Market research incentives can mean the difference between attracting high-quality participants and, well, not.
That’s why keeping a close eye on your market research incentives is a critical part of achieving your data collection goals. The good news is that by tracking just a few key metrics, your organization can learn valuable information that will help you manage a successful rewards program.
Not only do you need the right market research incentives to help you make the most out of your budget, but they’re also important so you remain compliant with any mandated regulations.
So, what exactly should you be monitoring within your incentives program? Here are four key metrics to follow.
This metric should be the starting point for determining how effective your market research incentives really are. If the reward doesn’t appeal to the audience you are trying to reach, you won’t get the candidates you need to complete your research.
Incentives have been shown to increase response rates, with an $10 incentive resulting in 18% more returned surveys. When your participation or response rate goes down, it’s time to consider whether your incentives are resonating with your target audience. Tracking these rates each quarter will help your team determine the ROI for your program. When the right incentives are in place, you’ll spend less on other marketing efforts to attract research candidates.
The percentage of your market research incentives that are claimed reveals whether you’re giving the right kind of incentive as well as giving ones of the right value.
A $5 Starbucks card may be a good incentive for your research participants because you know they love the brand and drink coffee, but the amount may not be keeping up with inflation. Or, that small amount may not be enough to compensate them for their level of effort. For maximum effectiveness, your market research incentives must be considered desirable and match the time it takes to participate.
To properly calculate the ROI of your incentives, you need to know what your investment was. Tracking how much you spend for each project or survey will help you determine where you had an appropriate budget set and where it should have been higher or lower to find the optimal balance of participation and cost.
In addition, using BHN Rewards to manage your market research incentives gives you the benefit of automatic refunds on any unclaimed rewards. Those funds are returned to your account, so you can subtract that total from the cost for one project and decide where to best apply it to a future one.
When you’re performing ongoing research — or managing an insights panel or community — tracking recipient income is especially important for participants who get repeated rewards. That’s because the IRS considers payments for participation in research studies to be taxable income, so your organization will need to send 1099-MISC forms to anyone who earns more than $600 as a research participant with your organization.
By tracking recipient income, you can weed out anyone who crosses the $600 threshold if you prefer to avoid this extra tax-time effort for your organization. However, it’s worth noting that a platform like BHN Rewards can automatically track this metric for you so you can easily pull a report and remain compliant with IRS regulations.
Discover how BHN Rewards can give your research participants a great experience that keeps them coming back for more. Request a demo today!