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Recruitment Size and Invitation Calculations

This article will walk through a few elements of recruitment including calculations for:

  • Target recruitment size
  • Incidence rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Click-through rates


How many people should I invite to my community?

Good question. The approximate number of people you should invite to your community in order to achieve an expected number of recruits depends on a number of variables specific to your business and target audience.

These primary variables include incidence rate, conversion rate, open rate and click-through rate, all of which are defined below.

Incidence rate: The number of people who qualify for your community out of the population you are recruiting from. This does not apply if you are not screening members for qualification in the community.

Recruitment - Incidence Rate

Conversion rateThe number of people who move from qualifying for the community to activate their accounts. The conversion rate is affected by the speed of registration, the messaging on the registration page and whether or not incentives are given to members for activating their account.

Recruitment - Conversion Rate

Open rate (email): The rate of people who opened an email of the total people who were sent an email.

Recruitment - Open Rate

Click-through rate: The percentage of people who click on a link in an email or webpage of the people who viewed the link.

Recruitment - CTR

The number of people you need to invite in order to achieve your community target size is dependent on all of these metrics.

Generally speaking, the number of invitations necessary will follow this formula:

Recruitment - Total Invites


Example – MegaCorp

Adam is a hypothetical community manager at hypothetical company MegaCorp. MegaCorp manufactures auto parts and sells them to wholesalers for distribution.

MegaCorp has many people on their CRM list, but they only want to have people who influence or make auto part purchasing decisions at wholesalers. Adam wants 1,000 people to join the MegaCorp community.

Based on previous experience, Adam believes that about 50% of the people on their CRM list influence or make purchasing decisions. MegaCorp is incentivizing community members to activate their accounts, so they think they’ll achieve a 95% conversion rate. In addition, MegaCorp has a great email marketing team, so they typically see a 50% open rate and 45% click-through rate.

This is the equation Adam used to calculate the number of email invitations he needs to send out:

Recruitment - Megacorp Invites


Adam needs to deploy 9,357 email invitations to yield 1,000 community members based on the data he has. 

The same principles apply for invitation links posted on web pages or handed out on cards in stores or at events. In those cases, you should remove open rate from the calculation.


Excel Workbook – For Download

By downloading the Excel file here, you can access a workbook with pre-built calculations to help you determine the number of invitations you need to send to your audience.

Updated on January 2, 2020

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