Survey incentives

Survey incentives definition:

Survey incentives are actually not much different from any other kind of incentive. They are reasons, monetary or non-monetary, physical or emotional that drive or motivate people to fill in your survey. In other words, they would boost survey response rate.

The effect of incentives has been subject to a lot of research, most would agree that incentives have a positive effect. The average increase in response rates when offering incentives was 19.1 percent for monetary and 7.9 percent for non-monetary rewards. Incentives don’t have to be expensive to increase response rates.

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Basically, the participant is more likely to participate if the rewards of participation outweigh the cost of time and effort he has to put in. Have a grand prize often works, but note that larger monetary incentives tend:

  • to produce comments that were more favorable toward the survey sponsor. Especially the second result is interesting because giving a too big incentive will return more positive answers, which may cause a biased result.
  • to produce a greater degree of effort put in completing the questionnaires, as measured by the number of short answers and comments provided, and the number of words written.

Make sure everybody gets something. If it's not the grand prize, be sure there's a cheaper alternative, so they don't go home empty-handed.

Use gamified elements such as a scratch card or slot machine to increase interactivity.

Response rate scratch card gif