Your customers are giving you their time and knowledge to help you improve your product or service, and they deserve something in return.
That's why incentivizing participation is great way to say thanks—and also a great way to get them to participate in the first place.
A great rule of thumb to start with is: if you're talking to the person live (i.e. through a platform like Zoom or Google Meets), you should offer more as an incentive than an unmoderated session.
And, it's not necessary to offer cash or gift cards, either. Some companies opt to offer product gifts like a discount code or a physical gift, like a swag box.
Ultimately, the incentive type and amount is up to you depending on the study type, level of complexity, and budget.
Generally, we recommend $40 an hour for unmoderated prototype tests. For remote moderated interviews, a good rule is $80 per hour for consumers, $100 per hour for professionals.
Keep in mind that even for a shorter session, a $20 minimum is ideal to make it worth the participant’s time.