WHAT YOU SIGNED UP FOR
So the email you received from us said you signed up to receive it, but you don't remember when! Don't worry - we know you get a lot of emails and do a lot of things online that you forget about. If we have your information, it's likely we got it from a survey you took recently or from an email list you are signed up through a company that wants to hear your opinion.
But that doesn't change the fact that we need your help! It is entirely up to you to participate in our "further research" and we really hope you do, so we want to give you as much information as possible.
I took a survey with your company's name on it, but I'm used to seeing other company names. What's the deal?
Well, we are a small market research firm. We are the people that write and program surveys for the bigger companies that want to hear from you. Once we write a survey, we then turn to the people that are in charge of the survey sites (like Global Test Market) and have them send you a link to our survey. That makes it easier for us to reach a lot of people like you rather than just the few people we know.
You sent me an email about a discussion group, a focus group, or something like that. What's going on?
Based on a survey you recently took (most likely with our name on it), we think you would be a good person to talk to on a more personal level. We're not asking you to take another survey - we're asking you to take time out of your day (in exchange for a research incentive) to talk to one of our moderators by answering a series of questions in an online board. You will receive instructions the whole way, and if you ever have any questions, you have our email address, so please ask!
How do I participate in a discussion group?
Since this is different that taking a simple survey, this may require a bit of a learning curve. But for you, once you accept our invitation to be a part of a discussion, you will receive login information. Clicking the link in your email will take you to our online board, which will be your home base throughout the discussion. That is where your moderator will post questions and where you will respond to them. You can also interact with other group members on the board (and you should!).
Usually, we ask you to log in to the online board twice a day during the course of a discussion: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. That's because your moderator will be asking a lot of questions, and we don't want you to have to do that all at once. It's tiring and takes a long time, so taking it in chunks will be better for all of us!
There will be questions ready for you when you log in, but once you have responded, your moderator may have follow-up questions for you. It's called a discussion because we would like to have as close as we can to a real conversation. So, you will be required to answer any follow-ups and keep the conversation going. That means you will probably have to log in a third, fourth, or fifth time during the course of a day! We really just want to talk to you, but we know this can get annoying, so we will only ask more questions when we really feel like we need to.
We use different online boards, but each of them try to be as helpful as they can be: the board will keep track of new questions, new follow-up questions, and new messages for you. If you are having trouble using the online board, they have a Help Desk that can walk you through things or a Support Staff that can help you in a pinch.
Researchers are always looking for good participants, but what does that mean for you?
Here are some tips on being the best participant you can be:
Be honest! This is the biggest, most important thing you can remember when you are participating in research. Researchers are not out there to make friends and hear only how great they are: be honest and 100% yourself in your responses, even if you don't like what we show you. We promise you won't hurt our feelings.
Be detailed. Since we are not there in person, it's hard to see what you are talking about. Using detail, even if it seems silly or oddly specific, helps us to see things from your perspective. If your moderator seems to be asking a lot of follow up questions, it's because you're not using enough detail. Try being more descriptive by using personal experiences or metaphors.
If you don't understand a question, ask what it means. Sometimes we're not the best at asking questions, so it's okay to call us out and let us know that we confused you!
It's not about the money. Okay, so we often offer an incentive, whether it's entrance into a drawing or a gift card or something fun, but our hope is that is not the only thing motivating you to be a part of our project. Those incentives are just our way to compensate you for your time and say thank you. Participating in research should not be considered a job or a way to increase your income.
Treat us like real people. We are! And so are the people that are participating alongside you. So be respectful of everyone else's opinion. Also, don't treat your moderator like a robot that is looking just for keywords! We mean it when we say that we want to have a real conversation with you, just like we would do face-to-face.
Take a break. We see some participants multiple times, some even multiple times in the same day in different projects! All of these questions can be an overload, though, and we find we get the best responses when you aren't spread too thin. This also means opting out of participating if you have been in a lot of discussions lately. You may qualify and the incentive may be really appealing, but being a good respondent means you have to share the spotlight with others who maybe haven't participated as much.
Don't ask to participate. We get some people who come to us telling us that they want to be a part of a study. However, being a part of research is not like applying for a job when it comes to talking to us here at TripleScoop. We will reach out to you if you look like a good fit for a project. It's difficult for us to make promises to people who come to us, since we can't predict who we will need in the future. And since we're such nice people, we hate telling people no!
These members of our team are our moderators, the people that lead the discussions and write the surveys. You probably received an email from them about participating. Click to find out more about them!
Ted has been moderating digital focus groups since he helped initiate the idea 15 years ago. He's talked to hundreds of people about their opinions and is eager to hear yours as well.
Olivia is our expert video interviewer. Have fun talking with her over video chat or typing it up on one of our digital focus groups.
Kacie has experience in moderating live focus groups as well as our digital focus groups. Get comfy during your chat with her!
Your identity is important to you, and keeping it safe is important to us. We promise to only use your information to contact you about research projects and incentives, and to only use what you tell us in discussions for research purposes. That means we will quote you when talking to our clients (the people that want to hear from you!), but we will never share with them any information that will identify you personally, like your address, phone number, email address, or any specific information we have asked from you. All of that information is kept safely in our privately secured databases: only the people talking to you and their direct bosses are looking at that info.
You can help us keep your information secure in couple ways:
1) In discussions or focus groups, don't share what you don't want other people in the group to know. That would include last names, specific cities/towns where you live, your email address, your phone number, links to social media, or anything else you want to keep safe.
Please note: your face or profile picture is perfectly safe to post to our forums. We promise that your personal, original photos are not shareable through the platforms that we use, so we love to see your actual shining face rather than a disguise or illustrated avatar.