How I write an invitation email to my participants for the usability / interview sessions

Andrei Urse
6 min readMay 1, 2021

Before we begin, I want to mention that you need to understand your audience before inviting them to your usability / interview sessions. You need to know why they would like to participate, what motivates them (think about incentives too), what triggers them to give you feedback and insights. It can get tricky, depending on the context.

First of all, let me explain to you my context. I have a database of people that collaborate with the business that I work for, split by personas, and when research studies happen, I send this kind of invitation email to them. There are participants that I met in person when I did field studies, and we created a rapport, therefore I use a more casual approach — I don’t introduce myself anymore, but there are also participants that I invite more rarely, or I feel like I cannot casually approach them, so I send them a more formal email, like the one below.

On the other hand, if you don’t have this kind of database of people, things complicate a bit because you need to do a screening before approaching participants, but we will talk about that in another article.

I tried different versions of invitation emails for my audience until I figured out which one has the best conversion rate. Sometimes I didn’t set the expectations correctly; sometimes I used too complicated language that described why I am inviting them; nevertheless, I iterated until I felt that I found the best content for my emails.

Let’s see how my emails look like and then we will discuss five aspects that I took into account:

Email Title: — Feedback Discussion

Hi Mark,

First of all, I hope you are doing fine and staying safe! I’m Andrei Urse, User Experience Designer for the We are working on new updates and features to improve your experience in the application, and I was wondering if you would be willing to participate in an online discussion to help us with feedback regarding our new features.

We are looking for people to participate in a 30 minutes long remote discussion next week Monday (Nov 16), Tuesday (Nov 17) or Wednesday (Nov 18). We will use a tool called…