Children to lab

Using our shared database to recruit children and their families to the lab

When recruiting children for our research, we follow this explicit protocol to ensure we are (1) treating each family with care and respect and (2) keeping careful records of who we have contacted and when. This later point is especially important because our database of child research participants (Salesforce) is shared with everyone in the Penn Child Development Labs (PCDL) group. We need to make sure we are careful to follow the agreed-upon rules for using this shared resource.

Please keep in mind that families in this database have already expressed interest in participating in our research studies. This is very kind and generous of them, so every family should be given your careful, individual attention. To enforce this point, it is not possible to send a mass recruitment email from our shared inbox. You must send an individually tailored recruitment email to each family. Our email templates can help you do so efficiently.


Make sure you first check the Interested families database and complete that protocol. These are families who have contacted us recently, so we should add them to the database to ensure we reach out to them first.

Step 1: Emailing parents

Login to salesforce

Open a report

Navigate to Reports > Created by me and open the report corresponding to your study’s age range.

Once the report is opened, you’ll see a list of potential participants in that age range, including:

  • Age in Months Numeric: Child’s age in months

  • Account Name: (Lab | ID child name) that serves as link to open the record

  • Automatic participant ID: the unique ID number assigned to this child

  • Parent 1 First Name: Parent’s first name

  • Email Address: Parent’s email address

  • PQI # Study Assignments: The number of studies the child has participated in

  • Participant Quality Indicator: green = good ; orange = neutral ; red = bad

Select a contact

Click on the Account Name to see the child’s participation and contact history. To illustrate, the child below has been in 3 studies and was last contacted on October 2, 2018.

IMPORTANT: Before recruiting a participant, we must determine what other studies they have participated in (Study Assignments) and when they were last contacted by a member of the PCDL (Past Activities). We are only permitted to recruit participants from this database if:

  • They have not been contacted in the past 2 months

  • They have not participated in a study in any lab in the past 3 months

Add email to HubSpot

If the participant is eligible for recruitment based on the above criteria, the next step is to navigate to our shared email (HubSpot) and add them as a contact to email.

You’ll be asked to enter a few fields:

  • Email: Parent’s email

  • First name: Parent’s first name (NOT the child’s first name)

  • Last name: SKIP this one; we don’t want to store their last name here

  • Salesforce Participant ID: Automatic participant ID from Salesforce

There is no risk of adding a person twice; if we’ve emailed this person before, HubSpot will let you know.

Send recruitment email

Email the participant using the recruitment template for the age range you are seeking. Your sent email will show up as a conversation “Assigned to me” in the shared inbox. Do not mark these as closed, yet!

IMPORTANT: Make sure you send all emails through the Conversations > Inbox in HubSpot. This insures that HubSpot uses our shared email account (not your personal account). If you try to send emails from another part of HubSpot, the email option will appear grayed-out.

Document in HubSpot

Track this recruitment effort in our Participant Pipeline by clicking on the email you sent and creating a Deal.

You’ll have the option to enter a few fields:

  • Deal name: Parent Name - New Deal (change “New Deal” to Study Name)

  • Pipeline: Participant pipeline (this is the default value and cannot be changed)

  • Deal stage: Sent recruitment email

  • Create date: Auto-populated with today’s date (date you sent the recruitment email)

  • Deal owner: Your Name (auto-populated with whoever sent the initial recruitment email)

Once you’ve done this, you will be able to track this contact in our Participant Pipeline on the Sales > Deals dashboard.

Document in Salesforce

Navigate back to the participant’s record in Salesforce and update their Activity Log. This let’s the other members of the PCDL know we’ve contacted this participant.

Step 2: Following-up

Check who you’ve emailed in Conversation Inbox > Assigned to me. If it’s been 3 days and they haven’t responded, email them again with the follow-up snippet, and change the deal stage to “Sent follow-up email”

Note: Mark the conversation closed if you haven’t already.

Step 3: Schedule sessions

We’ll get a notification from Calendly in our Conversations > Inbox whenever a participant schedules an appointment with us. You should assign these notifications to whoever the appointment is with (name will appear in subject line of email).

  • Change the deal stage to “Appointment scheduled”.

  • Mark the Calendly notification as closed.

Step 4: If they participate

  • Send a thank you email after participation using the “thank you” snippet

    • Thanks so much for coming! We appreciate it, here is a link to sign up for our yearly newsletter

  • Change deal stage to “Participated in Study!”

  • Update the Salesforce database with Study participation

Step 5: If they decline

Decline to participant

  • Send the thanks anyway email

  • Change Deal stage to “Unsuccessful”

  • Select “Declined to participate” as closed lost reason

  • Mark the email thread closed

Cancelled appointments

  • TBD best practice for this.

No response

  • Change Deal stage to “Unsuccessful”

  • Select “No response” as closed lost reason

  • Mark the email thread closed

No show

  • Send the “We missed you” snippet

  • Change Deal stage to “Unsuccessful”

  • Select “No show” as closed lost reason

  • Mark the email thread closed


The email button is grayed-out for a contact, why can’t I click it?

You have to email from the shared inbox Conversations > Inbox.

When I click on templates, I don’t see any

You have to filter for all

How do I forward an email from the shared inbox?

You can’t forward in our shared inbox. Instead, use the Assign feature to assign the email to whoever needs to see it.

How do I CC someone, or send a message to more than one person

You can’t in our shared inbox. This email address is exclusively for one-to-one conversations with our participants.

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