The Building Blocks of a Successful Panel Loyalty Program

Panel loyalty programs increase research firms’ panelist retention, survey frequency, and panelist acquisition programs, making them foundational in increasing your research firm’s profitability and revenue. An effective panel incentive program can build brand advocacy and increase the lifetime value of the panelists.

The four basic building blocks when creating an effective panel loyalty program strategy include objectives, gaining program support, rewarding participants and measuring the program.


There are a few steps you must take when creating your panel loyalty program.

  • Decide on your goals for your panel loyalty program.
  • Consider who your audience is.
  • Take time to evaluate what currently isn’t working with your promotions.
  • Your program’s primary focus should be about making your panelists happy and keeping them “your” panelists.
  • Make sure your program supports the experience of the panelist and not the other way around.

Gaining the support of key stakeholders

When preparing for a panel incentive initiative, panel managers often face roadblocks in the approval phase of their proposal. Be prepared to show upper management that you have a sound business case, including measurable and accurate metrics. Loyalty incentive programs have proven vital in cultivating and rewarding repeat panelists. You must ensure your loyalty program will be valuable to your key stakeholders.

With a strong plan in place with clear financial objectives, management is more likely to understand the benefits of your program and see that it warrants their support. When in the program design phase, take the following steps:

  • Collaborate with finance experts early.
  • Consideration complex variables like technology need booked liability and the reward costs.
  • Seek out input from a loyalty provider and executives in marketing, finance, operations and IT.
  • Include information regarding incremental income.
  • Develop a well-constructed model that will provide insight into a wide range of possible actions and likely outcomes.

Rewarding The Participants

There are several types of incentives to select from, including:

  • Cash payments
  • PayPal
  • Digital rewards
  • Merchandise
  • Experiential rewards
  • Games.

With the help of an incentive provider, you will be able to pick incentives that fit your budget and will motivate your audience. Also, consider implementing reward tiers in order to show your survey community you care and are willing to thank your most loyal panelists. A highly recommended model that is cost effective and appealing to panelists is the points-based reward program model, which uses the concept of reverse preference.

Measuring The Program

To measure a program’s success, your ROI measurement goals must be taken into consideration. From the outset, structure the build-out of your loyalty reward technology to be ROI-positive and keep measurable goals in mind. A loyalty management software program is indispensable in providing the data for the major performance metrics.

Understanding, and agreeing on, how the loyalty program will be measured and evaluated is critical. If you get alignment on metrics early in the design process it will help you avoid issues in the future. To do this:

  • Articulate the program’s key point indicators.
  • Lay out expectations
  • Answer any questions that arise.

It is important to have the right loyalty program software solution that will help you gather and use much of the information you need all in one place. Work with a loyalty technology provider and implement a SaaS reward management technology (which includes agile APIs) that will allow all your existing system assets to connect effectively and efficiently. The system selected should connect your panelists to an offering of incentive reward products for instant engagement and have each of your program’s incentive scheme tailored to your needs.

Drive More Completions

Will your loyalty program make your customers happy? If you make your customers happy, loyal panelists will drive more survey completions, word-of-mouth and social boosts to your brand and your current panelists will bring new loyal members of your panel community. This is the essence of a successful loyalty program. With the help of a loyalty program management company, such as All Digital Rewards, you will be setting your program up for success.

To learn more about loyalty programs, contact All Digital Rewards loyalty program experts at 866-415-7703 or click the “Schedule a Demo” button at the bottom of the page!

You can also check out this recent article written by our CEO Kathryn Felke Here.