Give Every Market Research Participant a Great Rewards Experience

  • author

    Hannah Prince

  • posted

    Nov 02, 2022

  • topic

    Academic Research, Market Research

Give Every Market Research Participant a Great Rewards Experience

A research incentive is a research incentive, and any participant should just be glad to get it, right?


For researchers, sending rewards might just seem like a necessary evil, something they have to do to check the box and collect as much data as possible. But it’s important that each market research participant has a positive experience while receiving their incentive — for your own benefit.

Why a High-Quality Rewards Experience Is Key for Researchers

When you think about creating a streamlined, delightful process for reward distribution and redemption, remember that it’s not all about the market research participant. There are a number of ways that this effort will help your overall program, including:

  • Build goodwill and trust for your brand or company. Sending a reward may seem like enough to create a positive experience, but if your recipients have a hard time claiming their incentive or don’t get what they want, it can negate the original excitement. By making sure to follow the great experience all the way through the rewards process, you ensure that you’re generating positive feelings toward your brand or company, likely increasing future engagement and loyalty.
  • Minimize participant churn and recruiting efforts. A good rewards experience will make it more likely that recipients will be willing to participate in future surveys or studies. It also creates good word of mouth for your company or agency.
  • Save you time fielding questions and complaints. Any time you have to spend resolving delivery or redemption errors, answering participants who want to know where their incentive is, and resending lost rewards is time that you aren’t able to spend on your work. When you create a seamless rewards process upfront, your recipients will be happy and won’t be contacting you with problems. (But rest assured that when you use digital rewards, it’s very easy to resend one if you need to!)
  • Take advantage of an additional touchpoint. Sending incentives gives you a built-in opportunity to contact each market research participant and get another message in front of them. And, since that message comes alongside a reward, you can be pretty certain they’ll see it. Include another call to action for your next survey or study, offer more information about your products or services, or simply ask for feedback.
  •  Adhere to ethical principles and standards. Researchers are typically expected to follow certain best practices and professional standards. Established by groups like the Insights Association, these guidelines are intended, in part, to protect participants. For instance, the Insights Association’s Code of Standards calls for researchers to “respect research subjects and their rights” and “be honest, transparent, fair, and straightforward in all interactions.” A negative rewards experience could easily put you in violation of these policies.

How to Create a Great Rewards Experience

Now that you understand why giving your participants a positive rewards experience benefits you, it’s time to look at how you can create that. There are several components that contribute to a great experience for recipients, but most are difficult or time-consuming to do with cash, checks, or physical gift cards. Here’s how digital rewards help you delight participants:

  • They get it fast. When a market research participant is promised an incentive, they don’t want to have to wait for it. And in today’s world of instant gratification, people expect things even faster. Sending digital rewards via email is the best way to ensure that those expectations are met. Make the delivery even faster by integrating your survey or research platform with an incentives tool that will send the reward instantly.
  • They actually receive it. No matter how fast reward emails are sent, if they end up lost in spam filters, you’ll have to spend time reissuing them and dealing with unhappy recipients. By sending reward emails from your own authorized domain, rather than a spoofed address, not only will they have a higher deliverability rate, they’ll also be more recognizable — meaning recipients won’t accidentally delete them from the inbox.
  • The message is right. Make sure you’re clear with your branding in the reward email and include a reminder about why the recipient is getting it. It’s also good practice to thank them and show them that their participation was valuable, because it could make them more likely to sign up to help in the future.
  • The reward is useful and compelling. Offering a choice of incentives ensures that every market research participant gets something they want. Even if you want to tailor the experience, you can curate a selection of rewards with appropriate options for your audience. Consider including an e-donation as an option for anyone who is unable to accept a digital gift card or feels uncomfortable doing so. If you have international recipients, you have to be even more careful. For instance, if you send an gift card to participants in the United Kingdom, they won’t be able to use it on their local site, Streamline the process for international studies by using an incentives management tool, like BHN Rewards, that can automatically present each person a choice of rewards that are available in their country.

Want to learn more about how you can use BHN Rewards to streamline incentives and give your participants a great experience at the same time? Sign up to get a demo today!

about the author
Hannah Prince

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.