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Inside knowledge: What do participants really want?

11 November 2014

It can often feel like the only way to boost your participation rates and achieve a good sample size is to offer financial incentives to participants, and when you are on a tight budget this isn’t always possible.

The good news is that our active community of participants regularly take part in research with no personal financial reward. In fact this year so far we’ve had more people (33%) participate in research studies with no financial incentive than cash compensation and free gifts combined since we launched back in 2013!

Breakdown of participants recruited by incentive type:

  • Vouchers

    32.1%

    The percentage of participants who received vouchers as a reward.

  • Cash compensation

    18.4%

    The percentage of participants who received cash compensation as a reward.

  • Free gifts

    11.4%

    The percentage of participants who received free gifts as rewards.

  • Sincere gratitude

    33%

    The percentage of participants to take part in non-compensating studies.

The real truth behind these figures is that the researchers who are not able to offer incentives put more effort into promoting their study page. If you want to recruit quickly you need to drive potential participants to your study page, handily we've built some new tools to help you do this!

If you feel it would benefit your study to use incentives but you are lacking the right funds then you need to get creative! This year we've seen researchers offer free gifts such as tickets to local attractions, app downloads, health advice and free cakes - which worked a treat! If you do have the means to offer an incentive it can help, especially if you have a particularly bespoke set of requirements or you require a large sample size. Be sure to check out the trending studies at Call For Participants and get some inspriation - remember it's not all about the money!

Also check out the top ten rewards of 2014!



    • Call For Participants' Blog brings you news on research studies, trends and impact - plus insider knowledge from the world's first and largest open recruitment platform.

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