Need some fun ways to encourage survey participation? Learn our best tips and strategies for boosting survey engagement.

Here are some fun ways to encourage survey participation

Customer surveys are a hugely valuable tool for businesses looking to understand their target audiences better. However, getting people to actually complete surveys can be a challenge. Response rates have been dropping in recent years as survey fatigue sets in. The good news is that there are many creative, fun ways to encourage survey participation.

You can increase motivation and completion rates by making the experience more engaging and rewarding.

Let’s explore some proven tactics.

Giveaways and Prizes

Offering participants a chance to win larger prizes is extremely effective. Running a sweepstakes-style giveaway with your survey can drive much higher engagement.

Popular prize options include:

  • Electronics like smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.
  • Luxury experience packages like spa days or hotel stays
  • High-value gift cards 
  • Once-in-a-lifetime experiences like meeting celebrities

Even modest prizes can work well if they are exciting and appealing to your audience. Unique experiential prizes tend to perform better than generic items.

Product Giveaways

Giving away your products can be an effective incentive for consumer-focused businesses.

People love getting free stuff, especially new or hot items they’ve had their eye on. Offering full-size products rather than small free samples makes it feel more valuable.

Exclusive Access

Another great incentive is giving survey participants exclusive insider access of some kind. A few ideas:

  • Early access to new products before the public
  • Behind-the-scenes content about product development
  • Ability to preview and beta test upcoming releases
  • Special discounts or limited-time offers

This type of incentive allows customers to feel like valued insiders getting special treatment. It acknowledges the importance of their feedback.

Read next: Research shows the power of prepaid cards

Charitable Donations

Socially conscious customers often appreciate incentives that benefit a good cause. Offering to make a charitable donation on behalf of participants can drive more survey completions.

Let them pick from a few different charity options that align with your brand.

Personalized Rewards

Adding an element of personalization or customization can make incentives feel more special and valuable. For example:

  • Let winners of prizes or giveaways pick their favorite color for the item
  • Customize apparel items like t-shirts or hats with the winner’s name or initials
  • Give winners the ability to select their preferred prize from a list of options

These personalized touches show that you’re willing to go the extra mile for participants, not just do the bare minimum.

Share Survey Results & Impact

Participants feel engaged when they know their feedback will be put to valuable use.

When inviting people to take surveys, let them know you plan to share the cumulative results with all participants. This makes them feel their time was well spent on something insightful and impactful.

You can also share specifics on how feedback will be utilized to make real decisions. For example:

  • “These results will help guide our product roadmap for next year’s releases”
  • “The leadership team will review this data as we re-evaluate our current positioning”
  • “Your feedback could shape our upcoming ad campaign messaging”

Seeing the clear value and application of their input taps into people’s innate sense of wanting to be helpful and leave a mark. It recognizes them as somebody whose opinions carry weight.

Create an Engaging Experience

Even with great incentives, a tedious or outdated survey experience can kill motivation and lead to drop-offs. Making your surveys modern, visually appealing, and user-friendly goes a long way.

Use Visuals and Multimedia

Photos, animated GIFs, and videos can make surveys much more lively and interactive. Simple tactics like including relevant product images alongside questions can boost engagement dramatically.

Try uploading short video clips to set up context before certain sections or use GIFs as fun transition elements between pages. Just make sure any multimedia loads quickly and doesn’t slow anything down.

Keep It Light

While you want quality feedback, surveys don’t have to be overly serious or dry affairs. Add some humor and personality to the language and imagery! Lightness and positivity can go a long way in making it a fun experience.

Try sprinkling in the occasional joke or funny imagery. For example, you could include something like, “On a scale from 1 to ‘I forgot my coffee this morning,’ how energized are you feeling about our services?”

Brand your surveys with your company’s unique voice and style rather than sounding like robots wrote them. This friendly, casual vibe puts people in a better mindset to engage fully.

Foster a Community

Leveraging community psychology and facilitating connections between participants is an effective engagement strategy. It taps into people’s fundamental desires to learn from and interact with peers.

Create a Discussion Forum

Consider creating an online discussion forum where your survey audience can gather and chat about the topics. Seed it with questions and prompts to drive conversation around the areas you want feedback on.

People will share insights, opinions, and personal experiences in this semi-public space. You can learn valuable things from the forum while participants feel engaged with the community.

Share “Sneak Peeks” of Data

As you collect survey responses, share occasional “sneak peek” data visualizations or top-line results in your community spaces. Let members see how their collective responses are trending.

Seeing their individual impact shape the final outcome encourages people to continue participating. It positions members as valued contributors rather than just name/number survey completions.

Real-life Examples of Fun Survey Participation

We asked for examples of the top 1-3 fun ways to encourage survey participation, and here’s what we found:

Monetary Value

“Offer a fair incentive. Virtual Incentives recently published that monetary incentives are still the primary reason to participate in research. In a B2B context, we look at Fair Market Value (FMV) for a person’s salary and derive an hourly rate that’s in line with their incentive.

Access to survey results. We regularly ask participants this question of what makes them more engaged, and from a B2B perspective, decision-makers are more interested in the opinions of their peers than a few dollars.

Creating an engaging survey-taking experience… which goes back all the way to choosing the right programming tool. Participants don’t want to feel like they’re stuck in the 90s with a very old-school-looking survey platform.”

Michael Hess

Winning Something

“I think sweepstakes/drawings can be effective. People are more likely to respond if they can win something cool rather than accruing rewards points or low cash incentives. I’d also suggest hyping the importance of respondents’ feedback and assuring them that their opinion is truly valued. Let people know how their survey feedback will be used.”

Daniel Enson


“Here are some survey incentives I’ve experienced:

  1. The chance to win a birthday message on the sports billboard of their choice
  2. All participants received a summary of this study in the color of their choice
  3. All participants received a hat saying “You don’t need ESP, You just need me!!””

Eric S. Levy

Right Value

“Offer the Right Incentive: Way too often, the incentive offered to participate in a survey is just too low. If you wouldn’t spend 10 minutes of your time to earn 35 cents, why would you expect anyone else to? Ensure you offer an incentive that’s right for your audience while being careful not to offer too high an incentive, as it can encourage fraud.

Make a Good First Impression: The first few things a survey participant sees matter a lot. The intro page should be compelling—or at least brief. Participants often start with a screener, so keep it as short as possible, moving all demographic questions not used for qualification to the end of the questionnaire. And don’t even think about putting a grid in there. Just don’t do it!

Keep It Short: There’s perhaps no bigger deterrent than a long survey. And you have to ask yourself, how people will complete a 20 or – shudder – 40-minute survey? So be judicious in questionnaire design, only including what you absolutely NEED to ask. The nice-to-haves should end up on the cutting room floor.”

Roddy Knowles

Get Creative and Have Fun!

Having fun and bringing some creativity to the survey-taking experience is key to boosting engagement. It helps people stay motivated to provide thoughtful, honest feedback genuinely.

While incentives and great user experiences are important pieces of the puzzle, adding delightful and surprising elements takes things to the next level. If people leave your surveys feeling entertained and appreciated, they’ll be much more likely to participate again next time.


How can I make my survey more engaging for participants?

Use visuals and multimedia elements like photos, animated GIFs, and videos to make the survey more interactive. Incorporate humor and a friendly tone to keep the experience light and enjoyable.

What types of prizes work best for increasing survey participation?

Prizes like electronics, luxury experience packages, high-value gift cards, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences can attract more participants. Offering your own products as giveaways or providing exclusive access to new releases can also be very effective.

What are some ways to personalize survey incentives?

Personalized rewards, such as allowing participants to choose their favorite color for a prize or customizing items with their name, can make the experience feel more appreciated.

What non-monetary incentives can boost survey engagement?

Offering charitable donations on behalf of participants, providing early access to new products, or sharing behind-the-scenes content can be compelling incentives for participants.

How can I foster a sense of community among survey participants?

Create online discussion forums for participants to interact and share insights. Share “sneak peek” data visualizations or top-line results to keep participants engaged and show how their contributions shape the final outcomes.