Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Started: Paid Online Survey Basics

Survey companies notify you by email when they have surveys for you to take. So, your first step is to decide whether you want these invitations to arrive in your main email account, or if you want to open another specifically for surveys.

When you sign up for a company, fill in any profile information or take any profile surveys as soon as possible. These help determine what surveys you will be offered. Having them filled out as accurately and completely as possible will help prevent being offered surveys you won't qualify to finish.

You will be sent a survey invitation whenever they have one that matches your demographic.  What's a demographic? With regard to survey companies, it usually means your age, household composition (for example, do you have children of a certain age), sometimes where you live, or whether you have pets, play video games, go to the movies, or watch television during primetime. All kinds of things of this nature are taken into consideration in who they focus on in market research.

Surveys will typically take you anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour to complete. You should be notified in advance not only of how long you can expect it to take, but also how you'll be compensated.

Sometimes these are screeners that will lead to a product test, where you will be sent a product to try, or two to compare, then complete another survey with your feedback. Usually you get additional compensation for completing the test and feedback survey. Items can be anything from electronics and computer equipment to food and household items. All sorts of things.

Some surveys will only be open a limited number of days, and this will usually be noted in the emailed invitation. Others will only take a certain number of respondents, so you'll want to get to those as soon as you can. The ones that take only a set number of respondents, and pay well, will fill up quickly.

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