Mobile Subscribers Are Now Earning Free Top Ups by Taking Research Surveys

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Mobile Subscribers Are Now Earning Free Top Ups by Taking Research Surveys Image Credit: Billaway

Mobile phone subscribers are now earning additional talk/text/data when they respond to surveys that are distributed by market research companies. Launched in March 2017 as a new feature on the Blackberry Messenger app, users answer questions in surveys. For each completed survey, the user earns credits towards free talk/text/data. The user can then redeem earned credits, in real time, for additional airtime.

And mobile phone subscribers are loving it! According to a Google Analytics study commissioned by Billaway, over 39% of respondents said they would prefer a reduction in what they pay for mobile services when it came to rewards programs. Only direct cash beat a reduction in mobile phone payments in responses to this question.

Currently, participants in the program reduce what they pay out of their pocket for their mobile service by up to 80%. Engagement rates in the program are above benchmarks established by other rewards-type programs, with user engagement rate averaging 20%.

Mobile networks operators around the world have taken notice – offering subscribers a way to earn top ups, simply by answering survey questions, which has the effect of reducing churn. The credits that the subscriber earns can only be used as payment for additional service in that participating mobile network plan. Subscriber lifetime value increases as they now have a compelling reason to remain loyal. Mobile operators who allow subscribers to earn free talk/text/data achieve a clear point of differentiation in a highly competitive market.

To understand how all this works, one must understand the ecosystem.  On one end, you have the international market research industry - hundreds of firms issuing surveys and studies on behalf of their clients.  The clients range from consumer packaged goods companies, financial institutions, universities, political parties, to start-up companies.  These clients are looking to gather consumer data to better inform business decision making, and they are willing to pay the market research companies to conduct surveys and analyze the results on their behalf.

Getting consumers to respond to surveys has traditionally been a challenge for market research companies, made all the worse as consumers gravitated towards a mobile-phone based lifestyle. Billaway has solved this issue for them by offering subscribers the chance to earn free talk/text/data for their phones by answering easy mobile-friendly surveys on their phones.

As one subscriber says, “Whenever I have a few minutes of spare time, like waiting at the bus stop, I open the app, take a few surveys, and earn enough for my next top up.” The surveys usually ask a few qualifying questions – gender, age, income, postal code – and then proceed with questions such as “what is your main mode of transport” or “what brand of soda do you prefer.” Some surveys are about lifestyle, others about politics, but the majority are focused around understanding what motivates consumers to make certain purchase decisions.

These market research companies in turn, seek to find consumers willing to answer surveys questions.  Billaway has built and operationalized the platform that makes this possible.  And the best part for the mobile operators who partner with Billaway is that there is no impact on subscriber ARPU. In fact, the mobile network operator may tap into an incrementally new revenue stream as Billaway shares a percentage the revenue derived from the market research companies.

Moreover, since the entire program operates in, and is branded with, the participating mobile operator’s network, the subscribers goodwill and positive feelings to the mobile operator’s brand increases.  Also benefiting the mobile operator is the ability to seed their own surveys amongst the revenue-generating market research surveys. Mobile operators can now greatly expand their understanding of their user base when subscribers answer questions about mobile service, demographics, wants and needs.

Billaway has made adoption of this churn-reduction program simple for mobile operators through seamless integration and flexible options.  Billaway has spent years and invested a considerable amount of money building the platform, perfecting the user experience and establishing partnerships with market research companies across the globe. Mobile operators can plug into this platform quickly, and be up and running in a matter of weeks.

Earning additional talk/text/data is now benefiting mobile subscribers, and driving revenue for mobile network operators in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, Canada and the USA. Additional countries are going live in the coming weeks. 

Tom Haley is the CMO of Billaway. Billaway is a cloud-based marketing technology platform that seamlessly enables the conversion of global currencies, earned by consumers through responding to surveys directly into free talk/text/data. The company's turnkey integration increases customer retention for mobile network operators while providing valuable consumer insights for market research companies worldwide. The company is based in New York City and Paris, France.

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