This article is designed to provide an overview of panelist lookup, panel reporting, and panel feasibility checks. While this guide is not meant to be comprehensive, it does include links to individual articles providing more detailed explanations on how to use specific features. Be sure to review these articles as well when setting up your panel for the first time. Project managers who will be launching invitations and providing panelist support will gain the most from this guide.
1: Panelist support
After your panel launches and becomes active, it will be necessary to provide panelist support. Standard panelist support typically involves answering questions around points, redemptions, and technical survey issues.
1.1: How to check panelist points
If you have rewarded points to panelists upon completion of a project, those points will automatically be credited to the panelist's account as soon as they complete the survey. The panelist will be able to see this credit on the Rewards Page of the Community. However, if the reward does not post or the panelist does not see it on their rewards page, they may contact you.
- You will want to start by checking the Panelist Manager to get an overview of the panelist's history:
- Panelist activity: The panelist activity will show you which surveys the panelist has been invited to, which they have completed, started, profile or quota terminated from, and how many points they earned for each project. You will want to make sure that the panelist has actually been invited to and finished the project they are asking you about and that rewards have been granted.
- Panelist Rewards: This displays all points for all projects. Assuming that you have checked their activity and found that the panelist did finish a project and earned rewards, you should also see the rewards listed for the project here as well.
If the panelist's history is recorded correctly and they have been granted the appropriate number of points, you should have no further issues. However, you may want to ask the panelist for a screen shot of their Rewards Page to ensure that the panelist is seeing the activity and points recorded correctly as well.
- If the panelist's activity records them as only having started a project but does not list them as completed, profile or quota terminated, you will want to check your survey data. If the panelist has any other status than dropout, then you can assume there was an internet connection error between the panelist and the panel at the time they finished the survey. This results in panel being unable to record the panelist's status properly. To correct this problem, you will need to:
1.2: How to check panelist redemptions
Panelists may contact you regarding incentive redemption. Incentives can be redeemed by the panelist on the Rewards Page of the Community. KinesisPanel allows for the use of four redemption (vendor) types:
1.3: How to provide panelist technical support
Should a panelist contact you regarding a technical issue, you will want to collect the following information from them:
- Screen shot of the problem they are seeing
- Survey Invitation (if experiencing a survey issue)
- User agent information (browser and operating system). If the issue is within a survey, you will want to use the panelist's email or identifier to check their user agent within the survey. This can be retrieved via Drill Down.
Once you have this information, you must try to reproduce the problem; it may be necessary to use the same browser and operating system in order to replicate the issue. Once you have reproduced the issue, you can either advise the panelist on how to get around it, make any necessary programming changes, or contact Kinesis Customer Support for further help.
2: Reporting and health
You will periodically want to check on panel health to ensure that your panel is performing as expected. Panels naturally shrink in size over time; you will therefore want to perform regular health checks so that you can adjust your own internal practices as needed to improve performance and to plan new recruitment as needed. Kinesis Panel has several built-in tools to aid in this.
The panel Dashboard is used to get a general overview of panel health and performance. This tool provides information on the number of subscribed, unsubscribed, unconfirmed, and blacklisted panelists as well as information on response rates and the number of invitations received per panelist over a given period of time. Historical charts are available as well, providing even more information regarding panel performance over long periods of time.
If you are seeing particularly high rates of unsubscribes or low response rates, you will want to check the number of invitations received per panelist. Too little invitations results in low engagement, causing panelists to forget about your panel. These panelists will either stop responding to email invitations or will unsubscribe. Too many invitations will also result in panelist attrition.
2.2: Recruitment Stats
The Recruitment Stats tool provides basic information on recruitment source opt-in rates along with total costs for each source. This will provide a general overview of which sources are performing well and which are not.
If more extensive recruitment source reporting is needed, such as demographic reporting, Kinesis recommends storing recruitment source as a datapoint in the Datapoint Manager. The recruitment source datapoint can then be used in other reporting tools, such as Export Panel Data and Panel Crosstabs.
2.3: Project Stats
Project Statistics can be found both in Project Mode and in Panel Mode under the Data & Statistics menu. To get an overview of all projects in panel, including response, completion, and incidence rates, view Project Statistics while in Panel Mode. This will provide a quick overview as to which projects performed well and which did not.
2.4: Common problems
- High unsubscribe rates
If you are seeing particularly high rates of unsubscribes, you will want to check the number of invitations received per panelist. Too little invitations results in low engagement, causing panelists to forget about your panel. These panelists will either stop responding to email invitations or will unsubscribe. Too many invitations will also result in panelist attrition.
- Very low response rates
As with high unsubscribe rates, this can also be caused by sending too many or too few survey invitations. It can also be caused by natural panelist attrition. If panelists have been empaneled for a long period of time, you may want to think about recruiting more panelists.
Low response rates may also be caused by email not reaching panelists. You will want to review your deliverability rates for each project, paying special attention to SPAM and bounce rates. High SPAM rates can be mitigated by making all emails CAN-SPAM compliant, using a professional-looking HTML email wrapper, and by not using any methods that trigger high spam scores (spam scores can be checked for each invitation by viewing the invitation and looking at the number in the upper right corner of the pop-up). High bounce rates can be the result of high SPAM scores, but may also be caused by blacklisting. If you are seeing consistently high bounce rates, it is best to contact customer support immediately.
- Not enough surveys to keep panelists engaged
Kinesis recommends contacting panelists at least once or twice per month. Many panels will need to contact panelists more often than that. If you are struggling to keep panelists engaged, consider sending out a regular newsletter via the bulk email tool. You can also send panelists through Federated Sample's Fulcrum Exchange, which will automatically route respondents to surveys they may qualify to take. The Fulcrum Exchange is also an excellent tool for keeping unused sample engaged as well.
2.5: Cleaning your panel
If is highly recommended that every panel manager develop internal best practices that will keep their panel as healthy and clean as possible. Even when panels are very well managed, attrition will still be an issue and will require a periodic panel cleanse. This is recommended at least once per year, but depending on the nature of the panel, it may make more sense to clean the panel more or less often. Panel cleanses typically focus on removing dead panelists but can also include re-profiling panelists if needed.
- Removing dead panelists:
Dead panelists include any that are unsubscribed, have invalid (bounced) email addresses, or are marked as blacklisted. Depending on the panel manager's best practices, dead panelists may also include those who are still subscribed and have valid emails but have not responded to any invitation within a specified amount of time. These panelists can either be deleted from your panel (not recommended) or can be flagged with a datapoint.
- Re-profiling panelists:
If your panel does not have a profiler that is available year-round so that panelist's can update their information, you will want to regularly field profiler projects. This should be done at least once per year to ensure that you are not working with outdated data. You can combine the profiling survey with a yearly panel cleanse by removing anyone who does not update their profile.
If you are flagging dead panelists in the datapoint manager, you can easily add the datapoint to your panel Business Rules. This will help ensure that anytime you launch a project or run feasibility, dead panelists will not be included.
Business rules can be set up via the panel query tool. Business rules allow you to automatically restrict which panelists can be invited to participate in survey projects. A very basic business rule includes only those panelists who are subscribed, have a valid email, and are not blacklisted. However, you may want to add in additional statements that check for panelists being under a certain number of points, having only participated in a certain number of surveys in the past month, or any other number of items. Once the business rule is created, Kinesis Panel will automatically apply that rule to every query created within a project. Any panelist that does not meet the business rule criteria will be excluded. To set up business rules, please see this page.
Features available in Project Mode allow for running feasibility checks. To check feasibility,
Now that a sample has been created, you can check feasibility one of two ways:
- If the sample you have saved does not need to be distributed, navigate to the sample manager, view the historical response rate, and base feasibility off of that.
- If the sample you have saved includes more panelists than you would need, you will want to use the distribution tool to create a smaller sample while still filling the project's quotas.