Research has shown that survey incentives increase response rates. However, there are a number of survey incentive pros and cons. Because survey incentives have a cost (both monetarily and in terms of bias), it is up to each researcher to consider the benefits and downsides before deciding whether or not to employ them.

One of the biggest challenges researchers face when conducting a survey is getting responses. 

You can create a fantastic survey, ask all the correct questions, and send it out at the perfect moment, yet their audience still does not respond.

 

To increase their likelihood of acquiring survey participants, many survey takers now provide “survey incentives,” which are rewards for participation.

 

While survey incentives might increase response rates, they can sometimes have unintended repercussions. So, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of implementing survey incentives. 

According to statistics, the typical response rate for surveys is only 10-30%.

To increase their likelihood of acquiring survey participants, many survey takers now provide “survey incentives,” which are rewards for participation.

While survey incentives might increase response rates, they can sometimes have unintended repercussions. So, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of implementing survey incentives. 

How To acquire survey participants

What Is a Survey Incentive?

Most people who respond to surveys want to be helpful, have an interest in the subject, or want their voice to be heard. Others require an incentive.

A survey incentive is a form of award or reward, usually monetary, given for completing a survey. Some surveys award points, which can be redeemed for cash or a gift card after a certain number of points have been acquired. 

4 Benefits of Using Survey Incentives

When done right, online survey rewards can be quite effective. Here are five ways survey incentives can help survey research.

Do incentives increase the number of people who respond to Surveys

Boosting Response Rates

Do incentives increase the number of people who respond to surveys?

They certainly can! The most significant benefit of introducing incentives for survey participation is that respondents are more likely to complete the survey.

Monetary incentives have long been used to boost response rates.

In fact, one study discovered that providing a monetary incentive more than doubled the likelihood of participants returning a finished or partially completed questionnaire. 

4 Drawbacks of Survey Incentives

Targeting Hard-to-Reach People

Some researchers exclusively give incentives to specific audiences – people who are unlikely to reply to any survey.

For example, researchers surveying professionals in the healthcare business may offer an incentive to encourage participation since they understand how difficult it is to attract the attention of a busy surgeon, doctor, or nurse. 

Encouraging Participation in Lengthy Surveys

Do incentives increase the number of people who respond to surveys?

They certainly can! The most significant benefit of introducing incentives for survey participation is that respondents are more likely to complete the survey.

Monetary incentives have long been used to boost response rates.

In fact, one study discovered that providing a monetary incentive more than doubled the likelihood of participants returning a finished or partially completed questionnaire. 

Building Goodwill

Do incentives increase the number of people who respond to surveys?

They certainly can! The most significant benefit of introducing incentives for survey participation is that respondents are more likely to complete the survey.

Monetary incentives have long been used to boost response rates.

In fact, one study discovered that providing a monetary incentive more than doubled the likelihood of participants returning a finished or partially completed questionnaire. 

4 Drawbacks of Survey Incentives

Attracting Reward-Seekers

Customer survey incentives may attract the incorrect person—someone who is only interested in the reward.

Because their primary purpose is monetary gain, this type of respondent may rush through the survey to claim their prize or submit incorrect information.

This can cause your results to be skewed and cost you time and money. 

Introduces Bias in Surveys

Survey incentives may inadvertently add bias to your results.

Assume you provide a discount to restaurant guests who complete your exit survey with the best of intentions. Those who felt they received poor service and/or food are unlikely to return to your establishment and, as a result, are uninterested in a future discount. As a result, they will not complete the survey, and you will miss out on negative input that could help you improve the business.

Instead, you’ll only get great feedback from customers who want to return. While it is good to receive positive feedback, it is not always beneficial to the business. 

Budget Constraints

You may not have a lot of money to play with when it comes to financial incentives, depending on your budget.

Financial incentives can be difficult to come by, especially if you’re running a large survey with thousands of participants. 

Disappointing Respondents

Do you conduct surveys on a regular basis? Some businesses prefer to conduct quarterly or bi-annual surveys of their customers or participants.

If you provide a reward the first few times you send out a survey, it may become the norm.

When you reduce the incentive due to budget limits and send your next survey, participants who are accustomed to receiving a survey reward may not be interested.

By providing incentives and then removing them, you risk causing long-term damage to response rates. 

MIMO offers premier Data Collection solutions that are both qualitative and quantitative. Our Survey and Data experts coupled with our tech-enabled platform have ensured successful survey data collection across various geographies within specified timelines.