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Getting Started with Annika's on Surveys & Focus Groups

You may be asking, "What do I do first to do Surveys or Focus Groups?" This page will help.

Doing Surveys you need to be patient, as they seem to always repeat the same questions over, and over again. You will also need to be very observant of the email invites, as well as the Survey. The more Survey sites you belong to, the more chances you will have at getting the same Survey from another company. If you disqualified (DQ) from a Survey the first time, you will have a chance to make it through a second time. The email invites often have select words about what the Survey is about, for example, "stocks" so if you don't invest or never plan to, you will be disqualified from the Survey.  Please note, if you aren't going to read, you aren't going to learn nor be accepted. One of the most important things when it comes to market research is, you have to follow directions!

Here's how Surveys work: 1. You sign up on the Survey website and fill in your profiles. Usually the more data you enter the better, as this will help companies figure out which offers your demographics best fit. Just be prepared every Survey you take asks the same boring repeated questions. Sex, age, race. It's a general template they all stick to and should move away from as our profiles already state it. 2. Check your email inbox and junk/spam mail folders DAILY. 3. The Survey email invite should state the length of time the Survey will take as well as the payment for your time. 4. After you complete the Survey or are told you disqualified you can go on to the next Survey email. 5. If you are paid in points, you must log into the Survey website and request payment when you have reached the minimum level to cash out.

Some of this may be repeats for those of you who read the first page, but in case someone hasn't I figured all the information is better than part of it.

One of the most helpful things is, if you are using auto-fill in forms, make sure all the data is correct! Nothing like filling in the form with a typo! You can miss out on a lot of things.

You will need an email account besides your main. You can get a free email account at such places as,, and to name a few. It's important that you don't mix your personal emails with your Survey or Paid To Read Emails.

It's important before you sign up for anything other than an email address if you are using something that prevents spam that the person sending email has to click.. remove it. Those are called "Auto Responders". You can not sign up for anything if you have an auto-responder set up on your email account. Even if it's a vacation responder.

Also, it's very important if you are going to allow your kids to do market research, it is very important for you, as the parent to monitor your kids/teens Survey taking activities, making sure only let them sign up with legitimate Survey panels that are safe for kids.

I'd also like to suggest, when picking a "username" or "nickname" for any company you sign up for, please do not use your full email address. The reason I say this is sometimes companies offer referral links. These are links you'd be sharing publically on say your Facebook, or Twitter account. Posting your real full email address is never a good idea. Not just for privacy reasons but for spam issues.

You will also need a program in which you can get paid. Surveys are mostly paid in a check, Amazon Gift Cards or PayPal.  Please note, I said mostly. There are other payment processors as well which are listed on the Survey Tools page.

Survey tools are a good place to check out when getting started with Surveys. On that page, you can find links to programs that you may need from time to time.

Survey questions and answers page is created to help you sort some things you may be wondering.

Survey tips will help guide you through what profiles need to be filled in and other things you may have no clue about.

Survey Database This is a completely sortable listing. You can pick payment type, location and even method of either Surveys, Focus Groups or Product Testing. This means you can pick Surveys that pay by PayPal, Surveys that pay by Amazon, Surveys that pay by gift card, etc.

After going over that page it's a good idea to go over the first page of the over 3000 Surveys You may want to look over the country Surveys section you belong to as well.

Be sure to look over the Survey Blacklist, full of sites to stay away from for one reason or another.

If you have teens, kids, children, babies, tots, toddlers, newborns, etc in the house you will want to look over the Youth Survey Panels.

Some terms you will need to learn are: Profiles - profiles are the extra added information you provide after the signup process. It is not the main Survey you filled in to join the Survey company. Screeners - Screeners are Surveys that screen you to see if you fit other Surveys. All Survey companies do this at one point or another. Sometimes it's done for Product Testing reasons or higher-paying Surveys.

The only way to learn is to sign up, you can read all you want and need, but you can't understand till you take the leap and try. Though we have shared this much you need to test things out yourself.

I also feel its important for you to read the Protection page. You should also be aware of your rights as a panelist: The Market Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) regulates the industry in Canada

When visiting our links, sometimes website locations change. If you come across a link and it doesn't load, (dead link) either remove the www or add a www at the start as part of the web address in the URL bar. Also, because of Google forcing people to upgrade to a secure web address, you may have to add an S to the address https of the page doesn't load. If it still doesn't load, please report that to us using our contact page. So we can update with the correct link. Thank you.

WARNING!!!!!!!!!!! If you sign up with market research companies that have you download a program to your computer chances are this app has a PROXY. Market research websites DO NOT permit these! You can be banned from market research panels for doing this. Many members have reported this happening to them. Several companies that ask their members to do this are: Nielsen, Survey Savvy, Permission Research, and Opinion Square. Others ask for this access and offer large sums for X amount of months. It's not worth the risk. Also, if you are using a cellphone and they have you install a VPN, those too are against many company's Terms of Service.

Market research companies never sell products or services, you will not be asked to buy anything, and they won't ever ask for your credit card or bank account details.

Most Focus Group websites have a rule, that rule is you can't take part in market research within six months. Meaning if you did a Focus Group three months ago about cookies, you can't take another about cookies for another six months.

Due to the nature of market research surveying, you will not be able/eligible to complete ALL Surveys or Focus Groups that you are invited to respond to, as it is standard practice that participation is based on several factors, including (but not limited to) age, gender, location, household type, speed of responding to the invitation, purchase behaviors, attitudes, etc. Please persevere if you occasionally do not screen through.

Make sure you remember your email address and password. Without knowing your email address and password you can't sign up for anything.

Payment listing information:

Cash = This could be any number of things, PayPal, actual cash, Amazon Gift Cards, Visa Gift Cards or Check. For example, you earn in cash on their site, $15.90 but could end up being offered one of the above forms of payments. Anything that converts into something spendable.

Amazon Gift Cards/ Amazon Gift Certificates = Could be emailed, or through the regular mail.

Points Converted = This means you earn points, 100 points = $1 for example. Each Survey panel is different. Points could be converted into Amazon, PayPal, Gift cards, or items.

Check / Cheque = Just as it states, paper writing of payment.

Sweepstakes = Drawing, which may lead to check, PayPal, Cash, Amazon. All depends.

Other = Could be products, coupons, freebies, samples, gifts, prizes, wire transfer, direct deposit.

We list them like this to make it easier for you to understand. Sometimes it's hard to tell because companies change their payments without notice, and often without listing it on their website. All Panels will tell you in the FAQ section what the payment options and rules are. Panels can also change hands without any kind of notice and age limits may change as well.

Final Thoughts: Focus Groups pay VERY well, like upward to $600 and even more. This is FANTASTIC money, but I admit rarely. Surveys can take a lot of time and generally pay very little. Surveys can lead to Product Testing AND Focus Groups. Sometimes you can tell that it's going to happen that way. Sometimes not. If you decide to do Surveys, Focus Groups and Product Testing you need to pay close attention to what you are doing. More and more companies are adding trick questions to boot you from the questionnaires. You may end up banned from the company and not paid at all for your time.

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