographic questions to gain a better understanding of your participants. This information can include age, country, gender, education level, daily hours spent online, annual household income, technical proficiency, and employment status.

    Not only does this provide valuable insights into your participants, but it also allows for effective filtering options when analyzing your results.

  4. Once you’ve chosen your options, click the Enable link button and share as desired. 

Pro tip: Use the demographic questions feature to avoid recruiting irrelevant participants and streamline your recruitment process.

Get highly specific when self-recruiting test participants 

Self-recruiting for your research studies can be a great way to quickly and easily find participants genuinely interested in your product or service.

By following these tips and being creative in your outreach, you can build a pool of enthusiastic testers who can provide valuable insights to improve your user experience.

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The best teams use Lyssna so they can deeply understand their audience and move in the right direction — faster.


How does self-recruitment work in Lyssna?
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What are the benefits of self-recruiting research participants in Lyssna?
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