Keeping Track of Surveys

After joining their first online survey company, many panelists decide to sign up with more as they find that completing surveys is fun and rewarding. Each survey company has their own system of rewards, from what they issue (points or cash) and what prizes or sweepstakes they offer.

For panelists who are members of a number of different survey companies, it is a good idea to keep track of all these details and more. Having all information available in one place and organized can help avoid confusion and frustration in the future.

What Kind of Information to Record

When signing up with a survey company, a panelist is usually asked to provide a username and password. This is a very important item to keep track of, as it allows panelists to log in to their survey account and access all the information they need for that particular survey company. For instance, how many points they have accumulated, what prizes they are eligible and the process they need to follow to redeem their rewards, as well as a record of which surveys they have already completed and any new surveys available to take.

For panelists who use more than one email address in their everyday lives, making a note of which email they use with which survey company is also important.

Other things to keep track of for each company a panelist is a member of include the average number of points a survey is worth, how many points are needed to cash out, what kind of payment options are available (cash, sweepstakes, prizes, etc) and also how long a typical redemption takes. It is helpful to note when points were redeemed so if there is any delay in receiving a reward there is a "paper trail" to follow.

Methods of Keeping Track

Some panelists use a simple notebook to keep track of the surveys they take. They may use tab dividers for each company and then note the date they took a survey, what it was worth and mark off when the points appeared in their account. Their username, password and any other pertinent information could be noted at the top of the first page.

Of course since most surveys are now conducted online, the preferred method is keeping track with common programs most users have on their personal computers. Panelists can make tables or charts with programs like Word or Excel from Microsoft, or Pages and Numbers in Mac. Headers for charts could include topics such as "Date Survey Completed" "Date Points Received" "Date Points Redeemed" and so on.

Other Tips

For panelists who participate in focus groups and discussion panels, any information from these surveys should also be noted. The more information someone keeps track of, the better…especially if a problem arises. Computer glitches and human errors happen, and having a record of specific dates and information can help resolve any problems a lot more quickly.

Taking screenshots and saving them in a special folder is a good option for those who prefer not to type up all that information. Having a screenshot showing that one's points have been redeemed and the reward is being processed is great proof should a problem arise.

One final note on security - if passwords and usernames are written in a notebook, be sure to take care that the information is protected just as securely as other personal information. If this information is stored on a computer, then backing up onto an external hard drive will ensure this information is safe and available if any problems arise on the panelist's computer, such as a crash or stolen laptop.

Related Links

Mobile Phone Surveys
Surveys for Doctors