Are you inviting externally-recruited participants (we call them scouts!) to a mission? Follow these steps to make sure that they have an exceptional experience. 

If you screened for scouts from dscout’s own pool of users, take a look at this guide to launching your mission.

There are two ways to invite externally-recruited scouts: using a mission splash page, or manually. 

1. Ask potential recruits to participate

It's important to ask potential recruits if they're interested in completing a dscout project in the first place, and make sure they’ll be able to do so. These are just a few of the important things to confirm:

  • Make sure that they have an iPhone or an Android device that meets our OS requirements.
  • Make sure that they’re willing to download an app.
  • Make sure that they’re willing to take pictures and videos if you’re including those types of prompts in your mission design.
  • Feel free to share with them, so that they can learn a bit more about dscout before getting started!

If you're starting off with a list of names and emails of potential participants, send them a note asking them to get involved that looks something like this:

Hi there!
Thanks so much for being one of our most loyal and influential users. We're partnering with dscout mobile research to make our products and services better, and we'd love for you to participate in a research project. If you'd be willing to download the
dscout mobile app for iPhone or Android and share your opinion -- including photos and videos -- by completing series of activities, called a mission, we'll pay you $40 for your time and effort. If you're interested, just reply to this email to let me know we can count on you!

-- Barbara F. E. Line, Insights Lead at the Society for Cat Owners

2. Let interested participants know what to expect

Once you've got a list of people who you know are interested in your project, send them a note mentioning your project's subject matter, time frame, and what kind of compensation participants can expect. It's also a good idea to mention how many mission parts are in your project, and to point them toward dscout's help & support page and troubleshooting guide.

Thanks for agreeing to be a part of this project about life as a cat owner! In a few days, you can expect to receive a welcome email from me inviting you to a 3-part mission that comprises this 2-week project. This email will include a button for you to click to create your dscout account. If you already have a dscout account, you'll receive an email asking you to log in with your current dscout information. Once you log in, you'll be able to see additional details about this project, start participating by answering questions and submitting "entries" of data, or ask me questions! If you complete all 3 parts, you'll have earned $40. Can't wait to learn more about your experiences.

-- Barbara

3. Invite participants

When inviting participants to a Diary mission, you have two options: you can use a mission splash page, or add participants manually. Mission splash pages provide step-by-step guidance for scouts to create dscout accounts. Manual invitations give you more control, and automatically create an account for each scout added. Can’t decide which to use? Talk to your research advisor.

Option 1: Invite participants manually

You can add participants to your mission manually by using the “Invites” tab on the Setup page. Here, you’ll be able to write a custom invitation message to be sent to your scouts along with the instructions for accessing the mission on dscout.

Click on "Add Scouts" to input your participants' information. From there, adding scouts manually is simple. You’ll enter them in the text area using the formula first name, last name (or initial), and email.  

Alternatively, you can upload a CSV document with your list of scouts. Make sure that this document follows the same formula (first name, last name, email), with no header row nor additional data.

Once you have all of your scouts added to the invitation, hit “Launch Mission.” Review your participant list and invitation message one last time. At this point, you may click on “Launch,” and then your mission will be open! All of the scouts that you added will receive an email inviting them to the mission (and prompting them to create an account), and will be able to start creating entries once they’ve created their account and logged in.

If your scouts have already created a dscout account, their welcome email will not contain a unique link. It will only invite the scout to your mission with your custom welcome message and a note that they need to sign in to the dscout app with their current account information. They’ll need to log in with the email address you used to invite them to the mission!

When scouts click on the button in their email OR their unique link, they'll be taken to a page where they can enter their name, email, and create their own password for their account. Once they've completed that, they'll be prompted to download the dscout app to their mobile device and get started!

Option 2: Invite scouts with a mission splash page

A mission splash page is a custom webpage that streamlines the dscout onboarding process for externally-recruited scouts. You can generate this while building your mission; simply navigate to Setup > Details and scroll to the bottom of the page. Toggle on the option for a "mission splash page" to have a unique URL populated for you. For your participants, the splash page will look something like this:

Your potential participants can also scroll down to read the overview:

Once you've finished setting everything up, it’s time to launch your mission! You must launch the mission before sending the mission splash page link to scouts. Missions can’t launch without any scouts, so you’ll need to add at least one — usually your research advisor or yourself — manually. After that, you can send your scouts a note inviting them to the mission:

Hello! It’s time to kick off our project about life as a cat owner! To get started, click here [insert your mission splash page link]. From there, you will click 'Sign Up for Mission' and be prompted to sign up for a dscout account (or log into an existing account) and join the mission!As a reminder, this project will be taking place over the course of a week, starting Monday. For completing all 3 parts of the mission on time, you’ll earn $40!We are so excited to hear from you — please make sure that you are signed up and ready to go by this Friday at 11:59pm CT! If you have any questions or problems, feel free to reach out to You can also consult dscout’s help & support page for tips and tricks.

Scout Experience

Here's what a manual invite looks like from the scout's side, from opening their email all the way through starting the mission.

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