Token Incentives Best Practices (Part I)

Some organizations have policies that don't allow you to use cash awards as survey incentives. This doesn't mean you should trash the idea of offering an incentive to your survey respondents. When thinking of ways to say Thank You to potential respondents for completing your survey consider these ideas: charitable donations, organization paraphernalia, kid's books for surveys of parents, etc. 

Research has clearly shown that advance cash token incentives increase response rates. But try to steer clear of the words paid or earning when discussing the use of token incentives. Instead, words like social exchange are more accurate. Advance incentives are not an exchange of money. It's a token thank-you, not  necessarily a payment, because we aren't guaranteed participants will complete the survey, even with the incentive.

Next time we will look at some additional best practices when using token incentives in your survey research effort!

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