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Tutorial: Emailing Mechanical Turk Participants

If you’ve run a FindingFive study on Mechanical Turk, you may want to reach out directly to some of your participants — perhaps to invite them to participate in a follow-up study! However, if you’ve read our post on Best Practices for Mechanical Turk, you’ll know that it is both against Amazon’s user policy and ethically questionable to ask participants for email addresses, mailing addresses, and any other personally identifying information. So, how would you go about contacting your participants to let them know of a beautifully designed and well-paying follow-up study?

FindingFive has a solution! Straight from our interface, you can email participants using just their MTurk Worker IDs. (A Worker ID is a unique alphanumeric code that gets assigned to each worker by Amazon. The code itself does not reveal personally identifying information, but it is linked to a person’s identity on Amazon servers.) We automatically collect Worker IDs for you, so you don’t have to worry about asking for this information yourself. This means that you can send messages to participants from any FindingFive study that you’ve posted to MTurk, without ever seeing their personal information.

Two important notes:

  1. You can only email participants who have already completed a study of yours. MTurk implements this restriction to prevent requesters from randomly soliciting workers.
  2. Never publicly release data linked to Worker IDs. Here’s why.

How to email participants

First, from the “Studies” page of your FindingFive account, you’ll need to select the study from which you want to contact participants. From that study’s development page, you can navigate to the “Sessions” tab and select the relevant session.

When you choose the relevant session, a dropdown menu will appear. You can follow the link to “View session details,” which will take you to the Session Management page.

From the Session Management page, you can click on the icon next to “Completed.”

This will open a pop-up window, from which you can click on the ‘mail’ icon to email any participant!

Worker IDs obscured to protect participant privacy.

We hope you find this process as simple and straightforward as we do. As always, if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them! Please send any feedback to