Surveys Via Postal Mail & Survey Participation

Do you ever get surveys in the mail? Some of the survey sites I participate in not only send surveys via email but also via postal mail. They usually compensate you with an entry to a sweepstakes, one of them sends me coupons that are relevant with my answers to that survey. So if I filled out a survey that was talking about what cough medicine I use, after I submit that survey I will receive coupons for perhaps Tylenol or NyQuil. They usually arrive within 4-6 weeks, and are high value coupons most of the time.

I usually receive 1-3 postal surveys per month, but some months I may not get any at all. I don't usually mind filling out these surveys unless they are extremely long and tedious. In that case I usually just toss them in my recycling bin. You maybe thinking that doing this might jeopardize my participation on the panel, but in actuality most survey companies state in the FAQ/help section of their website that participation in their surveys is voluntary.

Here are a few examples from a few survey sites:
Opinion Outpost:

What if I don't want to take a particular survey?
We hope you will want to participate in all survey invitations, but there is no pressure to complete a survey. We may send reminder e-mails in case you have simply forgotten to take a survey. It is up to you if you don't want to take a particular survey; hopefully you will be able to respond to the next invitation.

Socratic Forum:

How frequently do I have to participate?

It is completely up to you! There is no minimum number of times you must participate in our surveys, and you can cancel your membership at any time.

Opinion Square

Do I have to take all the surveys you send me?

No. Every survey is absolutely voluntary. If you don't have time or aren't interested, simply delete the e-mail. But remember, the more surveys you take, the more rewards you can earn.

With that being said, there are some survey panels that want your opinion frequently and if you are inactive for too long, usually between 3-6 months, they may mark you as inactive and remove your account. This will vary from survey site to survey site so you will want to check with each one you are a member of if you have a tendency to miss surveys for an extended amount of time.

Below is an example:

How often will I be invited to take a survey?

We usually contact you no more than 2-3 times per month. You are under no obligation to participate in any survey; however please note, if after several attempts you do not participate in any surveys, we may consider you an inactive member and inactivate your membership in the online community.

Pinecone Research:

Do you ever remove members for missing surveys?

We routinely monitor member participation. Members that are identified as "at risk for removal " are notified of this via e-mail. Those who are unable to maintain acceptable participation levels thereafter are removed from the panel.

This doesn't mean that you are a bad survey taker, it may just mean that you are too busy in your everyday life to participate as much as you like. It has happened to me before, I was taking classes and working full-time and just couldn't find time to take every survey that came into my inbox. I did try to take as many as I found time too but consequently I was removed from a panel. I didn't take very many of their surveys and they flagged for being inactive. I never remember reading a notification of my removal, but then again my inbox was pushing over 1000 emails. I figure when I do have enough time to participate more frequently I will register again. It can happen to the best of us!