People don’t like to do stuff for free anymore. They need some motivation or incentive to get them going. Studies have shown that having an incentive can increase your response with 10 to 15% depending on the quality and attractiveness of the incentive to your target audience.
The consensus amongst many research experts is that ‘useful, relevant information’ is the most effective form of incentive to business audiences. For example, the information they provide you will help you improve certain aspects of your products or services – in turn resulting in a better experience for your customers.
This is called an intrinsic reward.
It’s better to focus on informing respondents about the intrinsic rewards of completing a survey as respondents will understand that it’s in their best interest to answer the survey questions as honestly and completely as possible.
You might also decide to offer extrinsic rewards, such as coupons, discounts, and other deals, to customers who take the time to respond to your survey. Needless to say, this might make some customers more likely to complete the survey, the downside to providing extrinsic rewards is that some individuals might complete the survey just to receive their reward.
Those who approach the survey with this mindset may or may not actually take the process seriously, meaning you might end up with a bunch of invalid or otherwise unusable responses.
You can avoid such instances by providing an incentive that, while extrinsic in nature, isn’t of any extreme value.
This statement is also supported by a study conducted by e-Rewards Market Research, two random sample selections utilized: 4,000 people were invited to complete the survey for entry into a sweepstake drawing of $2,500, and another 4,000 people were invited to complete the survey for $2.00 in cash. Both groups launched and closed on the same day of the week and the same time of the day. It was a one-minute survey about books and music.
The results: Within 7 days after sending the invite, response rates were:
- 19.3% for $2 cash ‘pay all’ sample.
- 12.2% for $2500 sweepstake sample.
This proves that people prefer to complete a survey when they are certain they’ll receive something instead of the slim chance of winning a big prize.