Everybody like winning a prize; be it something small like a t-shirt, or something substantial like a large sum of cash – it feels good to win.
Many online survey panels offer their members various opportunities to win prizes. Some prizes are more attractive than others, but then again, some are easier to win.
Difference between contests and sweepstakes
A contest is essentially a competition where winners are selected by a judge using a set of criteria. Photo contests (which photo is best?), design contests, guessing the number of items in a jar (the winner will have a close/right answer), are all examples of this.
A sweepstakes is a random drawing based on chance. There is no skill involved, and every entry has the same chance of winning, and sometimes the same person can have multiple entries. Lotteries are examples of sweepstakes.
Types of contests and sweepstakes
Survey panels offer their own unique contests and sweepstakes which can offer both active and passive ways to enter, along with various prize options.
Note: the survey panels listed below DO publish easy-to-find winners lists
Participation and profiling surveys
If you complete or attempt to complete surveys for a panel, you might earn entries towards a survey participation prize draw. You will typically be entered automatically into these types of draws. That is, if a panel offers such drawings, you don’t typically have to do anything extra outside of taking/attempting to take surveys as usual.
Profile survey prizes require a more active entry in that you must complete your profiling information in the ‘Profile’ section of the survey website. There are fewer users who will go to the effort of filling in this data, so your chances of winning these draws is higher when compared to receiving automatic entries for survey participation sweepstakes.
Social media contests and sweeps
Many survey panels have a strong presence on social media, and keep their followers engaged by offering fun contests and sweeps. This can vary from things like photo caption contests, to answering riddles and trivia, or to even just random drawings. Selected winners are typically matched to their survey panel account where they are credited with their prize, be it points, cash, etc.
These fun contests are held within a survey community and only members of said community can access them. Sometimes these are advertised on social media, but entering the contest itself is done through the survey community’s website. Examples of this include referral contests (members who refer the most new members to the survey site receive a prize), video contests, and design contests.
Depending on how they are advertised and what’s required to enter, these contests can carry a decent chance of winning, as winners are limited to community members who are actively entering the contest in order to get a chance to win.
Join to win
Related to the above are Join to Win sweepstakes; people who first join a community are automatically entered to win a prize. Entries are limited to those who are new to the community, and these draws are typically held monthly or quarterly.
- Don’t actively enter sweepstakes where winners lists are not published regularly on either the panel’s website, on social media, in newsletters, etc.
- If you’re Canadian, you might have to answer a skill-testing question to claim your prize. As well, Quebec residents are usually excluded from most sweepstakes due to Quebec lottery laws.
- It might sound obvious, but you must be a member of a survey panel in order to win a sweepstakes that they’re hosting; answering questions on social media will not typically be enough to qualify you to win.
- To maximize your chances of winning a draw, look for contests and sweepstakes that don’t appear to have many entries. Sometimes you can get a sense of popularity by the number of social media followers the survey site has across platforms, and how many people have ‘liked’, retweeted, or replied to a contest posting.
Want a full list of the online survey panels who offer contests and sweepstakes?