Top 5 Most Effective Uses of Incentives in Surveys


Offering incentives to boost survey response rates is a slam dunk. You want information, people want stuff. And incentives effectively raise response rates! However, it’s not always necessary to use incentives to get the results you need, plus offering incentives too often may skew your data.To save you time, money and bad data, our incentives experts present five scenarios where offering incentives will be your most effective strategy.

You Need High Response from Small Lists
When your list of potential participants is small. Use incentives to get as many response rates as possible. Conversely, when you have a huge list, you may achieve your baseline response rate you need without incenting.

Pro tip: When there are less than 500 people participating in a survey, the incentive needs to be at least $10 and possibly up to $50 per respondent. When the list is greater than 500, a smaller incentive will likely suffice. (1)

You Have Too Many Non-Responders
You sent out your survey, yet had lackluster response. Consider contacting the non-responders again and offering an incentive. It’s an effective way to maximize your list without distorting data. (2)

The Survey Takes More Than 5 Minutes to Complete
According to research, 45% of people are willing to spend 5 minutes at most on feedback surveys and only 33% are willing to spend up to 10 minutes. (3). Open-ended surveys also fall under this realm, as participants, when incentivized, will put more thought into answering lengthy questions. (1)

The Survey Results Do Not Benefit the Respondent
Product development and fact finding are excellent reasons to conduct a survey, but respondents don’t have a natural inclination to participate. An incentive can inspire participation.

The Respondents Do Not Know Your Company
If you’re working with purchased lists and not your own customer list, use incentives. Respondents will be more willing to share their time and thoughts with an unfamiliar brand…if rewarded for the effort. (4)

Need help choosing the right incentives for your survey? We can help. Learn more about Business Incentives by emailing or calling 1 (888) 745-6989.

(1) Survey Incentives: Response Rates and Data Quality
(2) How to Offer Survey Incentives Without Sacrificing Good Data
(3) 5 Ways to Get the Survey Data You Want
(4) Survey Rewards: The How and Why of Incentivizing Surveys