The only problem with rewarding consumers for taking online surveys is that it gives them the incentive to cheat. The more surveys you fill out, the more points you get. So people get creative: They randomly answer survey questions as quickly as possible, establish multiple e-mail addresses to answer the same survey five or six times, or lie about their demographic (a white male says he's a black female, for example) to participate in surveys for which they otherwise wouldn't qualify [source: Frost & Sullivan].
MySurvey is actually an adaptation of a program that was started back in 1946. It began as the National Family Opinion organization that used to send out surveys through the mail. In 2001, they joined the digital age, and now they are one of the best survey sites around. According to the website, they have issued out more than $15,000,000 rewards to members.
This is where it can all go downhill quickly. In the pressure to make as many pennies out of a nickel, a lot of research corporations will not just sell your answers but the data associated with it. Details that you provide when taking paid surveys such as your name, address, age range can all be attached together quickly to fulfill a lot of larger companies' requests for information (RFI).
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Velasquez says our information could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it could be stolen, which is a risk with any website that stores personal data. Most of the information we gave away seemed harmless — our shopping habits and travel plans, for example. But information like your birthdate could be used with other stolen data to take your identity. So keep that in mind as you’re answering questions.
How It Works: Swagbucks is a favorite of mine, as well as a favorite of many readers here. Not only do they offer a wide range of surveys that pay cash, but you can also earn points for the everyday things you do online like searching, shopping, and watching videos. In total, Swagbucks has paid out over $187 million in rewards. Even if you’re not interested in doing surveys, it’s still easy on the platform to earn decent money with what you’re already doing online today.
Send Earnings may have to be satisfied with the twentieth and final spot in our table, but that’s still an achievement to be proud of in such a competitive market. There’s a good selection of surveys to choose from, which I always welcome, and you can grab your money and run once you hit the thirty dollar threshold. There are lots of other money earning options as well, but watch out for the ‘play games’ pitfall as it could end up costing you more than you actually earn.
Referral program: Referral programs are a common aspect of thousands of websites as they are a great way to get new registered members. As you may already know, some of the biggest e-commerce giants as well as other companies offer rewards and bonuses to users for referring their website to their friends and family. All you have to do is subscribe to their referral program and share a link to your friends.
Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.