Best practices for introducing our tracker
The Wakoopa tracker is different from a survey, this also means it acquires a different approach. We conducted a research to find out what the best practice is for presenting the tracker to your panel. On an average our tracker results in a conversion of 9.5%, ranging between 3.21% and 16.34%.
Research has already shown that the privacy description has a significant effect on the degree of disclosure of privacy sensitive information. Based on the social exchange theory people are willing to exchange their privacy for other valuables. After examining the current invitations and conversions we noticed that with our tracker there is also some interaction between the size of the incentive and the extensiveness of the privacy description. To get a better picture of how these two aspects relate to each other we conducted an a-b testing. This research yielded some interesting facts and tips, which we share with you in this paper.
The history of the panel
There is one thing that has major influence on the conversion, which we cannot always control. This is the history of the panel. Panellists have been conditioned by previous rewards and questionnaires. This means that for some panels the conversion will be structurally lower (or higher) than for others. This is due to the fact that people expect a higher incentive, or because they are not used to spending more time on the research. Next to this there is also the positive effect of reputation. Trust is a very important component when introducing a tracker. People are more likely to disclose privacy sensitive information, when they trust the concerning organisation. This is partly the reason why some of the conversions deviate substantially from the average.
Research into traditional panel surveys reveals that people are less afraid of the privacy consequences when these are clearly defined. Our research revealed that the privacy description is actually the most important part of the invitation. This has such a degree of importance, that when the privacy description is not good enough; heightening the incentive will have no significant influence.
A good privacy description is based on the four cost concerns people have, based on the social exchange theory. These are: collection, unauthorised secondary use, improper access and errors. To reduce these costs you should clearly state the privacy information in the invitation. Explain that the tracker can be paused on any given moment and that private information like bank details are completely safe. Give the panellists the privacy agreement and a FAQ, so they can read up on the consequences even more. An example invite can be found in the knowledge base.
Next to this we noticed from the reactions of panellists that they do prefer some update about the tracker. They do like to know what is happening on their computer and if the tracker is still active. For example you could send out a monthly update stating what has been tracked the past month and perhaps what you are going to do the upcoming time. This also helps to reduce the dropout rate.
As said before, the incentive should be your second focus, after the privacy information. Our research pointed out that heightening the incentive has a significant effect on the conversion. We heightened the incentive with a factor ten, from €0,50 to €5,00, which increased the overall conversion from 7.9% to 11.9%.
Concerning the form of the incentive, scientific studies in traditional panel research show that monetary incentives are more effective than non-monetary. A non-monetary incentive, however, will always result in a better conversion than no incentive at all. Lotteries seem to have less effective than monetary and other non-monetary incentives. From the conversions with our tracker it appears that a periodic incentive has a positive effect on the dropout rates.
A good incentive for the tracker would for example be an incentive after installation, combined with a monthly reward. The optimal height of the incentive is hard to tell, seeing as this is dependent on factors such as the panel history or the country the research is conducted in.
Our research shows that you should pay close attention to the privacy information you sent out with the tracker. This should clearly state what happens with the collected information and that all the passwords and other details are completely safe. Concerning the incentive a higher incentive does have a significant better effect with our tracker, provided that the privacy description is sufficient. A monetary or close to monetary incentive is probably best. The optimum height of the incentive is dependant on what your panellists are used to. We would advice you to conduct your own small pilot study, to find out what the optimum incentive and privacy description is for your panel. You can keep these tips as a guide and remember to limit the variables.