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How to Make Research Incentives Faster, Better, & Cheaper

For market researchers, having both quality and quantity responses to surveys is paramount. And yet you often find yourself slowed by the process.

Maybe you’re waiting to get responses. Maybe you’re stuck spinning your wheels when you have unclaimed rewards and can’t close out your budget for the project. Maybe you’re struggling to get the right people to engage with your survey, and aren’t sure why. 

-- Jignesh will present “DIY Incentives in Market Research: Faster, Better, Cheaper” at DIY Market Research Conference December 3-4 in New York.--

All of these issues are easily solved with the right incentive strategy.

Faster: Create a Sense of Urgency and Make Reward Delivery Speedy

Creating a sense of urgency can get survey respondents to move faster. Research shows that emails using words communicating a sense of urgency saw a 14% higher click-to-open rate. Setting a deadline for completing the survey can ensure that you get the maximum responses in that time period.

Don’t overlook the subject of your email address:

URGENT: We need your input by Friday at noon! 

Please share your insight (and be rewarded) in the next 24 hours 

In return, make sure your reward delivery reciprocates the sense of urgency.

A way to expedite the end of the survey-to-reward journey is to automate the incentive delivery process. Automate a rewards email to be sent to the recipient as soon as they’ve completed the survey with easy-to-follow instructions for redemption. 

Better: Make the Incentive Exciting and Engaging

Just like many things, rewards shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. A time-strapped CEO won’t be as compelled to fill out a survey for a $5 coffee shop card as a college student would be. Not only is his time value of money higher, but you’ll likely want more in-depth answers from the CEO, which will require more of his valuable time.

Choose rewards at a dollar value appropriate for each audience. Yes, the CEOs you send one survey to will require a higher budget than the survey you send to college students, but in the end, isn’t the quality of data you gather worth the cost of entry?

 

In addition to making sure you offer the right reward value for your audience, also offer the appropriate reward choice. Make sure the value of the reward matches the store; there’s no point in offering a $10 Pottery Barn reward if the recipient couldn’t actually buy anything with it. If you sell products, make sure a reward from your brand is an option (none from competitors! How embarrassing!)

The reward should fit the nature of your study. If, for example, you’re conducting a wellness survey, it wouldn’t make sense to offer fast food gift cards. And then finally: pay attention to your recipient demographics. Rewards from Uber would be a great fit for Millennials, while Whole Foods might be more in line with families.

Also, giving your audience the ability to donate their rewards can improve response rates in B2B studies where participants are often shy about accepting rewards.

Cheaper: Streamline the Rewards You Offer and Minimize Waste

Smart decisions about your rewards strategy can make the process faster and more effective.

First, using an incentives management system like Rybbon, along with survey integration, cuts the admin burden of doing incentives by over 75%.

Second, it is well-known that offering all participants a small guaranteed reward drives more responses than running raffles. People just don’t like the idea that they have to give you their time filling out your survey and then pray they get lucky enough to win a reward. A guaranteed reward drives much better response rates.

But what if you don’t have the budget to reward everyone who responds? A middle ground is to promise the reward to the first 10, 100, 200, etc. respondents based on your budget. An incentives management system like Rybbon can easily manage such an offer, saving your time, cost and improving your response rates.

Third, another issue market researchers have is in spending money on incentives that go unredeemed. There are two ways to solve this. The first is to set a deadline for the reward to be claimed. Make it clear in your reward email that after this date, the reward will no longer be available. The second is to work with a company who will refund any unclaimed rewards. This frees up your budget for future projects.

Offering incentives can boost your market research strategy, but you need to be selective about what you offer and how you distribute rewards. With the right incentives partner, your rewards process will be streamlined and highly-effective.

About the Author: Jignesh Shah is the CEO of Rybbon, an incentives management tool for Market Researchers. Jignesh has helped researchers use digital rewards and automation to take the pain and cost out of delivering incentives. Jignesh is currently also a board member of the Mid-Atlantic Insights Association. Prior to Rybbon, Jignesh was previously the CMO at Metalogix and Vice President at Software AG/webMethods.

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