Incentivizing participation in an Internet-based survey

Internet-based surveys provide data for social research for many years right now. Pandemic times sped up need for such sources, making seeking for effective ways to attract participants, especially in the panel studies, particularly important. In this study, we experiment on the existing panel study to test effectiveness of financial and non-financial incentives to participate in the subsequent wave of the Internet-based survey.

The experimental treatments were about to test several dimensions of such incentives. We compare whether when the reward is provided - before or after completing the survey - differentiate willingness to participate again. We test whether the fact that the reward is certain in comparison to a lottery with the same expected value makes a difference for participants. Then, we also test whether high stake in the lottery attract more current participants.

Not only financial incentives were tested. We also incentivized participants by providing them a motivational paragraph either highlighting what is going to be gained thanks to their participation, or what will be lost if they resign (in comparison to a neutral message).