Market Research Incentives: New Survey Shows What Reward is Most Appealing to Respondents

Market Research Incentives: New Survey Shows What Reward is Most Appealing to Respondents

Market research incentives and rewards often vary depending on a number of factors. 

  • Is it a qualitative or quantitative study?
  • What is required of market research respondents?
  • What is the criteria of your target respondent? 

Choosing the right market research incentive can help increase the response rate, and actually save costs. More on that here: Higher Rewards Can Equal Lower Market Research Costs.

Our market research company recently conducted a study to measure factors of email survey invitations and rewards that are most impactful to survey data.

Keep reading to learn what incentive is most appealing to respondents!


Objectives of the Incentives Survey

Our team was curious about what types of survey incentives are preferred.

In addition to this, our team tested how the subject lines and email text used in survey invitations affected survey completion rates.

The survey answered the following questions:

  • What survey raffle/sweepstakes options are preferred most?
  • What gift card options are preferred for a $100 gift card? 
  • What charities are preferred if given the option to choose a charity to receive a $100 donation?
  • What subject line and email text leads to the highest survey competition rate?

What is the Most Successful Email Survey Invitation?

First, our market research firm sent email campaigns with four different email bodies and the same subject line.

  1. Email 1 was the control email (standard format).
  2. Email 2 had an expanded introduction to explain the purpose of the study and provide details about Drive Research.
  3. Email 3 had a shorter introduction and included a link to the Drive Research privacy policy.
  4. Email 4 was the shortest and embedded the first question of the survey within the email text. 

After seeing which email bodies performed the best, the data showed:

Email 2 (longer introduction) had the highest survey response rate with 15% of respondents completing the survey. A close second was Email 4 (shortest and embedded the first survey question) with 14% completing the survey.

Next, taking the success of email 2 and email 4 into consideration, we sent out 10 more email campaigns with 5 different subject lines:

  1. “Take our short survey and enter to win $100”
  2. ”[recipient name], we want to hear from you!” 
  3. “👋 Got a minute to answer 10 questions?”
  4. “We’ve got 10 questions about survey giveaways. Can you help?” 
  5. “Urgent! Drive Research needs your feedback on survey giveaways.” 

The subject lines with the highest response rate were the control subject line, subject line 2, and subject line 5.

When sent with email body 2 and 4 it produced the following response rates:

  1. Email 2 (longer introduction) and the control subject line (15%)
  2. Email 2 (longer introduction) and subject line 2 (14%)
  3. Email 4 (shortest and embedded the first survey question) and the control subject line (14%)
  4. Email 2 (longer introduction) and subject line 5 (13%)
  5. Email 4 (shortest and embedded the first survey question) and subject line 2 (13%) 

What Market Research Incentive is Most Appealing?

Overall, no matter what age, education level, employment status, and how many surveys respondents do or don’t take, all agreed on the least and most appealing survey incentive.

The least appealing survey incentives included:

  • The chance to select a charity to receive a $100 donation.
  • The guaranteed dollar donation for each survey response to a specified charity.
  • The guaranteed $2.50 gift card for each survey response.

The most appealing survey incentive included:

  • Chance to win a $100 Visa gift card
  • Chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card

Respondents favored it for its flexibility to be used at a variety of locations.

Many respondents noted that it can easily be used anywhere, was the most flexible option, and can be used for various things such as bills, meals, and household items.

Also, many respondents favored the Visa gift card as it can also be used to support their favorite charitable organizations.

Respondents’ preferences ranked from most preferred to least preferred:

  1. Chance to win a $100 Visa gift card
  2. Chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card
  3. Chance to win a $100 gift card of your choice (i.e., Walmart, Target, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, etc.)
  4. Guaranteed $2.50 gift card for your survey response
  5. Guaranteed dollar donation for your survey response to a specified charity
  6. Chance to select a charity to receive a $100 donation 


Preferred type of gift card:

  • Amazon.com (80%) was the most popular choice if provided the option to select a brand for a $100 gift card.
  • Following this were Target (46%) and Walmart (43%). 

Preferred type of raffle/sweepstakes:

  • Most preferred the option that provided the highest reward, which was the chance to win a $100 gift card (39%).
  • The second most preferred option provided the highest chances of winning, which was the chance to win one of ten $10 gift cards (29%).

Preferred method to learn about winning a gift card:

  • Most respondents (81%) preferred to be notified by email if they won a raffle/sweepstakes for participating in an online survey.
  • Following this were by text (54%) and phone call (21%).

Methodology and Respondent Profile

The survey included 12 questions and took respondents 5 minutes to complete.

To establish insights on the demographics of the respondents, the following questions were asked: age group, employment status, the highest level of education, and gender. 

Here is a breakdown of the survey's respondent profile:

  • More than half of the respondents (71%) female, while fewer male (28%) or non-binary (1%). 
  • Most respondents (34%) have completed a Bachelor's (4 year) degree as the highest level of education.
  • Most respondents (56%) noted their employment status as full-time, followed by part-time (10%), retired (7%), self-employed (7%), and unemployed and looking for work (7%). 
  • The respondents included a mix of generations (i.e., Generation Z (11%), Millennials (47%), Generation X (21%), Baby Boomers (20%), and Silent Generation (1%)).

Results Breakdown Per Respondent Profile

Those who have not completed any surveys in the past 6 months were more likely to prefer the option to win one $100 gift card. 

However, those who have completed more than 5 surveys in the past 6 months were more likely to be split between preferring the option to win one $100 gift card or win one of ten $10 gift cards. 

survey results show what market research incentive is most preferred

Note: Blue = those who have not completed surveys in the past 6 months, grey = those who have completed 1 to 5 surveys in the past 6 months, and green = those who have completed more than 5 surveys in the past 6 months.

This means those who participate in surveys less frequently were more likely to be enticed to participate if there is a higher incentive. Those who participated in surveys more often preferred the high-value option or the option that gave the highest probability of winning the incentive. 

Interestingly, Amazon.com was the most preferred gift card choice regardless of past participation in surveys.

Results Breakdown: Age 

Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z respondents had the same ranking and placed the Visa gift card as their top choice, followed by the Amazon.com gift card.

However, Silent Generation respondents ranked the chance to win a $100 gift card of their choice as their top selection.  

Results Breakdown: Education 

In regards to preferences, most respondents who had an Associate (2 years) degree, or a Bachelor's (4 years) degree had the same ranking of:  

  • Chance to win a $100 Visa gift card
  • Chance to win a $100 gift card of your choice (i.e., Walmart, Target, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, etc.)
  • Chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card

However, most respondents whose highest education was a trade or technical school chose the option of the chance to win a $100 gift card of your choice (i.e., Walmart, Target, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, etc.).

This was the only audience to choose it as their most preferred option.

Results Breakdown: Employment 

Unlike most respondents who chose the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, most respondents who were unemployed and not looking for work chose the option to receive the guaranteed $2.50 gift card.

This was the only audience to choose it as their most preferred option. 

Respondents who were unemployed and not looking for work (38%) or self-employed (34%) were more likely to choose the chance to win one of ten $10 gift cards.

This means that these respondents favored the option to win a lower dollar amount gift card with a higher chance at winning.


Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

 

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