How to Effectively Distribute Incentives for Your Qual Research

Dec 29, 2022, Maniish
To encourage participation, qualitative research organizations often use incentives to motivate participants. For example, a company may offer survey completion bonuses or gift cards as an incentive for completing a questionnaire or taking part in focus groups. However, if not done properly, these incentives can be ineffective and even counterproductive.

Here are some tips on how to effectively incentivize participants.  

1) Set Clear Goals

Before deciding the type of incentive, it is important to set clear goals about what you hope to achieve with the incentive program. This will help guide you towards the type of incentive most appropriate for the task at hand.  

2) Choose Appropriate Incentives

Obviously, you need to choose the type of incentive that would be best suited for achieving your goals. Consider factors such as cost-effectiveness and relevance when selecting an appropriate incentive scheme; also think about whether certain rewards might be more attractive than others, depending on the participant incentivized (e.g., cash versus non-cash).  

3) Communicate Effectively

Make sure that all potential participants understand clearly what they need to do to receive their chosen reward(s). Provide detailed information so that there is no confusion among potential respondents regarding expectations and requirements associated with incentives.  

4) Track Participation

Tracking participant engagement is essential when distributing incentives during qual research projects; this helps ensure that only those who complete tasks successfully actually receive their promised rewards – something especially important considering many studies rely heavily on respondent participation rates as key performance metrics! Keeping track of responses also allows researchers/marketers/stakeholders better gauge whether a particular strategy was more successful at encouraging people’s involvement (or lack thereof!).  

5) Keep Participants Engaged Over Time

Be mindful of long-term commitment required from participants; especially when consistently high response rates are critical for project success. It is crucial to hold the participants interest over the entire duration of the project. Try offering multiple levels/tiers of rewards. Additionally consider adding elements like surprise bonuses into the mix from time-to-time so as keep things fresh & exciting!  

6) Utilize Technology Tools Where Possible

Technology can elevate the participant’s experience with research you organize. From deploying quick, fair, and automated systems for incentive distribution, to using gamification to incentivize ongoing participation over time. Automated loyalty programs also go a long way in keeping participants engaged.  

7) Offer Non-Monetary Rewards When Appropriate

Include non-monetary forms of rewards as well whenever possible! Offering tangible items like books, coupons, t-shirts, or social currency in the form of charitable contributions are a terrific way to show appreciation.  

8) Measure Results Regularly

Measure results regularly throughout the course of the engagement. You can better manage what you measure, and regularly assessing effectiveness of various strategies will help determine where you need to make changes or improvements for future campaigns and maximize ROI! 

These pointers should set you up for success in your qual research – if you are not already using some or all these tips – and in turn make your customers happy enough to want to spend their research budgets with you.  

Good luck everyone, Happy Incentivizing! 
Dec 29, 2022