Incentives for Research Panel Members


To find out if research companies that have members in panels offer incentives to their panel members to get them to complete surveys. This research would be used to decide if continuous incentives should be offered to the panel members to get them to complete surveys.

Early Findings

  • According to Qualtrics, incentives usually increase the response rates among research panelists. Compared to lotteries and drawings, monetary incentives tend to increase response rates more.
  • It has been observed that "incentives have almost no effect on the quality of the response".
  • One-third of all respondents in a Greenbook survey mentioned a desire to earn prizes or rewards as their major reason for participating.
  • It is always better to start by conservatively offering incentives. This is because it is easier to increase the size of reward over time than to decrease it.
  • Greenbook reports that 70% of participants in its survey want cash, gift cards, or points.
  • Infosurv mentioned that 'direct incentives' have consistently been mentioned as one of the reasons why people respond to surveys.
  • After summarizing several reports, Infosurv makes the following conclusions:
    • For all types of surveys, prepaid incentives yield higher response compared to when no incentives are offered, or when incentives are to be paid after the survey response.
    • Compared to merchandise, money yields a higher response rate.
    • Response rates have been found to "increase as the amount of money paid increases, but not linearly and with a decreasing rate of impact"
    • Also, small incentives offered individually usually work better than sweepstakes or drawings for a chance to win larger incentives.
  • Currently, regardless of a survey's length, some incentive is almost always included.

Proposed next steps:

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