Paid surveys. How to define the incentives for your survey?

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You may have wondered whether you should offer incentives to survey participants in your studies. Nowadays, it’s very common to offer rewards, whether in the form of cash or in-kind rewards, for participating in market research and UX tests. It’s a gesture that motivates participants to provide high-quality feedback and, at the same time, shows appreciation for their dedication. This benefits everyone.

How to Become a Tester or Panelist?

If you’ve come to this page looking to earn some extra money by participating in surveys, you’ll be glad to know that We are testers has a community of consumers and users who regularly participate in surveys and receive incentives for it. Joining the community is straightforward and allows you to redeem the points you earn for money or many other things. You can learn more and become a tester if you wish on our page dedicated to people looking to participate in paid surveys.

Now let’s explore the implications of incentives for market researchers and UX researchers.

Advantages of Incentives for Survey Participation

Paid or incentivized surveys provide companies with a valuable opportunity to obtain quality information from their customers and users. By offering a reward in exchange for an honest opinion, companies can better understand consumers’ needs and preferences. In today’s world, where most research is online and extensive consumer panels are used, the key question companies need to ask is not whether incentives increase response rates, but rather:

  • How does the incentive affect the quality of the collected data?
  • Are survey results more positive or negative when an incentive is offered?
  • What is the most effective type of incentive to boost participation?
  • Are paid surveys effective?

There is currently a widespread agreement in the industry that paid surveys have a positive impact on response rates by reducing omissions and poor responses. In addition, respondents tend to provide more detailed answers to open-ended questions when they receive a reward.

This behavior is explained by the «norm of reciprocity»: when an incentive is offered, participants feel a greater obligation to fulfill their commitments. Data collected with incentives is of higher quality since respondents tend to think more before answering questions. Furthermore, offering incentives increases respondents’ willingness to participate in future research, as their previous experience is usually positive.

Paid Surveys and We are Testers

As mentioned earlier, We are testers has a consumer panel or community of testers that is incentivized and encouraged to participate in surveys and all kinds of studies regularly. You don’t need to worry about it because we take care of it for you. However, for cases where you use the platform with your own sample, whether it’s your own users or employees, you may consider offering an incentive and how to define it. Here are some hints.

What Type of Reward Should You Offer to Survey Participants?

For surveys targeting employees, it’s generally not necessary to offer incentives since most of them are willing to participate and provide honest feedback to improve their work environment and that of their colleagues.

However, for surveys targeting individuals and households, studies have shown that even a modest incentive can significantly increase response rates. Regardless of the amount of the incentive, people tend to be more motivated to participate if they perceive that the company values their time and effort.

5 Types of Incentives for Paid Surveys


Here are some ideas that can help attract more participants and obtain higher-quality responses in your surveys:

  • Monetary Incentive: Offering cash, checks, gift cards, or PayPal transfers is one of the most effective approaches. The promise of receiving extra money for participating in paid surveys motivates many people to sign up for paid surveys.
  • Sample Product or Service: If it’s relevant to your audience, offering samples of products or services can increase participation.
  • Coupons or Discounts: Providing coupons or discounts to participants can be an effective economic incentive.
  • Donations to NGOs: Partnering with a charity organization related to your business and donating a certain amount for each completed survey can create a positive image of your brand.
  • Raffles or Sweepstakes: Offering the opportunity to participate in a sweepstake to win a prize also motivates respondents.

How to Conduct Paid Surveys

Now that we’ve explored the types of incentives that attract participants, let’s consider some key aspects before conducting paid surveys:

  • Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to invest in incentives and ensure you can fulfill your promises.
  • Incentive for All or Some: Decide whether all participants will receive an incentive or if you will limit the reward to a selected group, such as through a sweepstake.
  • Relevance of the Incentive: Ensure that the incentive is attractive and valuable to your audience. Otherwise, they may not be motivated to participate.
  • Timing of the Incentive: Decide whether you will offer the incentive before or after participants complete the survey. Generally, pre-survey incentives increase response rates.
  • Quality Control: Always have quality controls in place to ensure data quality, but if the incentive is valuable, you should reinforce those controls to ensure you detect any inappropriate behavior.
  • Initial Testing: Experiment with different incentives in a small group if you have the opportunity and extend the experience to the rest.

Now you have plenty of tips on how to incentivize participation in your surveys. If you want more details to help you define them, contact our research experts at We are testers.

Update date 22 December, 2023

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