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How can I run a prize draw to encourage people to complete my survey?

Many survey authors offer incentives to respondents to encourage them to complete a survey. One of the most common ways to do this is to run a prize draw.

However, responses collected by BOS are anonymous unless you explicitly ask a respondent to identify themselves, or collect respondents' details using survey access control. To run a prize draw you will need to record names and contact details from respondents. This means the responses are no longer anonymous and respondents may not be as honest in their answers as they might otherwise be.


Surveys without access control

Assuming you have asked respondents to identify themselves, you can select a winner by exporting the data for this question in CSV format. You can either print out the data and put the names in a hat or use a random number generator to select the row in the spreadsheet.

Without survey access control it is not possible to completely anonymise results by removing the responses that identify an individual from the rest of their answers. Instead, you could set up a filter to exclude the questions that ask for a respondent’s identity. This filters the data out of the main dataset so you are effectively working with anonymous data but the information is not permanently removed.


Surveys using access control

If you are using survey access control, providing respondent credentials using a CSV list and storing respondents' credentials, then you can use this information to pick a prize draw winner and then erase the data to anonymise the responses.

If you do not know how to store the credentials then see our FAQ: Respondents need to log in to complete my survey; can I find out which respondents have responded?

Once the survey has finished you can find out which respondents completed the survey (i.e. the pool of potential prize winners) by clicking on 'List respondents' from the menu on your survey's 'Results' page. This lists respondents who have and have not completed the survey. You can export the data in CSV format and use this to pick a winner.

Once you have a winner, and assuming you no longer need the respondent’s details, you can wipe the identifying information:

  1. Go to survey's 'Options' page.
  2. Under the heading 'Who can complete this survey?', deselect 'Record respondent details within the survey'.
  3. Confirm that you want to erase the data by selecting:
    'I confirm that I want to stop storing respondents' identities and erase identity data already collected (even if the survey is closed). I understand that, once deleted, this data cannot be recovered under any circumstances.'
  4. Click 'Save'.

The respondents' information will now be erased leaving only the answers they provided, thereby anonymising the results.