If you want to get someone random to reply or respond to your survey request, add a dollar bill or coupon in the envelope along with the survey. Social research has shown that even such a small gift as a dollar bill or a coupon to a store makes people more likely to respond to a survey. The theory is that people feel obligated to reply out of respect for the generous gift, albeit so small. Also, it will get people to read the survey request and/or to complete the survey once they are stimulated by the small token included in the envelope.
Another tip is to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the filled survey to be returned to you. You should make surveys as simple and convenient as possible to ensure you get a valid response.
A survey consists of two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Utilize the different types of questioning for individual portions of your survey to get the best possible response and feedback.
Open-ended questions allow the responder to answer with a more personalized answer. When creating a survey, using this type of questioning allows the surveyor to identify future questions or topics for additional surveys. When answered, open-ended questions offer a more personalized response and the opportunity for the respondent to add comments unasked in the survey itself.
Types of open-ended questions include:
How do you feel about a product/issue?
What is your thoughts about XYZ?
Do you have any suggestions for management/staff?
A concern with open-ended questions is with the increased amount of time the respondent will be expected to take to answer these questions, which often times means the respondent will skip these questions and leave them blank.
Closed-ended questions are those that can be answered with a set answer, such as true/false, yes/no, birth date, gender, or occupation. Closed-ended questions range from circling a response to filling in a single blank. These questions provide you with a definite answer, and they are more likely to be answered since they require very little effort. However, this type of questioning limits the answer choices and provides no more feedback than the basic answer.
Some survey sites test products before market for clients. In these cases, the incentive for testing the product is the opportunity to use and keep the product even after the test is complete. This may not mean as much if the product is consumable such as food. In that case, surveys for cash may be offered.
For product tests, the survey site will ship the item to you at their expense with the evaluation forms included in the package or instructions on how to complete an online evaluation after the testing is complete. You will be given a certain date by which to complete the evaluation and return it to the company or fill it out online.
Gift certificates are second to cash when it comes to incentives for survey companies. Gift certificates are becoming ever increasingly popular because of their flexibility and the fact that they can now be used online. Popular online companies to give surveys from are Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and giftcertificates.com because of the abundance of stores to choose from.
Research shows that cash draws people to take surveys more than any other incentive. Cash outweighs even online and paper gift certificates, which are the same as cash essentially. However, there are few legitimate survey companies that pay straight cash every time you take a survey. Most companies only pay cash if the survey takes over 15-20 minutes to complete. If it's a smaller, 5-10 minute survey, an array of other chances at prizes or merchandise will be the incentive. Surveys that do pay cash are advertised to pay between $2 and $200 per survey. Surveys targeted at certain professions or demographics will pay more.
Some affiliate programs may offer two or more tiers that will allow you to be paid a bonus for people referred by the people you refer. This means that if someone you refer to a survey site joins the site's affiliate program and begins referring people, you make extra money if one of their referrals signs up. The more tiers there are to the affiliate program the more levels they will send you a bonus for if people under you sign up. Even if you don't actively promote the affiliate program referral bonus, most people will probably find it on their own by checking out the site and they may choose to sign up for the affiliate program even without your suggestion.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|