Rewards provide incentive for participation in market research surveys.

Many of our business decisions today are driven by customer data and feedback, but it’s increasingly difficult to get even highly satisfied customers to spend the time to take a survey. Will offering an incentive increase participation in market research surveys?

There are three main reasons why people take the time to respond to a survey:

  1. They want to be helpful
  2. They enjoy the topic
  3. They are offered a tangible benefit (incentive)

What kind of incentives work?

It depends. Although non-monetary incentives work best for performance improvement programs, research shows that monetary or like-cash incentives such as gift cards, coupon codes, or debit cards work better when the goal is to increase survey participation. Of course, a really nice tangible merchandise item may provide better results than a really low value cash incentive, so you’ll want to weigh your incentive vehicle decision against your budget.

Whether you decide to offer a tangible reward or a cash or like-cash incentive, make sure it can be delivered cost-effectively and immediately. For some, even instant gratification takes too long! Many companies find that a digital reward such as a pre-paid debit card that can be delivered electronically is an effective solution.

Going Mobile

As you’re designing your survey, make sure it is mobile friendly. It’s often assumed that only websites targeted to younger people need to be easily read on mobile devices — not so! This year 63.5% of the US population will be using smart phones. That translates to 200 million people — roughly 10% of all smart phone users worldwide.

Nearly half (43.6% in 2016) of all global web pages are accessed by mobile devices and as many people are reading their email on their phones, so if your survey is not mobile-friendly, it may be deleted before it ever reaches an email inbox on a computer.

Getting the Data You Need

There are resources available from online survey companies that can guide you through the process. Better yet, you can partner with a professional online rewards firm that can integrate surveys into your other coordinated incentive and performance improvement strategies.

The keys to increasing survey participation are:

  • Ask the right questions
  • Make it mobile friendly
  • Provide an incentive that is “worth it” for your audience
  • Deliver the incentive immediately

Designing a survey according to the above guidelines will increase participation and provide you with the data that is so critical to your business decisions.