“Profilers” are a fancy word for short questionnaires (or, “profiles”) that members of survey panels can take to help the survey panel they are a member of, send them more relevant surveys.
Usually there are a half dozen of these available for completion. Profilers are typically available for the following topics: health, household, finance, automotive, beauty, travel, hobbies and interests, etc.
Where to find survey profilers
- Log into your survey panel account. If you’re new to online surveys, take a look at our top ranked survey panels to find survey panels available to join in your country.
- Look for a link that says something like the following: “profilers”, “profile”, “questionnaires”, or “portraits”.
- Complete the questionnaires you’re interested in. Profilers tend to be very short in nature, not usually exceeding 5 minutes in length, and very rarely over 15 minutes.
Why fill out profilers
The intention of profilers is to better match you with appropriate online surveys. When a market research company is hired to conduct a study, they often seek a very specific sub set of the population. When profilers are completed, it makes it easier for the research company to contact those who are eligible to complete the study.
For example, let’s use the example where a research company is hired to complete a study on males who smoke at least 5x weekly. Here is how this particular demographic would be found:
- Sex: When a new member registers with a survey site, they are always asked which sex they are. The market research company then, already has this information in their database of panelists. Note many survey companies now include options beyond male and female, including ‘non-binary’.
- Smoker/Non-smoker: Survey panels do not typically ask for this information from new members. This is the type of information that would be collected via a profiler.
- Frequency of smoking: A profiler may be designed so that if a person were to answer “yes” to being a smoker, the next question may ask how often the person smokes.
From here it is easy to see the usefulness of profilers. If members do not complete the profilers available in their account, or if profilers aren’t available, a survey panel would have to contact (typically via e-mail) more panelists than necessary, knowing full well that most of them would not qualify to complete the study. Not only does this waste time for the survey panel, but as a member it also be frustrating receiving surveys that you are quickly disqualified from.
Get matched with relevant surveys first
As a by-product of the process above, when a survey taker completes profilers and a survey becomes available that matches them to the survey, based on the information they’ve provided, they will typically be contacted first to complete the survey. Survey takers who take this extra step then, get contacted before other members who have not completed their profilers.
Jump start your account balance
Although some panels don’t offer any incentives for completing profilers, many do. The great thing about completing these is that not only will you earn a bit of extra cash or points filling these out, but you cannot get disqualified during completion. As well, any rewards for completing profilers are usually awarded instantaneously, versus when completing regular surveys, which usually show up in your account a few days (or even weeks!) after completing them.
When and why profilers can be ignored…
Sometimes it can be frustrating when you’ve completed all of the profilers available in your account, yet you’re still being sent surveys that are irrelevant and which you are instantly disqualified for. Here are a few reasons for why this happens:
It’s all in the wording!
A question like, “how many people live in your household?” may appear similar, but is definitely different from something like, “how many adults live in your household?”. These seemingly subtle differences can account for why you’ve received a survey that seems to ask you a very similar question to what you’ve answered in a profiler.
In cases like these, you may receive the survey and still be disqualified after answering the extra screening question, because the your demographic profile was close, but not quite an exact match for who the study was aimed at.
Extra responses are needed
Not everyone keeps their profilers up to date, so if a survey company is in great need of collecting some final responses for a survey, members who have not updated their profilers recently may still be e-mailed an irrelevant survey.
Not enough profilers completed by members
If only a few members of a panel have completed the available profilers, the data collected might not be enough to segment the panel into groups who qualify for a particular study. This is not to say that profilers are irrelevant – it just means that there can be times that panel still chooses to contact a large segment of their respondents, knowing full well that many of them will quickly be disqualified.
Whoops! Someone made a mistake
Human error happens, and at the click of a button, a market researcher may inadvertently e-mail the wrong members of their panel for an upcoming survey. This type of mistake is rare, but know that it can happen.
Although not a requirement, completing profilers you may have available in your accounts with survey panels, are a great way to maximize your chances for receiving relevant surveys. Not only can this boost your earnings, but it also sets you up for receiving relevant online surveys first.
Every person is unique, so unless a survey panel asked each member hundreds, if not thousands of questions, even profilers won’t paint an exact portrait of a survey taker. So mind the occasional redundancy when still receiving surveys you don’t qualify for, but know that by completing profilers, the benefits will overall make your survey taking less frustrating so that you can focus more on competing actual surveys.