2. Get Organized with Free Resources
Get Organized with Free Resources
There are many ways you can use free resources to help speed up your survey taking experience, which will allow you to focus your time on taking the surveys themselves. We focus on four resources, but there are many more available.
Resource # 1: Email Whitelists: Keep your Survey Emails out of the Trash
Unfortunately, sometimes survey email gets marked as spam, and sent to the trash or a spam folder without you ever seeing it. If this happens with your survey invitations, you will miss survey opportunities. To prevent this, you can use a whitelist, a list of email addresses that should never be marked as spam. When you create or add to a whitelist, you tell your email account that email from your survey panels is legitimate and wanted email. Creating a whitelist is different at every email provider, and may be called a “filter” or “safe sender list,” among other things.
Tip: Here are the names and email addresses for all six panels we will feature in our course. If you like, you can add them all to your whitelist now, so you don’t have to come back and do it again later.
|Survey Panel||Email Address|
|1. Opinion Outpostfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|6. Valued Opinionsemail@example.com|
As you start getting emails from your various survey panels, the amount of correspondence can quickly become overwhelming. Coming up with a good way to organize these emails will make your life much easier and taking surveys more enjoyable.
Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail all support adding folders and rules to automatically sort your email. Here are some basic ideas on things you can do:
- Create folders (or ‘Labels’, in Gmail) for each survey panel. After taking surveys for a while, you may find that you favor some survey panels over others. By keeping the email invitations in folders, you can instantly view all of your emails from a certain panel. This also helps with tracking all of the survey invitations and correspondence you receive from any given survey panel.
- Sort incoming messages into folders. Once you’ve created your folders for each panel, you can tell your email account to automatically filter certain email addresses to certain folders or labels (as opposed to sorting them manually each time you log in).
- To automatically sort messages in Gmail, click on an email you want to sort, and then select the ‘More Actions’ tab. Choose ‘Filter messages like these’ and follow the instructions on the screen, choosing what label to place on these emails. Once you’re done, all future emails from that email address will automatically go into the label you’ve created.
- To automatically sort messages in Yahoo, edit your whitelist filter. Go back to the filters you created and edit each one. In the section that says “Then deliver the email to the following folder,” be sure to select the folder that you created for that survey panel.
- To automatically sort messages in Hotmail, click on “Options” –> “More Options” and then select “Rules for sorting new messages.” Create a new rule for each folder, specifying what email address should be moved to each folder.
- Create a way to keep track of surveys you’ve completed. Depending on your email, you can use the flag or star function (the little flag or star next to each message in your folder) to indicate whether or not those surveys have been completed or you can mark messages as unread until you complete them. If you are using Gmail you can create a separate label for completed surveys in addition to their existing label. That way you can either look at all of the completed surveys in one folder, or see at glance which ones are completed in each individual panel label. You may find one method easier than others, so just come up with a system that works for you.
There’s nothing quite as annoying as having to re-enter your personal information over and over and over again on profiles and surveys. This takes away from the time you could actually be using to take surveys.
Fortunately, many browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox come with basic auto-complete functions. AutoComplete saves the information you type into certain forms for use later. When you begin typing in a form that has auto-complete data saved, a drop-down menu will appear, allowing you to select your previously typed information, like your address or phone number. This will let you zip through filling out forms with only a few keystrokes needed!
AutoComplete Tip: You can use the “Tab” key to advance to the next form field, begin typing, and then use the “?” and “?” arrow keys and “Enter” to select the auto-complete data that you want. This is quick, and eliminates moving your hand from the keyboard to the mouse and back again.
If you haven’t enabled the AutoComplete function in your browser, it’s worth the time to take a few minutes to turn it on. Here’s how to turn on AutoComplete for Internet Explorer 9. Mozilla Firefox enables AutoComplete by default, but more information about using it is here.
Resource # 4: Favorites or Bookmarks: Remember where you’re going!
As you gain survey panels, it can be easy to forget the website addresses. Add each website to your Favorites (if you use Internet Explorer) or Bookmarks (if you use Mozilla Firefox) so that you can easily open them and log in. You may also want to organize them into folders, such as the panels that only send invitations via email, and the ones you check most often. The best system is whatever makes sense to you and helps you stay organized.
Today’s Recommended Survey Panel: MySurveyLike Opinion Outpost, MySurvey is very popular with our members, and also has been in our top 10 list for quite some time. Our members like that it offers fun and enjoyable surveys, with reasonable rewards for the time spent, and low cashout amounts needed ($10 for PayPal and Amazon.com e-gift cards). A large selection of other awards is available via their rewards distributer: Perksplus.com.
MySurvey is open to all US residents aged 14 or older, is free to join, maintains high privacy standards, and will never spam your email address.
Get Started with MySurvey
- Join & Log InIf you are not already a member of MySurvey, you can join by going to the MySurvey Registration Page and filling out the registration form. When registering, remember to use your dedicated email address for surveys, as mentioned in our bonus tip on Day 1.Once you are a member, go to the main MySurvey page and log in. Be sure to bookmark the login page or add it to your favorites so that you can easily access it in the future.When you log in, you’ll see the “My Surveys” page. This page gives you a summary of your reward balance, a quick poll, the list of currently available surveys, and offers links to everything else you’ll want to do here.Tip: If you do not like the default green-and-orange color theme, you can change it by going to “My Profile”->“My Theme” and then selecting one of the other color themes available.
- Add MySurvey to your whitelistMySurvey will notify you of some new surveys via email. To be sure you don’t miss out on these surveys, add the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” to your whitelist in your email, as we discussed above in today’s tip.
- Profiles: Lifestyle SurveysAs we discussed on Day 1, profile surveys are important! However, MySurvey does their profiles a little differently. Instead of having a large number of profile surveys to take at the beginning, they will send out shorter “Lifestyle Surveys” periodically to get more information about you. You will not be able to update your information until you get one of these Lifestyle Surveys, so if you do have a major change in your life, like a new house or baby, you won’t be able to update your information immediately.Filling the Lifestyle Surveys will sometimes give you a few points, but even if they don’t reward you, filling them out is always important, as they determine what other (paying) surveys you will be offered. If you have any Lifestyle Surveys available, you will be able to see them on the “My Surveys” page.
- Check for SurveysMySurvey sends notifications via email to let you know that there are surveys available on your page. Instead of linking directly to a survey, these emails direct you to log in to MySurvey.com, where you will be sent to the “My Surveys” page and shown the available surveys. See the screenshot of the mysurveys page in section I for an example.Tip: With MySurvey, it is important to log in from time to time to check for additional surveys that you were not notified about via email.
- Take SurveysTo take a survey, click “Go” next to the survey you want to take. You’ll see a page similar to the one below:As you can see, it states the length of the survey and the minimum and maximum reward points available, depending on whether or not you qualify for the survey. In this example, even if you did not qualify for the survey, you would earn 5 points. That is the case for most of their surveys.Like most other survey panels, MySurvey often redirects you to take a survey at another survey site, then returns you to MySurvey to be rewarded.
- Check Survey HistoryIf you want to verify that you were credited for a particular survey, or are just curious to see how many surveys you’ve taken, you can see a list of the surveys you have been rewarded for by clicking on “My Rewards” at the top of the page. You’ll then be able to see a list of the points earned this calendar month, and can choose to view surveys from the previous twelve month period as well.Note: You will only be able to see surveys that you received points for. Surveys and disqualifications with sweepstakes entries only will not show up on this page.
- Redeem RewardsTo redeem your rewards, click “My Rewards” at the top of the page, then click “Redeem.” This will open a storefront, where you can choose your reward from those available. You select the reward, add it to your cart, and check out.Note: You will only be able to actually check out if you have enough points in your account to cover your purchase.Rewards vary, but you do need at least 1,000 points to redeem. For most items, 1,100 points will equal $10.00. Current rewards include Amazon.com gift certificates, cash deposited into your PayPal account, and other gift certificates to various retailers.
One Last Thing… Be PatientSometimes survey panels take a while to start sending you surveys. It can take what seems like forever to get your data into the system. Keep checking occasionally for surveys, but be sure to give each panel a few months trial (we recommend six months) to give it a chance to get up to speed and see how it will work for you.
Now that you’ve learned more about MySurvey, be sure to participate!
Hopefully you enjoyed today’s lesson. Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next lesson on Understanding Survey Disqualifications. If you’d rather read ahead, you can look at it now by clicking here.
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