Perhaps you have an extra special research project that really needs a good response turnout, or you’re simply looking for ways to boost your response rates. Well, maybe its time to try sweetening the pot a little?
Studies have shown that surveys where potential participants were offered monetary incentives of as little as $1 received higher response rates then ones that didn't’t offer any incentives at all. In fact, offering any incentive to your potential survey respondents as a way of saying “Thank You” even before they take your survey is a great way to get started on the road to higher survey returns. Good examples of survey incentives that work are gift cards, checks, gift certificates, and of course good ol' fashioned cash.
The amount isn't as important as the belief by the participant that the offered incentive will actually be provided. Credibility is key. So if you choose to offer incentives to your potential respondents after they have participated in the survey (say for example the option to be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win an iPod) remember to follow through on giving out the reward after you collect feedback from all the survey respondents!
This tip is particularly useful when trying to avoid survey bias. By offering incentives you're more likely to attract people who would not normally participate in your surveys. Learn more about minimizing survey bias from some of our other posts.