We’ve been talking about the ins and outs of incentives and rewards for online surveys; whether using incentives actually works, and whether there is an ethical issue around setting up incentives for respondents. A great way to position incentives is as a thank-you gesture for responses.
The first thing you’re going to need is — a survey. One thing that needs mentioning here is that I’m in the camp that says that offering rewards or incentives gives you a little bit (but not much) wiggle room when it comes to the length and complexity of your survey. Please note, I said, not much.
In the past, inserting a dollar or two inside a mailed survey bought you the respondent’s attention to fill out PAGES and PAGES of survey questions. This absolutely will not fly anymore. But it is true that offering an incentive or reward makes a survey just a tad stickier and plays on the respondent’s reciprocity trigger. And that means they will give you just a little more effort than they would give assuming you offered nothing.
OK. So you have your survey. And your survey isn’t monster sized with 50 or 100 questions that will take your respondent well into their social security.
Your next step is to decide who qualifies for your reward or incentive. There are more options here than you think:
- All Completed Respondents: Everyone who completes the survey will be eligible for a reward. This is awesome for the respondent — but can get expensive for you. Your reward should be “significant” enough to be worthwhile taking the survey. Think about gift cards – what’s the least amount you can put on a gift card?
- Based on Survey Quiz Score: Set up scoring logic on the survey and based on the total score, respondents will be eligible. I just love this option. Surveys can be boring — but QUIZZES — that’s unique and interesting. You can actually set up logic to dispense a reward based on the total score received. Imagine if you were doing this as a student evaluation — that’s really creative or perhaps you can offer a reward to customers or employees based on how they respond to a training or certification quiz.
- First X Number of Respondents: Early birds special! Rewards will be given only to first X completed surveys. This has actually tested out as a rather effective option. QuestionPro recently tested which option was most preferred by respondents — as in which yielded the best results and they discovered this option was a good one. Choosing this option allows you to increase the value of the reward AND it can also give you a very fast response rate as everyone races to be part of the selected few who get the prize.
- Drawing Random Winner(s): Drawing – Winners are randomly selected from collected responses. This is a very common choice and ideal if you want to give away something of real value; a vacation, new car or iPad (ha ha ha). On a serious note, this also does very well in testing.
Choosing a reward type
Ahhh…..Gotta love technology. Earlier I harkened back to the days when surveys used to show up in the mail with crisp dollar bills. You can just imagine that there are people folding letters, stuffing envelopes and — inserting dollar bills into them. I’m not really sure if people do this any more — and who cares because you won’t have to.
The next step in setting up the rewards for your survey is to choose the kind of reward you’re going to offer. Your choices are:
- Gift Card: Winners will receive gift cards (Amazon.com and Starbucks now available!)
- Coupon: Winners will recive a custom coupon
- User Defined and Fulfilled: You can customized the reward.
Personally, I love the idea of the Amazon gift card, it’s easy to implement and manage. But you can also customize the experience for your respondents with coupons and whatever else you like. The really great thing with these custom options is that you can create something that really matters to the respondent.
And there you have it — truly, this is so easy, you can set one up in a matter of minutes (assuming you’ve got your survey all done). So give it a shot and tell us how it worked for you!