While no two rewards programs are exactly alike, there’s one thing they should all have in common: some regular fine-tuning.
After all, knowing what exactly is motivating your employees, prospects, or respondents isn’t always obvious. Testing can help you determine which incentive gifts will help your rewards program be successful.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding if your rewards are as effective as they could be.
Choosing an appropriate reward value is vital to the success of your research programs, surveys, and marketing campaigns.
To determine whether you are offering incentive gifts that are compelling to your particular demographic of participants, we recommend using the following formula.
Time to complete task
Value of respondents’ time
Compelling reward value
To get to the compelling reward value for your audience, multiply how long it will take them to complete a task (taking a survey or watching a webinar, for example) by their estimated hourly rate of pay. Then multiply that by 150% to know how much the incentive gifts should be worth.
$40 per hour
To get a ballpark figure for the value of a respondent’s time, use the average U.S. salary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine their rate of pay per hour. If you know your population is made up of all nurses or top-level executives, that calculation is fairly easy. And if you don’t know, you can estimate based on the audience you’re trying to attract. For instance, college students will likely respond to a smaller amount than young professionals in the workforce.
In addition to determining the amount of incentive gifts, it’s important to consider whether the type of reward you’re offering resonates with your audience.
It’s a good idea to tailor the reward to what you think your audience likes.
If you don’t know your audience that well or you’re working with a broad target market, digital rewards for specific brands can be tricky. It’s a safe bet that webinar attendees will respond well to an offer for a gift card for coffee from Starbucks or lunch delivery from Grubhub.
But when you rotate your offers, you can test which kinds of digital rewards pull in the best results. Some brands will be more popular than others, and when you need to increase response rates, you’ll know which brand to dangle as an incentive.
Prepaid Visas or Mastercards can sweeten the deal for many of your target audience, because they can be used anywhere those credit cards are accepted. Again, testing can help you know what your audience prefers. One test could be to offer the same value amount for both types of rewards: one for a specific brand and one that’s more open-ended.
Finally, you can test your offers against giving your recipients a choice of rewards and see if, by simply giving them a choice, you receive higher response rates. Use a rewards tool that lets you track which rewards your recipients end up choosing, so it can help inform your future programs and messaging.
More and more companies are aligning themselves with messaging that makes it clear they care. In the U.S. alone, there are 1,700 Certified B Corporations, companies that have taken the pledge to put the people and planet above profits and work as a “force for good.”
Incentive gifts that include e-donations to popular charities — such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, or the National Park Foundation — can help you incentivize the growing number of people who want to feel that their choices help make a difference.
Not sure if e-donations will resonate with your audience? Set up a test. Give your participants a choice between traditional brand gift cards and e-donations when incentivizing them to act. It may also help you determine which kinds of audiences are unable to accept digital gift cards because of company or ethics policies.
When you send digital rewards as your incentive gifts, your organization has the perfect opportunity to test email messaging and design to determine what motivates your target market to act.
Whether your email is asking someone to complete a survey or delivering a digital reward after completing it, there are many variables you can test to improve your results, including:
There’s really no limit to what you can test. To ensure your incentive gifts are as effective as possible, build in regular testing throughout the year and fine-tune your rewards program as necessary.
Thanks to its native integrations with leading survey and marketing platforms, BHN Rewards helps you track the results of all your rewards campaigns and testing efforts. See the complete list of integration partners here, and then contact us to learn more!