Although most surveys are online, and many more are continuing the trend of moving on to mobile platforms, there still exists a handful of survey panels who will send you physical surveys by mail. Although seemingly ‘old-school’, if you like to occasionally step away from the digital world and pick up a pen to write your thoughts down, postal mail surveys might be of interest to you.
Surprising advantages of postal mail surveys
Believe it or not, physical surveys sent in the mail have some upsides that you won’t find with regular online survey options. Some benefits include:
- No need for an internet connection or email address in order to participate
- Less pressure to fill out a survey in one session because you can pick up and put down the paper copy at your leisure
- Taking a survey at your pace can give you the opportunity to give more thoughtful and nuanced answers
- No worries about getting “screened out” halfway through a session; either you’ll fully qualify to take the survey, or it won’t be mailed out to you in the first place
- No need to watch your inbox for notifications and rushing to panel sites to grab a spot before a survey becomes oversubscribed
How postal surveys work
Postal surveys are typically offered in one of two formats: either you will be mailed a paper survey which you will then fill out and mail back, or you will be asked to print out a survey from a website (via an email notification), in order for the research company to gather the data they need for their clients. The first option is much more typical, as not everyone has easy access to a printer.
In terms of payment, you might be compensated in the form of cash which will actually be included with the survey itself (see Consumer Opinion Institute, below), or you may receive payment from an online source.
Interested in jumping off of digital panels? Here are a few panels who use snail mail to get your opinions:
Get paid right away with Consumer Opinion Institute
Although they also offer online survey options, Consumer Opinion Institute mails surveys via US mail to participants. As a participant, you can expect to receive 1-2 surveys via email and 1 survey via mail per month. In both cases, you can expect to only spend 10-20 minutes per survey, so it doesn’t take a lot of time for you to start earning rewards. The bonus is that mailed surveys themselves will include a $1 – $5 cash payment contained in the envelope, so there’s no wait between receiving the survey and receiving your cash payment!
Run a business? Get paid to share your junk mail
With the Business Intelligence Panel, participating businesses are literally rewarded with cash ($50/month!) to share their junk mail. Business Intelligence Panel simply asks business owners to mail them all of their weekly junk mail, which they will sort through in order to gather an understanding of who advertises to businesses and how. Although there are also no surveys to fill out, it’s an almost completely passive way to earn a few extra bucks, and a great way to put your junk mail to use instead of tossing it into your recycling bin.
The best part is they pay for envelopes and postage too, so all you have to do is share the junk mail in the postage paid packages provided. If you work for a company, and would still like to participate, ask management for permission to join. This is a great option for secretaries or receptionists to make a little cash on the side while taking care of their daily duties of collecting and sorting mail.
To sum it up and find more
If you still prefer to receive hard copies of surveys, or just like the idea of having the choice of receiving surveys in the mail, even in 2020, it’s still an option! Either way, whether you prefer paper or online, sharing your insights as a consumer or business owner via surveys helps shape the products and services offered, no matter what format you answer questions in.