Recruiting Laboratory Participants

Where do research participants come from?

I am in the process of revamping the Internet laboratory, as I’m trying to increase the number of participants. Some very successful websites recruit ~500/day. I have been averaging about 30/day — still respectable, but it limits what I can do.

In this context, I read recent reports from the folks behind Phrase Detectives with interest. Phrase Detectives, it appears, gets a slightly greater amount of traffic than I do. What I focused on was their method of advertising and how well it works. They noted that their traffic comes in the following forms:

direct: 46%
website link: 29%
search: 12%
Facebook advertisement: 13%

Then they looked at the bounce rate (the number of visitors who arrive at the home page then scoot away) for each of these sources:

direct: 33%
link: 29%
search: 44%
Facebook advertisement: 90%

It appears that paid advertisements — the only one of these sources that actually costs money — isn’t worth much. In the end, only 4% of visitors who didn’t bounce came through the paid advertisement.

Substack subscription form sign up
The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.