Imagine that you just paid $1,000 or more for survey research on SurveyMonkey, Google Surveys, or another survey website. Your results are in, and you are excited to make use of all that interesting data to improve your business.
How would you feel to know that around 80% of your respondents were broke students (or bots) who only took your survey to get paid a few cents, likely not even being qualified to answer?
Yes, this is real. People sign up for paid survey platforms to get click-through incentivized surveys. You don’t need to dig deep, just look it up on Google.
Market research companies do their best to prevent bad responses, but survey scammers can easily bypass their efforts
Every market research company aims to provide high-quality data to their survey clients. The problem is that there are very easy techniques survey scammers can use to bypass security and appear as qualified respondents.
First, they register with false data to appear like an educated, high-income individual from the US, UK, or another country with a strong economy.
If the survey platform does IP checks to prevent people to sign up with fake locations, scammers will use a VPN to trick the system. You can see on Google that professional survey takers are actively looking for “best VPN for surveys”, “VPN survey bypass” and similar. So much for quality respondents.
The mindest of your incentivized survey respondets (worse than you think)
You might be able to come to terms with the idea of broke students and unemployed third-world people completing your surveys, but unfortunately, there is more.
We dived a bit deeper into the other side of the survey market research business – it did not take long to find forums where professional survey takers discuss their trade, like taking surveys with minimal attention.
Or about how to build survey bots that complete surveys automatically on their behalf.
There are professional survey hacking tools, like “The Ultimate Survey Bot”. Guess what’s your response data actually worth. Nothing.
You might think that this is not commonly used by survey takers, but it’s wrong. The survey respondent crowd is apparently very excited about this tool. They even try to hack this survey scam too.
Conculsion: don’t rely on survey research platforms that use incentivized respondent networks
Organic respondents will get you significantly better answers compared to people who are only completing your surveys because they get a few cents. Here at Market Sampler, we distribute surveys publicly, not to a set of incentivized respondents.