Paying participants for their time is a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, it makes it easier to recruit. Secondly, it makes you less likely to get bias in your sample – people willing to talk to free may just be fans or friends of the business, which doesn’t give you a well rounded picture.
Common amounts to spend are around $5-10 (or £/€ equivalent) for a survey, or you could have one larger ‘prize’ that participants get a shot at. For interviews, a rule of thumb from Andrew is $1 per minute for B2C, and $1.50 per minute B2B.
As a general rule, the greater the salary of the person you want to talk to, the more compensation they’ll need. There’s a point at which money stops mattering though – when talking to very senior business leaders it’s often not worth offering compensation.
Afreen adds that if you’re talking to people about emotionally sensitive topics or they’re an expert in an area that you’re trying to understand, you should probably look to compensate them more than the standard requirement for that time.
How to offer compensation:
- Most common is Amazon vouchers. This is basically a “cash equivalent” for most people. Be aware though – this can bias who you attract. It also can be a faff to manage across countries – Amazon.fr codes can’t be used on Amazon.de, for example.
- You can offer straight up cash too, although this can be a pain to manage. If you use an agency for participant recruitment, they can handle this for you and can give guidance on recommended amounts.
- Charitable donations often go down well with people, especially higher earners.