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Gamification is the process of putting game mechanics into, well, practically anything. How then do you gamily a survey? For some - when they heard the word gamify they think that these are tricks to make your completion rates higher. it is actually much more straight forward. The heart of gamification is to make your survey or process more fun for the end user. Or to put it another way - provide them value to complete your survey. How do you gamily a survey? You make it more fun for the user so that they want to complete it. Here are some very basic gamification techniques to help make it more fun.
Offer a reward of some sort to your users who complete the survey. Rewards are always a good way to drive incentive. Be careful not to make the reward too big - otherwise users will do whatever you ask and not pay enough attention to the quality of their submission. Offer just enough compensation to make it worth their time.
Bragging to other users is a great way for users to show off their achievements. This also adds a viral technique to your survey that engages other users. Make sure that the "brag" matches the context and feel of your site and survey. If it does not - then it will feel offensive and harsh.
Gates are a helpful tactic to ensure completion of a certain action - but they also cause drop off. You can put a gate in place by explaining that completion of the survey is necessary to unlock so other portion of the site. Like all features you need quality metrics in place to ensure that the drop off caused by the gate is tolerable to justify to acquired data.
Users are more compelled to participate in a survey when they know that their friends have also done so. Be careful not to cross any privacy barriers or lines of trust that you have created. However if presented in a fashion of needing your opinion as well - social pressure can be a very effective way to gamify a survey and convey the importance of the data to your users.
Although this one might not directly feel like a survey gamification technique - it is rather critical. If your survey is too long - they you will have user fatigue and drop off throughout your survey. Your efforts to introduce a reward, implement social pressure, etc... will all be wasted if your survey is too lengthy. Keep your survey short and to the the point. Gamification of a survey is not a bad thing - or a publicity stunt. Rather it is a process of making your survey more enjoyable for your end users.