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5 min

How to incentivise survey respondents to stay loyal to a panel provider

We will explore the meaning of incentives and how to incentivise survey respondents to stay loyal to a panel provider

Jul 6, 2022
B2B market research
B2C market research

Incentives can be monetary or non-monetary rewards that are offered in exchange for responding to surveys. You can provide incentives to get more responses from survey respondents. Incentives can also strengthen the relationship of survey respondents with a panel provider. Incentives are particularly important for B2B respondents because they typically do not have a lot of time. Moreover, it is also imperative to customise these rewards according to the seniority and job position of the survey respondent. For example, a CEO might have less time and therefore require a higher reward than say an entry-level graduate. Incentives can be a hard process to carry out because survey respondents are sometimes not satisfied with them. That is why it is imperative to incentivise survey respondents to stay loyal to a panel provider. If you want to read about how to incentivise knowledgeable B2B respondents you can check our recent article.

Why give out incentives? A review of 49 studies states that a monetary incentive can double a panel provider’s chances of getting a response on your survey when it comes to mailed surveys. This same study also concludes that incentives help get responses for not just the actual survey, but also follow-ups. 

Types of Survey incentives

Below we will talk about the different types of survey incentives for knowledgeable B2B respondents:

Monetary Incentives

Cash incentives are typically the most popular incentives and research also shows that they work best to make survey respondents stick to one panel provider.

Non-monetary incentives

Non-monetary incentives can be thank you notes or even gifts like t-shirts, coupons or vouchers. Additionally, it could be tickets to a conference or industry if your focus is B2B respondents. 

Moreover, apart from monetary and non-monetary incentives, a survey panel provider can also categorise rewards as one-off or points-based programs. You can offer one-off rewards, as the name suggests, one time either before or after completing the survey. However, the risk with a one-off reward is that the survey respondent may not answer if the reward is prepaid. You can offer points-based rewards in stages and link them to participation. 

How to incentivise survey respondents to stay loyal to a panel provider?

There are multiple ways to incentivise vetted survey respondents to stay loyal to a survey panel provider. Thus, we look closer at all of them below:

1. Fit your reward to your respondent’s profile

Most of the time, B2B respondents want a higher reward than B2C respondents because they don't have a lot of time and they are a more niche audience than B2C respondents. Also, they offer valuable insights that you would not otherwise get from the average customer. Consider the value of information that a CEO with years of experience can provide as opposed to a customer. Hence, make sure to place a higher reward on these knowledgeable survey respondents to gather loyalty. This will also make them feel that they are valued for their time. 

Additionally, if your survey targets a particular category of the population, for book lovers, it might make sense to offer them a free book, rather than cash. Customisation is the number one reason to increase the retention rate of survey respondents. 

2. Appropriately fix the frequency of your incentives

Research conducted by COPAFS claims that if your survey length is shorter than 45 minutes, there is no need to incentivise survey respondents. However, we think it’s always a good idea to reward survey respondents no matter the length of the survey. If your survey is longer than 45 minutes or needs to be completed in stages, consider giving multiple rewards. If your survey is short and respondents can complete it in one go, a one-off reward will do. 

Additionally, survey respondents want to get paid as soon as possible. In order to make sure that they stick with you as a panel provider, consider paying them as soon as possible.

3.Ask survey respondents what they want

As unlikely as it sounds, sometimes respondents may not want rewards. This can also be because, in the case of B2B surveys, some employers may not allow employees to get monetary rewards. Therefore, it makes sense to ask survey respondents if they want rewards.

4. Ace your CRM game

Apart from setting the right incentives, it is also important that you stay on top of your CRM game. Google reviews, Trustpilot comments, and Reddit threads are all ways for customers to express their views about your brands. Keeping your survey respondents happy will make them stay loyal. Make sure to reply to each review whether it’s negative or positive. Also, ensure that you deal with negative feedback in an effective way. Investigate negative comments and provide appropriate solutions.

5. Set up a points based reward system

History has proven that an effective way too many customers, survey respondents in this case, is to follow a points based reward approach. If you are a panel provider, consider adopting a system where say for every 10 surveys completed, the respondent gets a perk. This perk could be a gift voucher, a discount code, a free gift or really anything. 

6. Ask for feedback 

The best way to find out what survey respondents want so that they stay longest with you as a panel provider is to ask them what they want. Be sure to include a feedback form after a B2B survey so that survey respondents can best guide you as to how to improve.

How to improve survey respondents’ loyalty on a budget?

If you don't have a lot of budget for rewards but still want to approach knowledgeable B2B respondents consider using the following incentives:

1. Social media recognition

Social media shout outs cost nothing and can be an attractive reward for survey respondents especially if they want to grow their business. Let’s say that you are surveying influencers, giving them shoutouts on Instagram may prove more valuable than a cash reward. In this way, they will also be able to differentiate you from other panel providers. 

2. Discount coupons

Offering discount coupons for businesses that the survey respondents work with can be a good way to motivate them to take your survey. Again, it is a unique way to set yourself apart from the competition. 

Are you looking for survey respondents for your B2B or B2C surveys? We have over 250k contributors on our platform, as a panel provider.  We know how best to turn industry insights into rewards. Experienced individuals from all industries simply download our app and get paid to complete personalised assignments based on their background. Contributors receive assignments specific to their experiences, from data research projects to surveys, providing high-quality data.

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