What Is Survey Panel and How Does It Work?

Posted by Melissa Lim
What Is Survey Panel and How Does It Work?

Making money from online paid surveys has always been one of the more flexible ways all of us can earn from other than the usual 9-5 daily job. While most of us focus on finding out the best survey sites or apps that enable speedily reward redemption, knowing how an online survey panel works is beneficial for survey takers so that they can identify reliable market research companies. This helps to maximize your earnings gained via online paid surveys.

What Are Survey Panels And Its Common Terms?

A survey panel is a group of pre-screened respondents who are willing to participate in surveys or customer feedback sessions which are also known as a research panel or community. Some of the common terms used in the survey-taking processes are “online survey panels”, “market research company”, “survey respondent” and “panellist”.

  • Online survey panels/community - An online community consists of pre-screened respondents who have expressed willingness to participate in surveys and/or customer feedback sessions.
  • Market Research Company - The company that conducts market research studies. Some market research companies own and operate their survey panels too, such as Nielsen and Ipsos.
  • Survey Respondent - Survey taker who answers to surveys and share their opinions about the research topic
  • Panellist - A survey respondent within a survey panel. Survey respondents become a "panellist" by completing a profiling questionnaire from the survey panels. The data collected may include demographics, lifestyle characteristics and media habits which provides a basis for future survey participation.

Why Do Market Research Companies Choose To Operate Survey Panels?

Generally, there are two (2) types of panel available for survey-takers to join which are proprietary customer panels or 3rd party research panels. Both market research companies want to manage survey panels and obtain insightful information regarding specific research topics easily. So, what are the differences between them?

A proprietary customer panel/community is a group of existing users or customers of a specific brand who agree to participate in research conducted by the specific brand (eg. Twitter Insiders Program). While a 3rd party research panel (eg. Toluna) specializes in selling samples to various companies who are interested in conducting research studies. Despite the differences, both panels do offer attractive incentives and survey opportunities for their survey-takers.

How Survey Panels Support Market Research?



Market research companies recruit individuals to their survey panels that assist in collecting unbiased and reliable data from pre-screened profile respondents. They could utilize their own survey panels to collect survey responses for a wide variety of research studies conducted for various brands and end clients.

So, having a survey panel could be advantageous for market research companies to conduct research in the long run as they already have a sizable number of participants that represents the sample of the population. A responsive and dynamic survey panel can help to collect sophisticated data that enables brands to understand the different perspective or behaviour of respondents regarding the research topic speedily.

In some circumstances, the research studies carried out by brands may want to target niche profile survey panellists, such as their existing customers. Let’s take a hypothetical example where, say, luxury fragrance brands plan to develop a new perfume scent for office ladies. They would prefer to engage with consumers who frequently purchase and use perfumes to gather relevant and insightful information. In this situation, brands that manage their own proprietary survey panels can quickly obtain actionable feedback through either qualitative (e.g; focus group) or quantitative research methods (e.g; online surveys) since the panellist responses are relevant and reliable.

As compared to a short-term solution such as outsourcing to external research panel providers, brands may incur additional costs and effort in recruiting their own panellists. Thus, having and maintaining their own survey panel will be a better choice.

Find Survey Panels on PanelPlace.com!

The Benefits of Joining A Survey Panel As A Survey Respondent

The biggest benefit gained from joining a research panel is having access to more survey-taking opportunities that allow you to earn more money via paid surveys. Many of the research companies utilize Paypal, an online payment system, to transfer cash rewards to their respondents. It is a useful and secure tool that can be easily downloaded in any application store. Besides cash, there are other types of rewards online panels use to incentivize their panellists such as vouchers and gift cards. For instance, KC, a member of PanelPlace since 2013, has exchanged and earned a few thousand worths of supermarket vouchers, cash and Paypal credits from doing online paid surveys.

Read more about KC Truthful View On Paid Survey As Retirement Job

Other than earning extra money, numerous online panel members also shared that they have gained non-monetary benefits too such as acquiring new knowledge. For example, Tushar, a member of PanelPlace since Oct 2014, has learned the latest application or features of electronic products while answering the paid survey.

How Do People Join A Survey Panel?


You must be thinking how can you join an online panel or even the steps to proceed on a survey site? Here are some steps to consider before you join any survey panels.

Step 1 - Identify A Survey Panel You Trust

As mentioned, there are different types of survey panels such as proprietary customer panels and 3rd party research panels available in the market that offer paid survey opportunities and rewards. We must do our own research about the market research companies beforehand as there could be firms trying to scam users by guaranteeing quick earnings from paid surveys. Do take note that there is no restriction on the number of online panels you can join. So, you can join multiple online online panels that capture your interests.

Step 2 - Sign Up An Account On The Survey Panel Sites

After shortlisting the survey panels that you like, you can go to the survey panel site and create an account! During the account creation process, basic profile information will be requested such as name, email address, and date of birth. Some survey panel sites do offer a hassle-free sign-up option that allows you to join their panel using your social media accounts. This definitely helps us to save some effort in remembering our passwords. Be sure that you are not required to pay a registration fee in order to join an online panel while signing up an account. If you are asked to pay, chances are the survey sites are trying to scam you.

Step 3 - Complete Your Paid Survey Frequently

With a verified account, the survey panel will start to source surveys to you via emails, text messages or phone calls. Particularly for online paid surveys, they will tend to send out an email and indicate the incentives or points that will be earned after completing the surveys. Your earnings from paid surveys vary based on the number of quality surveys completed and the points allocated by each survey panel. It’s true that doing paid surveys helps survey-takers to earn extra money but remember it takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.

Read more about 5 Must Read Tips Before You Start Online Paid Surveys

Tips On Joining A Survey Panel

When you are searching for a suitable survey panel to join, it can be overwhelming since many survey sites are claiming that they are the right choice. It is always favourable when wide varieties are available. However, we have to ensure that the online panels are credible and do not offer overpromising earnings. How do we know which research panel is trustable? Well, one of the best ways is to read their rating and reviews.

Likewise on our marketplace, PanelPlace.com, there are different types of digital products and services being promoted, ranging from online paid surveys, online learnings, investments and many more. A rating and review feature is implemented for our community members to give ratings and reviews after trying a particular digital product or service. All of our reviews were verified and filtered out unauthentic feedback, this feature definitely helped our users in finding good products or services as they explored the marketplace.

As stated, there are wide varieties of survey sites available on PanelPlace.com internationally. You can check out the rating and reviews according to the following steps and identify the ideal online panel for yourself.

Step 1 - Click on “reviews” to view ratings given by our community members


Step 2 - Gain access to the rating and review on digital products and services

On the ratings and reviews for each digital product and service, there will be an average rating shown based on how users have rated it. Through this feature, our members will be able to understand if the particular products are worth trying. Besides that, they can read through truthful comments left by other users. The best part of our rating and review systems is that it is available to all countries with access to PanelPlace.com.


Read Rating & Reviews About Survey Panels!

Have You Better Understood How A Survey Panel Work?

We hope you will have a clearer view of how the survey panel works and the survey-taking process that will improve your online survey experiences. From this article, you will be able to identify types of research panels, steps and tips to consider when you are about to join a research panel. Remember the process of earning extra money from paid surveys takes time and commitment. It doesn’t happen instantly.

If you are looking for a wide variety of survey sites, visit PanelPlace.com and explore our market research product category. Sign up an account now and be notified when a new paid survey opportunity is available for you!

M Posted By Melissa Lim Business Marketing Team
Tagged paid survey, survey panel, panelplace, survey respondents