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Survey Says... Prepaid Is The Go-To Reward For Clinical Trials And Focus Groups

Market research and focus groups are proven to be effective ways to collect important customer feedback, and can be an integral part of a product’s success or failure. Customer feedback–especially direct, straight-from-their-own-mouth–tells companies what it is that they want, and allows businesses to improve their products, services, strategies, and decisions.


Similarly, medical companies can greatly benefit from inviting people to take part in clinical trials. The data gained from these trials allow medical organizations to learn about the physical and mental effects of new medication, and helps them gain insights into human behaviour.


The Problem:

Focus groups are typically offered in-person, or online, and clinical trials usually, if always, require a person to go into the medical office. The question then becomes, “how do we get people to participate?” Consumers like and want personalization, but they don’t often want to take time out of their day to offer it to companies. The majority of customers report that they’ve “abandoned an online survey halfway through.” The average response rate for online surveys is between 10-26%. Not good!


So How Can You Increase Survey Response Rates? Offer An Incentive.

If you want people’s time, then you need to offer something back in return. People need to be properly motivated to make sure that they actually participate in the study and give your company accurate and useful responses. Incentives are a proven method to increasing survey response rates and clinical trial participation, and not just a little bit, but a lot! Rewarding participants with an incentive shows that you value their time and their feedback. Offering the right rewards to participants will not only ensure that you get meaningful results, but it will also increase your chances of getting more participants to take part in studies in the future.


The next question your business now finds itself asking is, “What is the right incentive?”


Not all things are created equal, and the same could be said for focus groups and clinical trials. Some require a greater time commitment; others require extra steps or more work. You might think there isn’t a “cure-all” incentive to offer, but there is: a prepaid card.


Market research firms and clinical trial organizations are turning to prepaid programs because of the slew of advantages they offer to both their business and participants. Research shows that prepaid incentives increase successful response rates for students, professionals, and the general population at large. Prepaid incentives are also proven to be effective for telephone surveys, with reports suggesting that this particular rewards results in a double-digit increase in response rates.


Benefits of Prepaid To Participants:

A prepaid card is a safe, secure, and easy-to-use alternative to cheques or cash. Respondents who fill out surveys can be paid instantly, instead of having to wait weeks for a cheque to arrive in the mail, if it even does… A prepaid card can be loaded with whatever amount the company wants and, because it is accepted anywhere that Mastercard or Visa is, it’s the incentive that everyone can use anywhere, any time.


Benefits of Prepaid to Clinical Trial & Market Research Companies:

Prepaid payment programs reduce fraud, streamline administrative processes, and easily and effectively allow your company to generate reports to view payouts and analyze trends. Based on the requirements of your clinical trial or focus group, you can set up the program to either be a one-time payment or include recurring payments. Based on research and responses, prepaid leads to an increase in customer satisfaction, and thus an increase in retention and respondent rates.


But Wait, It Gets Better. Prepaid Payments Can Also Be Made Via Virtual Cards

Another type of incentive that can be offered to those participating in market research surveys, and one that is particularly effective for users filling out online surveys, is a virtual prepaid card. A virtual prepaid card has the same functions as a physical prepaid card except that you can only use them for online purchases and for phone orders. Virtual cards streamline and enhance a customer’s online shopping experience by making it safer and more convenient for them to make purchases.


Your Participants Don’t Want Cash or Cheque-Based Incentives, And Neither Should Your Business.

Prepaid cards offer the same sort of liquidity and freedom as cash, with the added advantage of being to shop online, but without all the risks and headaches involved. Participants in your trials or surveys don’t have to deal with banks or the fear of misplacing or losing their hard-earned money. Your company also doesn’t want to have to deal with the risk of keeping thousands of dollars of cash on-site.  Make it easier on both yourself and your valued participants by instituting a prepaid program.


Prepaid cards are reloadable, which is extremely helpful for ongoing studies or groups. Many clinical studies require multiple steps and multiple payments. They are also far less expensive that alternative payment methods; according to studies, creating, processing, and distributing cheques can cost as much as ten times that of electronic payments.


If your market research or clinical trial company is serious about getting the best results, you need to offer the best incentives. Prepaid cards are the smart choice. When you look at the advantages–security, speed, reliability, cost, and customer satisfaction–it is the only choice. 



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