26 Questions to help research buyers of online samples

  1. What experience does your company have with providing online samples for market research?
  2. PanelClix has been managing and building an international panel since 1999. We combine our extensive experience in the field of online market research with advanced technologies to conduct online field surveys for a large number of market research bureaus and agencies.

    We will continue to invest in evolving and further developing our online panels in the Netherlands and Germany.

    We differ from other panels in the fact that we rather invest in having capacious panels in fewer countries than in having many tiny panels in several countries.

  3. Please describe and explain the types of source(s) for the online sample that you provide (are these databases, actively managed panels, direct marketing lists, web intercept sampling, river sampling or other?
  4. We have been busy building the largest, most diverse online panel for years now. Our respondents follow a double opt-in procedure whenever they sign up. We then strengthen the budding relationship with these new members via a clever retention program, based on attention, trust and honesty. PanelClix holds the biggest active panel in the Netherlands with more than 230.000 active members for online market research (count: 30 October 2008) and is about to build the biggest panel in Germany. In view of the panel’s scope, combined with the extended member profiles, we are able to generate every favored sample.

  5. What do you consider to be the primary advantage of your sample over the other sample sources in the marketplace?
  6. The quality of the panel makes or breaks the quality of the fieldwork completed. The commitment of the panel members is a central factor. For example we personally congratulate our members on their birthdays and they receive our best wishes and personal attentions on Valentine’s day and holidays. The relationship that we have with our members is central to what we do. It is also interesting to know that only a very small percentage of our members end their membership within the first 6 months. Our panel is our most important asset. That is why, over the years, we have developed an extensive management program to keep members involved.

  7. If the sample source is a panel or database, is the panel or database used solely for market research? If not, please explain.
  8. PanelClix uses the panel solely for market research project like online survey’s, recruitment for product tests, face to face interviews and focus groups.

  9. How do you source groups that may be hard-to-reach on the internet?
  10. PanelClix works with many partners to find hard to reach groups like ethnic minority, teenagers, elderly and business respondents on the internet. With our extended reward program we can commit these difficult panel members to PanelClix.

    Structural cooperation with reputable web partners, comprehensively tested banner promotions and simple registration procedures are factors for success and ensure a continuous influx of new high quality members.

  11. What are people told when they are recruited?
  12. Every new member consciously and unequivocally chooses to participate in the online market research. Members of PanelClix receive a reward when they respond on our invitation and for every survey they complete.

  13. If the sample comes from a panel, what is your annual panel turnover/attrition/retention rate and how is it calculated?
  14. We strengthen the budding relationship with these new members via a clever retention programme, based on attention, trust and honesty.

    When a panel member doesn’t respond for 6 moths on our invitation we will sent these panel member the question if they still want to be a panel member of PanelClix. If they don’t respond on this e-mail we will remove them from our panel. This ensures us of a high response rate (proximally 40%).

  15. Please describe the opt-in process.
  16. PanelClix was one of the first companies to introduce a double opt-in registration process. This means that every new member that registers via the web site must also react positively to the email they are sent. In addition, the members once again confirm that they really want to participate in your market research by giving their details and keeping their profile up to date.

  17. Do you have a confirmation of identity procedure? Do you have procedures detect fraudulent respondents at the time of registration with the panel? If so, please describe.
  18. All e-mail addresses are validated and checked during the registration process by sending a confirmation e-mail and requiring a response from every new panel member confirming that they want to participate in our panel.

    PanelClix has a special validator to identify fraudulent panel members.

  19. What profile data is kept on panel members? For how many members is this data collected and how often is this data updated?
  20. Socio-demographic information is available of all PanelClix panel members in The Netherlands and Germany.

    PanelClix has set up various specialty panels in each of the different countries. Based on these details, PanelClix can invite a specific type of respondent for your survey. This means less respondents are screened out, which can save you a lot of money. The fieldwork also takes less time. Besides this, we can use the details to estimate whether the desired number of respondents can be realized.

  21. What is the size and/or capacity of the panel, based on active panel members on a given date? Can you provide an overview of active panelist by type of source?
  22. The Netherlands: 230.000 active panel members on October 30th 2008 Germany: 80.000 active panel members on October 30th 2008.

    Members are recruited via text links, banners, email campaigns, mouth-to-mouth advertising, editorials and an extensive partner network. From the beginning we have applied multi-sourcing selection to recruit new members.

    Diversity is vitally important in the composition of a panel.

  23. Please describe your sampling process including your exclusion procedures if applicable. Can samples be deployed as batches/replicates, by time zones, geography, etc
  24. PanelClix can exclude specific samples and panel members. Deploying multiple batches by time, numbers, zone and geography are all possible. Normally respondents can respond on a invitation for a maximum of a week. If there is need for we can sent out a reminder to the panel members who didn’t respond on the first invitation.

    PanelClix can deploy representative samples based on socio-demographic details.

  25. Explain how people are invited to take part in a survey. What does a typical invitation look like?
  26. Members of PanelClix receive a reward when they respond to our invitation and for every survey they complete. The invitation consists a description what the research project is about, the length of the survey, until what date the can respond on the invitation, the reward they receive, a link to our disclaimer and a opt-out link in every invitation.

    The invitation has a neutral look and feel to achieve the best and highest response.

  27. Please describe the nature of your incentive system(s). How does this vary by length of interview, respondent characteristics or other factors you may consider?
  28. Panel members can save points (Clix) by participating in research projects. How many points the members can earn depends on the length of the survey. These points can the panel member exchange for money, presents in our web shop or donate the points to charities.

  29. How often are individual members contacted for online surveys within a given period? Do you keep data on panelists participation history and are limits placed on the frequency that members are contacted and asked to participate in a survey?
  30. Panel members of PanelClix complete a online questionnaire on average one time every two months. But specific groups can be invite more frequent for example IT managers, the reason for this is that these target groups are harder to find. PanelClix doesn’t use a maximum amount of invitations for each panel member because these can create biases.

  31. Is there a privacy policy in place? If so, what does it state? Is the panel compliant with all regional, national and local laws with respect to privacy, data protection and children (e.g.: EU Safe Harbour and COPPA in the US)? What other research industry standards do you comply with (e.g.: ICC/ESOMAR International Code, CASRO guidelines, etc)?
  32. The privacy policy that we employ is also based on the code of conduct of Esomar, the European umbrella organization for market research agencies. Furthermore, we implement additional EMMA requirements and do keep our promises to our members. Panel members can find the information regarding our privacy policy on every page for example the homepage.

    PanelClix is a member of the Marktonderzoekassociatie (MOA) in The Netherlands. At the same time PanelClix complies with all the rules of conducts such as those set up by Esomar, the European umbrella organization for market research bureaus.

    PanelClix represents the Netherlands in an international discussion board, on request of the MOA, in order to formulate guidelines and standards for online data collection procedures worldwide.

  33. What data protection/security measures do you have in place?
  34. We are one of the few organizations in The Netherlands that have decided to use a physically separated infrastructure for both the market research data collected and panel management. This was one of our promises to our clients. By having the physical separation between the market research data and personal details of members, an infrastructure is created in which:

    • The privacy of members is optimally protected.
    • Confidential market research data is not archived but is directly sent on to our clients. This makes improper use of data impossible.

    All of our systems also have a double or triple back-up, which makes them very dependable and secure. In the controlled data centers with 24x7 monitoring acces is restricted and authorization is required.

  35. Do you apply a quality management system? Please describe it.
  36. PanelClix has implemented a quality programme with our company rules and procedures to continue improvement in the organisation. This quality programme is the base for the new ISO norm for Access Panels. PanelClix expects to qualify for this norm in 2009.

  37. Do you conduct online surveys with children and young people? If so, please describe the process for obtaining permission.
  38. PanelClix doesn’t contact children direct to take part in research project but will contact the parent if they agree that the child participates in the survey. PanelClix does follow the guidelines in accordance with MOA in The Netherlands and the ESOMAR guidelines referring research with children.

  39. Do you supplement your samples with samples from other providers? How do you select these partners? Is it your policy to notify a client in advance when using a third party provider? Do you de-duplicate sample when using multiple sample providers?
  40. PanelClix doesn’t use panel partners for supplementing samples.

  41. Do you have a policy regarding multiple-panel membership? What efforts do you undertake to ensure that survey results are unbiased given that some individuals belong to multiple panels?
  42. When PanelClix provides respondents for a project with a very low incidence and more panels are used by the client to achieve enough respondents, PanelClix always remove duplicate respondents with a specific technique. This ensures respondents who participated already in this project don’t get a second invitation.

    PanelClix doesn’t exclude panel members who are participating in multiple panels as long as these panel members give honest answers and carefully complete the surveys. When panel members don’t give honest answers they will be removed from the PanelClix panel.

  43. What are likely survey start rates, drop-out and participation rates in connection with a provided sample? How are these computed?
  44. PanelClix calculates the start rate by dividing the amount of invitations sent by the number of respondents who clicked on the link in the invitation. On an average the start rate is proximally 40% to our invitations.

    The drop-out rate is the percentage of respondents who start the survey but don’t complete the survey or got a screenout or quota full. This rate is normally below 5% but it does depend on the length of the survey. When a survey is longer then 20 minutes the drop out rate can rise. PaneLClix will always use appropriate incentive for the length of the survey to reduce the drop-out rate.

  45. Do you maintain individual level data such as recent participation history, date of entry, source, etc. on your panellists? Are you able to supply your client with a job analysis of such individual data?
  46. PanelClix does register participation history, date of entry and source of our panel members. This information is available for clients on request. However the privacy of our panel members is always protected.

  47. Do you use data quality analyze and validation techniques to identify inattentive and fraudulent respondents? If yes, what techniques are used and at what point in the process are they applied?
  48. When PanelClix is hosting the online survey for the client we always check the data for fraudulent respondents. When we have identified a fraudulent respondent we will remove this member of our panel. Throughout a respondents lifetime additional checks are conducted.

    The vast majority of the respondents gives high quality response and is honest when they complete an online survey.

  49. Do you measure respondent satisfaction?
  50. PanelClix constantly measures respondents satisfaction. When the start rate is lower then 40% this means respondents aren’t satisfied. We have found out that the start rate will improve when respondents are satisfied about the last questionnaire they completed. When they were unhappy regarding the last questionnaire they probably don’t want to participate with a new questionnaire the next time.

  51. What information do you provide to debrief your client after the project has finished?
  52. PanelClix can provide the exact target group criteria we used in the sample, the start rate, the invitation text and on request a description of the field work process.