Anyone familiar with online surveys understands how frustrating it can be to always be disqualified for those top-dollar surveys. Disqualified for any reason or any reward amount just plain sucks because you’ve already invested time and effort. And worse, they never tell you why you didn’t make the cut.
Understanding the reasoning behind certain questions and the impact they have on your acceptance can help you make the most money possible with online surveys. Knowing the purpose of the questions, from the researchers point-of-view, can you help you readjust your reasoning so that your responses are mutually beneficial to you both. Ultimately, you’ll get higher-paying survey invitations, be qualified more often, and get to successfully complete those top-dollar surveys. So the next time you’re trying out for a survey, keep in mind these little secrets the market researchers don’t want you to know..
What you need to know to earn the most money from online surveys..
There are some survey questions that you will see a lot throughout the surveys you attempt. and what they really mean to the surveyor.. Almost every survey asks these questions, or something very similar..
“Sometimes we like to talk to people with different types of occupations. Do you or anyone in your household work for..”
This is a trick question.. Almost always, the options following this question consists of absolute no-nos, whereas if you click on any of them, you will be automatically disqualified. Among these, you will usually find occupations such as “market researcher” or “advertising company”.
If any of the options listed apply to you, the researcher considers you to be a bias risk. They don’t want advertisers or other researchers taking their surveys for the wrong reasons, such as learning the business, purposely altering the course of their research, or otherwise just having an unfair advantage to the questioning.
Other options on this list usually pertain to the type of survey you’re about to take. For example, if it is a dog food survey, they want to make sure that you don’t work for a pet-food store, Vet’s office, or any other place having anything to do with dog food. People in these occupations could possibly have overly-strong opinions and give biased answers, making the survey counterproductive and overall unhelpful.
“Are you the primary shopper in the household?”
If you have ever shopped for the subject being questioned (groceries, diapers, new car tires) then your answer should be yes, yes, always, yes. They are spending a bunch of money conducting research to find out what is best for their business. They would consider it a waste of their time and money to interview someone who doesn’t even do the shopping in their product category.
However, I will say that you should definitely have first hand knowledge of the shopping in question. It is not easy getting through a 20 minute survey about cat litter if you’ve never had a cat, or about motor oil if you’ve never shopped for motor oil. Having to lie extends the time of the survey, and makes it not worth your while anyway.
“Which of these products (or brands) would you NEVER consider purchasing?”
This is a trick question. It’s likely that you could have strong feelings against some of the brands on the list following this question, or have at least tried them in the past and didn’t like them. You’ll be tempted to be frank and say something like, “I would absolutely never go back to Comcast in a million years after my last experience with them..” And then you’d click on Comcast as a service that you refuse to try.
Well keep in mind that they don’t take into consideration your reasons why you would never consider Comcast, they only think that now you are a risk of being narrow-minded and prudish. Or worse yet, Comcast could be the actual sponsor of the survey. So, when presented with this question, dig down deep into the part of you that is open to trying out everything once, or giving burned bridges a second chance (hypothetically, of course).
The next time you purchase a car, will it be NEW or USED?”
Keep in mind that the people dishing out these surveys are companies involved in making new products for consumer purchase. They don’t want to know what you’re looking for in a USED car. They want to know what you want in your NEW-car, or how much you’re willing to pay for a new car, or your opinion about a new car about to come out on the market.. This applies to most types of surveys asking you if you prefer new or used. Even if you don’t usually splurge on new stuff every time (when you can get a slightly used version from Ebay for half the price), tap into that part of you that wants all NEW stuff all the time–nothing used. Use that persona to answer the rest of your survey questions. I would love to buy a new car in six months, and would love to hypothetically design it here in this survey, so technically, this is not lying..
“Who is your current cell phone carrier?”
More often than not, they want to talk about the big players–Sprint, TMobile, Verizon.. And when this is the case, they will likely boot you for answering with a pay-as-you-go plan, like Tracfone or Net10. So if you’re a Tracfone user but you’re very familiar with your sister’s Sprint phone, answer for her for the rest of the survey questions. They’ll still be getting honest answers from an almost Sprint user.
TIPS for Earning the Most with Online Surveys..
Fill out and update your profiles..
When you find a good survey site that you like, take the extra time to fill out their profiles or questionaires that seek to get more information about you. I used to never answer those non-paying household questions for Pinecone Research, and I’d get one measly survey offered to me each week. After I started participating in them (they’re quick), I immediately started receiving four and five paid survey invitations a week, which is a lot for this site. And Pinecone Research is one of my top favorites–they pay well, and they pay fast.
Another site who actively seeks out updated information from its users is Springboard America. They send you monthly invitations to update your profiles which usually have new questions added pertaining to their most current surveys.
Even if they don’t email you reminders, all survey sites have you profiled from the information you give them when you first sign up. These profile questions help them find out what else you’d be perfect for, so answer those questions when presented to you. It’s important to keep them always updated with the most “life-experience” past and overall outlook that could rightfully describe you. This helps more than you might think..
Keep on top of your email and respond quickly for best chance of qualifying..
Respond quickly to survey offerings, or at least to the highest-paying ones. Surveyors don’t tell you why you’ve disqualified, but it is usually because you don’t fit their desired demographics, or they have already reached the desired number of people in your demographic’s group.
Here’s how it works: Each survey is looking for specific groups of people to interview, and it’s likely that they have a specific number of people in each of these groups in mind. Say for example that the researcher requires 100 Hispanic women, 100 African-American women, and 100 Caucasian women. A Hispanic woman waits 10 hours before replying to the invitation and is disqualified because 100 Hispanic women have already qualified and successfully completed the survey. She’s missed her chance. This hurts when you miss out on $5-dollar-surveys because you took too long to respond. That was easy money..
Don’t HATE on products and brands..
Research surveyors almost always have a BRAND in mind, for a product or service. But a lot of the time, you won’t know which brand is representing the survey you’re taking. They want your honest opinions about many brands, so they’ll line them up side by side and not tell you who you’re actually talking to. My suggestion is to be considerate of all brand names you encounter in a survey. If you have anything positive to say or think about a brand you hate, keep that in mind as you’re answering your questions.
Surveys designed specifically for small-business owners and IT techs pay the most..
When I finally updated my profiles to reflect my new business, an entirely different set of survey offerings started coming in. There were many, many $4 and $5 surveys offered to me daily. It was a nice change. On the other hand, I am not an IT Tech and couldn’t speak intelligently on the subject if tried.
There are two reasons that these surveys offer higher rewards:
- The target market is so specific
- They are usually busier than the average survey-taker, and likely make more money in their job.
Therefore, researchers feel that the incentive needs to be higher to attract these types of people in. And it’s not limited to the business owners and IT techs, it applies to any professional they want to reach, like travel agent.. But Business owners and IT Techs are the two you’ll come across most frequently.
One more thought here.. For surveys directed at business owners, often they’ll ask if your business is “a home-based business” or a business where you work “outside of your home”. The reason for this is to try to weed out the really small timers who may be selling stuff on ebay a few times a month. A question as specific is this is most likely searching out business owners who work at a separate location, and managing an actual business with employees.
Market researchers conducting surveys want answers from people who are RELEVANT to their research..
They want people with experience in the topic they are researching..
- If they’re conducting research for marketing a dog food product, then they want to talk to people who actually have a dog.
- A researcher looking for information about extremely technical stuff wants to talk to an IT tech.
- Health care surveys want to reach people with past or current experiences with illness and/or medication.
- A survey for productivity software is likely designed for small business owners or management, as they may be their target market.