When considering any productive research project, the outcome – the information gained by the process – is, clearly, the ultimate goal. And to obtain reliable, timely and relevant information, a market research firm must recruit and trust a knowledgeable and engaged group of people from which to draw its conclusions. But how do you recruit these people to help you? Often people will willingly offer their time and opinions in a spirit of true altruism. Other times, people will need an incentive to prompt their participation.
An incentive is any type of “reward” given to a research segment in exchange for participating in a market research study. It could be a $5 participation gift or a free product or a lot of things in between! The key factor is making sure that your incentive is reasonable and proportionate to the expense, time and inconvenience of your participants and appropriately expresses your appreciation for their assistance with your work. Incentives should encourage and fairly compensate, but not influence the final result.
For those times when a simple “Thank You” will not suffice, here are six recruiting incentive ideas:
Everyone knows that “money talks.” Just make sure it’s talking to your target audience and not people just “looking to make a buck.” Having a quality research group selection process ensures that this won’t be a problem. You will want your cash offering to be high enough to attract the interest of potential subjects while still being fiscally manageable within your overall budget. Your monetary incentive should also properly reflect the value of your respondents’ time. A group of college students taking a 10-minute survey should not be incentivized in the same way as a group of professors taking a 30-minute one. Consider your group, the time they are committing and the ultimate value of the information you will gather when determining the amount of your monetary incentive.
Coupons and Discounts
Similar to monetary incentives, coupons and discounts provide a quick and easy way to encourage research participation. However, whereas strictly monetary rewards can drain a sizable amount of your budget, coupons and discounts can provide less expensive ways to offer value to your participant while simultaneously promoting your business. Offering a certain percentage off a product encourages your participant to make a purchase and feel like her or she is getting a deal.
A Sample Product
If a discount is not enough of a recruiting incentive idea for your group, you can always offer a sample of the product you are researching. This enables your group to have a personal connection with the item for which they have provided feedback and is especially helpful when researching a highly anticipated product or service. Exclusive access to a product can encourage maximum participation. The drawback is determining how you will distribute the product. Giving away a physical product is a lot harder than handing out a gift card, check or coupon.
Another good recruiting incentive idea is to enter all your target segment applicants into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a custom reward. This allows you to forgo compensating every person in your target group but still permits participant excitement in anticipation of winning “the big prize.”
Sometimes all it takes to get your group excited is a free meal!
Other times, especially when dealing with sensitive intellectual capital, it might make sense to share part of what you have learned with the people who have given you their opinions and insights. This is certainly persuasive when the participants in your group have an invested interest in the results. You will want to ensure that sensitive information is properly dispersed, but a well-written business summary can be a great motivator in certain situations.
Contact Communications for Research for additional recruiting incentive ideas to boost respondent participation in your next market research project. If you’re looking to get the best response rates from your surveys, check out our FREE eBook “The Insider’s Guide to Successfully Using Market Research Online Surveys” today: