Wondering how all this works? There is a little bit to learn, and some strategy can definitely help, but it's probably a lot easier than you think! There are 3 ways to earn cash and prizes: completing offers, playing games, and referring new members.
Don't want to learn anything, you just want to start making money right now? Simply sign up by clicking on the lightning bolt (always at the top of ECP) and do only the easy high payout Recurring Tasks (Earn » Recurring Tasks)! With just a little bit of time per day, it's easy to make A LOT more than you accrue even having a large savings account with a high APR! If you temporarily run out of tasks you like to do, then you should try the Daily Surveys! The only requirement to do most of the Daily Surveys is to verify your physical address, which will bring your membership to Bronze level!
On a per offer basis, you earn either cash or points. How much you earn, and what exactly is involved, depends on the type of offer you're completing.
Different Offer Types
The daily clicks and videos are a really easy daily source of points. They have 4 different External Offer walls with videos, plus RadiumOne usually has a bunch of daily click offers for 2 points each.
The high payout Recurring Tasks are a really great source of cash! They tend to go quickly once you get used to them. Just remember to check for the easy ones you like at least daily!
These are the most common type of offer, and at most will require your basic contact info. Many are as simple as signing up for an email newsletter or printing a coupon! Payout on these varies a lot depending on the offer, but there are plenty to choose from. As always, be sure to read the description and the tags, because often times they will include hints, or tell you what's really required of you to get approval!
These offers can usually be attempted once per day, and typically require nothing more than your basic contact info. Many people like doing these more than the path offers; they have a high approval rate, plus your input actually affects products and services. Depending on a lot of different factors, it can sometimes be difficult to get past the qualifying stage.
Trials & Paid
Trial and paid offers are the highest payout, but typically require a real credit card; real debit and virtual are usually okay also, but prepaid cards are not allowed. Trial offers are great because when properly executed, you not only get to try a paid service for free for a little while, but you also get a nice payout to do it! Paid offers can sometimes be quite nice too, especially if you find a great deal on an item you were planning to buy soon anyway.
Free Offer Strategy
Alternate Contact Info
Now that you know the basic types of offers, it's time to get into the strategy of the free offers. To prevent issues with spam while increasing approval rates, you should use unique alternate email addresses for most free offers (temporary email addresses are not allowed). On the Daily/Real Surveys you probably don't want to, because they typically don't spam, and some keep a profile so you don't have to enter the same info as much, etc. These free services are great at preventing issues with unwanted or untimely phone calls.
Results will vary depending on the offer, but the browser you use and its settings will affect your approval rate; I recommend using the latest Firefox and disabling the pop-up blocker (Content » Block pop-up windows) while completing offers. Secondly, no matter which browser you choose to use, always clear/erase your cookies and cache before completing each offer (Firefox: Tools » Clear Recent History)! Thirdly, remember to disable your ad blockers, and any advanced browser security software (eg, NoScript, etc).
Always click on 'view details' before attempting a free/path offer; notice the approval graph that appears below. If an offer hasn't approved much (or at all) lately, odds are you will have difficulty getting approval!
On path offers attempt only 1 per agency/group a day, and use a fresh email address at least every 5-10 offers.
Don't complete too many path offers at once, spread them out, and leave the ad pages open for a little while.
"PIN submit" offers (asking for cell # to send confirmation to), be sure to read the fine print. I personally skip these.
To find new offers, or ones that have recently approved, go to Earn » Recently Approved.
One of the most common types of free offers is what's called a path offer. They can be a little confusing at first, but once you get used to their little differences, then there's nothing to it. The main thing you should understand about path offers is that we're not actually trying to qualify for the free product, gift card, etc. All we want to do is get credit for 'walking' the advertiser path.
The key to efficiency when it comes to path offers, is to be able to say yes to the greatest number of hassle free signup things in the path as possible, with the goal of getting to the congratulations/last steps pages (while having interacted a bit with some advertisers along the way). Typically a path offer starts out with a little survey; this is your chance to make things a little easier on yourself. Having a little bit more of an open mind when it comes to interests, etc, can give you more options for easy things to say yes to.
The congratulations/last steps pages are where you're able to actually qualify for the free gift, etc, that's at the end of the path. There are generally 3 of them, often labeled Silver, Gold, and Platinum offers. At the top of each of these pages, you will see how many items on that page that you need to click on before you go to the next page. All you have to do is click on at least as many as it requires per page, and leave the tabs/windows open for a bit (sometimes there's a bonus offers page at the end, if so go ahead and open those as well). Then all you have to do is check for any confirmation email, click the appropriate link within, and you're ready to mark the offer as completed!
The tutorial is mostly complete, but is still a work in progress; please check back periodically for updates! It may help to read a little more about it or watch some videos before starting to complete the offers.
Questions? Ask in the ECP live IRC text chat (on QuakeNet), or add them to the ECP P2S FAQ!