Online Survey Incentives

Survey incentives are up to the market research company's discretion. If they are being paid $50 000 to conduct a survey on a sample group of 500 individuals, it's unreasonable to expect each survey participant to be paid $100 each...otherwise the survey company would not make any money.

When firms are willing to part with large dollars to get the information they are looking for, market research firms tend to also pass these big dollars onto the survey participants. You may receive actual cash for such a survey, rather than a chance to win money or a chance to win other prizes.

If providing incentives cuts into the bottom line of market research companies, why do they bother? Firstly, response rates dramatically increase when rewards are offered. If I ask you to fill out a survey for me and I offer you nothing for your time, your chances of participating are low (especially if the survey is long). However if I offer you $25, you might consider it.

Why is cash such a common survey incentive? Products often involve high shipping costs, and gift certificates are not always redeemable in every area. Offering cash to those who voice their opinion has appeal to everyone.

Infosurv (a survey software provider) offers the following advice with online survey rewards:

"We recommend that all customer survey clients offer some sort of incentive to respondents. We've found that even a modest incentive can increase response rates dramatically. Typical customer survey incentives include entry into a cash prize drawing or a nominal gift to every respondent."

"You want to be careful that your incentive will not introduce respondent bias into the study (i.e., some customer segments become more likely than others to complete the survey.) The trick here is to offer an incentive with universal appeal, that all customers may find equally attractive."
http://www.infosurv.com/blog/2005/01/customer-survey-questions.html

To sum it up, offering proper incentives for completing surveys not only benefit the survey-takers, but market research companies experience a dramatic increase in response rates, which mean larger survey participant groups. This means more and better data for the firm which hired the survey company to conduct this online survey.

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Related Links:
- Featured Survey Articles Listing