On a daily, people are bombarded with pop-ups, emails, and notifications. And amongst that, your simple request to take a survey often goes unnoticed. Enter the power of survey incentives.
A small nudge, a little reward, and voila! That survey you want to be completed becomes a priority for many. But how do you ensure your incentive is enticing enough yet doesn’t break the bank? How do you strike that perfect balance between attraction and practicality? Read on till the end because this blogpost covers all that and more, ensuring that the next time you need feedback, you’re armed and ready to capture attention like never before.
What are survey incentives?
Survey incentives are motivators offered to survey participants for their time and opinions. These may be sample products, freemium subscription trials, monetary rewards, discount coupons, or special offers.
An ideal survey incentive should compensate for the respondent’s efforts to answer your queries. The reward should generally be appealing to avoid biased responses.
Tips for boosting the survey response rate with incentives
1. Convey the value they will enjoy
Appreciation is a gesture welcomed by all human beings. Your customers are no exception. If you are wondering how to conduct a survey, be transparent and tell your audience how you would use their feedback. Explain why they are being involved and how their contribution is valuable to you.
Besides, keep the survey short and your questions direct. No one has enough time in a day to spend on filling out a survey — irrespective of whether it is incentivized. Therefore, be sensible when it comes to the length of the survey.
SurveyMonkey reports that 45% of respondents are comfortable spending up to 5 minutes answering surveys. Your copy should hence appreciate the respondent’s time and thank them for sparing it for you.
Slack, for instance, sends survey emails to its users. They talk about the intent of the survey and the time it will consume. The email also appreciates respondents and makes them feel valued.
2. Reward their effort
You can make answering your survey a win-win situation with incentives. People sometimes need a tangible benefit to spare time to respond to a survey. The crucial part of incentivizing a survey is deciding the best incentive.
A monetary incentive will invite more responses than a non-monetary one. You will boost your response rate, but the accuracy of answers is debatable. Even for a non-monetary incentive, it should appeal to your entire audience.
For an unbiased response to your survey, select a fitting reward.
Shopify collects customer feedback to improve its platform. Their survey email copy talks about what, why, and when of the survey.
It creates a sense of urgency by mentioning a timeline but also promises a monetary reward. The incentive of an Apple voucher is appealing to the larger population of their audience.
3. Ask the right questions
As discussed, not many people are willing to spend a lot of time answering surveys. The best way is to ask only the relevant questions and offer an option to skip out of the survey anytime. Do not bind your audience to answer all questions.
That will keep you from delivering a frustrating experience to the respondents. Forced answers may not be honest, and all your efforts will be unsuccessful. You must understand that not all your customers are ideal survey respondents.
Build a multi-path questionnaire that changes questions based on the previous response. Apply survey logic rules to simplify your survey. So, if a participant answers ‘No’ to a question, other related questions must not further appear.
It is a great way to ensure only the right respondents participate in your survey. Instapage takes pride in sending its users the world’s shortest survey and captures their responses in just one click. Their survey email is transparent, convenient, and precise.
Just look at the screenshot above. Focus on the copy, and you will realize it is a simple email with multiple options to choose from. It saves time for both parties as the response is precise. They are only required to click any one link. That is it.
4. Use multiple channels
Email is the most common channel used to send a survey to a customer. But using other channels such as social media platforms can also improve the response rate of your survey drastically — provided if appropriately leveraged.
Since your customers spend more time on social media platforms compared to their email, the recall of your messaging is higher. Customers tend to click through the post out of curiosity. Social media allows you to target the right audience for your survey.
5. Offer virtual rewards
Virtual incentives offer more value to the survey respondents. You can customize a reward card to allow them to use the incentive as they wish to. Discounts on future purchases, eGift Cards, subscription offers, and free perks are the most commonly used monetary-virtual incentives.
You can also offer non-monetary virtual incentives like allowing them to download an eBook, research paper, or template. LinkedIn has implemented the concept of virtual reward customization in its survey invitation.
Respondents can pick their preferred incentive from a list comprising different rewards of the same monetary value. If they see more reward options for filling a survey, they would be more inclined to fill one. Not everyone would be interested in your sole reward.
6. Use incentives wisely
Evaluate your survey based on how it would impact your business. Add an incentive to surveys that are very important and exhaustive. Respondents would need the motivation to fight the fatigue of a very long survey.
Try asking just the relevant questions only to keep the survey responses relevant. Quick 1-to-2-minute surveys do not demand a reward, but they are easy to fill. Therefore, consider offering non-monetary incentives for these surveys.
7. Keep your entire sample in mind
The preferences of your entire sample audience must be kept in mind while planning the reward system. The quality of survey responses you receive will depend upon the variety of responders sharing feedback.
Use a robust customer relationship management software such as EngageBay CRM to note participant metrics, such as gender, age, and profession, to see if your incentive will matter to each category. These metrics also facilitate response analysis. You may notice an incentive bias if you target the survey at a large audience group.
For example, Sleeknote sends an automated email survey to new blog subscribers. This helps them figure out who their readers are.
So, you may end up with lots of responses, but not all will be genuine. With the right tools, you can segment the audience and decide the sample size for survey to receive unbiased responses from the respondents.
8. Keep aside a budget
It is essential to have a budget set aside for the incentive you promise to deliver. You should calculate the budget for the total sample size. You must ideally prepare to give away incentives to 100% of respondents. It will ensure all your participants receive the promised incentive, irrespective of the response rate.
9. Experiment with incentives
Not all surveys need to be incentivized, but how do you find out which ones do? You must experiment with different incentives before deciding which one to offer.
As discussed in the previous point, create test segments among your audience to see response rates with different types of incentives and even no incentives. Analyze the results to see which factors are driving the responses and optimize accordingly.
Some survey incentives ideas worth stealing
As per a survey published by BMC Medical Research Methodology journal, surveys with incentives have a better response rate. Their data showed that prepaid incentives and repeated follow-ups increase the response rate and also the quality of the survey data.
What’s more interesting, when survey respondents are offered prepaid incentives, they were less likely to ignore a question and more likely to offer longer detailed answers.
If you are wondering what this implies, the answer is that offering incentives is a valuable way to not only increase your survey response rates but also the quality of answers.
Let’s look at the five different survey incentive ideas that get you responses every time.
1. Sample product or trial subscription
A sample or trial of your products is a cost-effective incentive. It also boosts your sales as users may like your product during the trial and invest in it for the long term. They get to try it first-hand without investing in it.
Whitepapers are authoritative incentives that share valuable information with your audience. It is cost-effective than most rewards, as the required data is already available within your organization.
It would be best if you made the reward appealing to your audience. Add an element of excitement to your survey campaign by offering a high-value incentive. Allow participants to compete for one big incentive rather than distributing your budget into smaller portions.
4. Partner reward
Double up the reward by partnering with a company offering complementary products or services. Conducting a joint survey gets you a better insight, and participants also benefit from better rewards.
5. Video Library
Providing exclusive access to high-quality content is a low-cost but high-value incentive — especially if you’re in SaaS. You can provide survey respondents access to specific videos from your internal and training documentation and even give exclusive access to training videos.
A tool like InVideo lets you create high-quality, engaging videos that are optimized for online results.
If you have no idea where to start, consider testing different incentive types with a small number of respondents before launching the survey to everyone. This would give you an idea about the effective incentives and if the incentive can provide the best-unbiased sample of responses.
Offering a well-planned survey incentive improves the response rate of your survey. An in-depth analysis of the feedback helps you leverage the data and trends to boost sales.