Use Survey Incentives to Improve Response Rates

Like many of today’s savvy marketers, you’re probably planning to conduct a survey. In order to improve your offerings and therefore, your profits, you definitely need to consider consumer opinions.

How to conduct a survey

When it comes to conducting a survey, get help from online survey tools. To make your survey interesting to your audience, include easy-to-understand questions. Initially, add a few simple questions to determine your audience’s eligibility. If customers answer the first couple of questions in a way that does not fit your needs, take them out of consideration. After all, the goal of your survey is to capture quality feedback.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is getting your potential and existing customers to take it. You need your audience to not only pay attention to your survey but also fill it out. After all, your survey is similar to many other marketing messages your potential and existing customers receive every day from a multitude of vendors.

Fortunately, everyone wants to earn some extra cash or other perks. When members are able to earn rewards for their time and opinions, they are a lot more likely to fill out the survey.

Types of Compensation from Survey Panels

These days, online survey panels have started rewarding customers for filling out surveys. The type of compensation includes:

  • Instant Cash
  • Gift cards
  • Prepaid debit cards
  • Prize drawings
  • Charitable contributions
  • Merchandise points to shop in their online store

Your specific audience may value different compensation. For example, a few will prefer cash, but for others, it can be access to important information or an exclusive event, for instance.

When to use incentives

Incentives are not required for all surveys. Simple and short surveys can usually be administered with adequate response rate without the use of incentives. However, if your survey is long and/or complex, including an incentive is the way to go.

It is important to note that when you offer an incentive, it will engender positive feelings towards completing the survey. Not only will it encourage participation but it may inadvertently result in more positive survey feedback than would be otherwise. That is, several studies report that a survey respondent is more likely to show slightly higher satisfaction when filling a survey with incentive. So, use incentives carefully.


Overall, incentives can draw people to your survey. As long as you use them with caution, incentives can effectively encourage more people to complete a survey.

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