There’s a fine balance between giving rewards for taking surveys and not giving them at all. The most important thing to consider is your results.
You don’t want to skew your results by offering rewards, and you certainly want to avoid tainted data as much as possible.
So, this begs this question, “Should you reward customers for taking surveys?”
First, let’s look at the distinction between reward and incentive.
Rewards vs. Incentives
An incentive is often given to respondents for completing a survey. A reward may be seen as a thank-you for finishing a survey.
This distinction may be important to consider when offering them to respondents. For example, big survey companies offer monetary incentives to random survey takers, and the results have a higher probability of being skewed.
A reward may be offered by your company to your specific customers for taking your survey, and it may be less skewed than the incentive.
So, one can deduce that it may not be the value of the incentive or reward that increases the responses, but it’s the way it’s offered that makes a difference to your respondents.
How to Decide
As you ponder the question of whether or not you should offer a reward, you want to consider the following questions:
- Who is your target? Is it existing customers or a specific demographic? Will these people have something important to offer? If so, you might consider offering a little boost for taking your survey. Yet, if you’re sending out a blanket survey, an incentive isn’t a great idea.
- What’s your relationship with your respondents? If you’re sending it to customers after they make a purchase, a thank you reward in the form of a coupon may be a good idea. On the other hand, you might not want to offer an incentive for a survey that isn’t specifically targeted.
- Are people interested in my business? If so, a reward is a bonus. If they aren’t, then the reward will attract the wrong respondents.
- How long is your survey? Short surveys don’t need a reward. A longer survey certainly merits one because you want to show respondents you value and appreciate the time it takes to fill out your survey.
When to Offer the Incentive
Should you offer it before the survey or after?
To increase your response rate, you can offer it before the survey. But, beware that this may cost more because you provide the incentive before anyone even takes your survey.
Your audience may take the incentive and leave your survey unfinished.
Conversely, offering the promise of the reward for taking your survey is a much better option because it’s a true reward provided after the work of taking the survey.
Offering rewards for taking your surveys may make respondents more likely to complete your survey, but you want to be careful with your offer.
For example, you don’t want to attract the wrong type of respondent. Consider the boat dealership that attracts online shoppers with the wrong type of incentive or reward.
The best way to avoid problems is to know who you’re sending your survey to. The reward should match the audience. (tweet this)
This way you won’t end up with people who misrepresent themselves. These folks may not know or care about your services or products. They simply want a reward.
Offering survey rewards should be well thought out. You want to consider the survey, your audience, and the results you’re after before deciding to offer a reward.
Finally, consider the type of reward you offer. It should fit the survey and the audience. These may be monetary, in the form of a coupon, or something that benefits a third-party like a charity.