Incentives for Respondents
February 10, 2021

Valuing Respondents
Three Incentive Tips

Incentives are a critical part of research! Engaged respondents who dedicate their time and energy to help your client reach their goals are important. Recognizing the value of this contribution to the research is vital to encourage dedication and commitment, especially when projects become longer, as seems to be where online research needs to be, to get to the respondents’ thoughts and feelings, so researchers can gain insight.

  1. Incentives should be consistent with time commitment.

Whether your project is an in-person focus group, a TDI, an online group, or a multi week or multi month online board – estimate the overall time that a respondent should commit to contribute appropriately to the research. This range of hours or exact number of hours times an appropriate hourly rate should be what is offered. If the project length grows to a longer commitment, the incentive should be adjusted to reflect the change. The relationship with the users or possible users of products or services is important, so keeping the expectations in line with reality would be important to the participants in the project.

  1. Correctly estimate the time to be paid.

To ensure US respondents and reduce fraud, checks to a valid mailing address go a long way in validating the authenticity of the respondent. Checks take time to be received and even more time during the pandemic. Setting the right time frame is helpful to the respondent. At our firm, we also have a site where respondents can check on their incentive payments, which helps everyone understand which step we are all at in the payment process.

  1. Clearly state the incentive, when possible.

Respondents often like to know what they are being paid for qualitative research. Stating the incentive up front helps the respondent to decide if making the commitment to participate is something that they want to do, and feel they can do at this time. The one exception seems to be online communities for well known brands. Here, the online panel that is used is often just told generally about incentives, and not specific amounts. For online communities that span months or years, and regular individual participation is optional, we find that researchers can be less clear, and the community is still built. However, if your project is more specific and every voice is needed for every event, we suggest stating the incentive up front.

Let Focus Forward help with incentive processing.

We are happy to help ensure that the incentives are properly receive by the respondent. Incentives are a service that you can add to your qualitative recruiting, or we offer incentive processing as a stand-alone service, too. We can make your project easier and your incentive processing simple for you. Let us help you Focus Forward.

Focus Forward provides the highest quality nationwide qualitative and quantitative recruitment for marketing research studies, as well as transcription, coding, incentive processing, and translation services. Contact us today!