Survey Rewards: Best Practices

Survey Best Practices

In the quickly evolving world of survey rewards, staying on top of changes can be challenging. Here are six tips to optimize your rewards budget and maximize your response rate:

  1. Digital makes a difference – Comfort with digital rewards is at an all-time high. People routinely receive e-gift cards from loyalty programs, wellness challenges and survey providers. Beyond comfort, more and more people also prefer the convenience the format offers.
  2. Speed matters – The sheer volume of survey requests has created a much more selective respondent. Their time is valuable – waiting weeks for a survey reward will lose interest and create attrition. Delivery in one business day or less is the new standard.
  3. Everyone wins vs. sweepstakes – A recent QuestionPro study found that a low denomination yet high perceived value reward drove 2x more completes vs. the chance to win a larger prize. Next time you have a $1,000 reward budget, send a $5 card to the first 200 responses.
  4. Make sure it’s integrated – Are you forced to snail-mail rewards to hundreds of respondents or wait for checks to clear? Be sure your survey provider automates fulfillment directly into the process so you can spend your time analyzing responses – NOT fulfilling rewards!
  5. Match the rewards to your audience – Surveying 20 to 35 year-old urban moms? Maybe a Bass Pro Shops gift card isn’t the right fit. Smart survey administrators are putting their marketing hats on and using demographic data to select the right reward for their audience.
  6. Merchandise & points are on the decline – Showcased in a 2013 study (Loyalty 360, It’s in the Cards), individuals who received a reward in the past cited gift cards as the #1 preferred item. Gift cards provide pure delight and put the power of choice in the recipients’ hands.

Following these six emerging best practices will help you get the maximum return on your budget and meet or exceed your research objectives.

James Wirth is the marketing manager of QuestionPro, a leader in online survey software.

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