Updated: March 2, 2018
Getting paid to read emails sounds like a cool work at home gig.
I mean, if you’ve got some spare time and someone’s willing to pay you to do something you’re already doing, it’s a no brainer. Who doesn’t want to earn extra cash, right?
But chances are you’re skeptical. And you should be.
There is more to how this works than some of these ‘paid email’ sites let on.
How Do People Get Paid To Read Emails?
The way these sites work is pretty straightforward.
The first step is signing up to a reward site that pays you to read emails. In some cases you’ll get a signup bonus for doing so.
There are many of these and chances are you’ve seen a few already. Assuming the site is not a scam, they will send you promotional emails (hopefully) on a daily basis.
From there, you click the link within the emails you receive to ‘verify’ you’ve read it. At which time you’ll be taken to the advertisers site and your account will be credited for reading the email.
Cool. But you’re not getting paid to read anything.
What’s really happening, is the advertiser pays these sites for traffic. And they share that revenue with you. This often means that the actual reading of the email itself is irrelevant.
Money only changes hands when you go from that email to the advertisers website, because the advertiser is paying these ‘paid to read email’ sites for targeted traffic.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But this is an important concept to understand because it underpins how this whole thing works.
This is how they “pay you to read emails”. Not what you thought huh?
Read on to see if it’s worth it…
You Can Get Paid To Read Emails- But Is It Worth It?
You can make money reading emails and the process is relatively simple.
But it’s important to understand the ‘hidden reality’ behind how these sites work if you want to make an informed choice about joining.
Here’s four main reasons why getting paid to read emails isn’t worth it:
- The income potential is ridiculously low
- Performing ‘other tasks’ to qualify to get paid
- Spending more money than you earn
- The real money is made with the referral program
It goes without saying that each site works a little differently. But these points hold true across all of the major email reading sites I’ve found.
Read on to see why I don’t recommend these sites in more detail.
1) The Income Potential Is Ridiculously Low
One of the biggest drawbacks to these sites is how much you get paid. It’s a joke. On average, people earn less than 5 cents per email they read.
When you do the math, this means you will need to read around 200 emails per hour, or 1,600 emails per day, if you want to make minimum wage.
That’s a heck of a lot of emails! But if you’re in a tight spot and you need the cash, something’s better than nothing, right?
What you will find is that many of these sites only give you a handful of emails to read at best. So making anywhere near ‘minimum wage’ is actually quite ambitious.
For example, Inbox Dollars is one of the most popular sites for paid email reading. They send you up to 3 emails per day if you’re an active member. Which means you’d be lucky to earn $0.15 per day, or a single dollar per week!
It does depend on the individual site as to how emails you will get access to. But they all cap the emails you can read in one way or another and/ or put certain ‘qualifiers’ in place.
Worse, some sites pay you in gift cards rather than real cash too.
2) Performing ‘Other Tasks’ to Qualify to Get Paid
Some sites don’t cap the amount of emails you can read, but they will make you ‘qualify’ in other ways.
For example: you’ll need to take surveys, click on ads, complete paid offers, join reward sites and do other simple tasks. In this way, you can increase the amount of emails you can read, and thus, your potential income.
To show you what I mean, here’s what Paid To Read Email (paid-to-read-email.com) does…
As you can see, you must continually qualify to earn from the emails they send you.
That’s all good and well, but these ‘qualifying tasks’ you need to do, also pay out pennies. Which means you can easily spend an enormous amount of time to earn the same low amount of money, as if you were just reading emails.
Except now you’re doing other stuff like taking surveys and completing offers.
3) Spending More Money Than You Earn
This is something that catches many people off-guard.
Email reading sites encourage people to spend money on offers to make more money. When in reality, doing so will kill any chance you have of making any money at all.
What do I mean?
Well, earlier I explained how the real purpose of ‘reading emails’ is to get you to click through to the advertisers site. This is a key component of how this model works.
Once you are on the advertisers site, you don’t just go to their standard website and that’s it. Often, you will find “opportunities to earn more money” by completing an offer with the advertiser itself.
For example, you will see stuff like “get this incredible offer to earn addittional points/ money”.
In some cases, these will be straight up product purchases. When you created your account you set your user preferences, which gives these guys a good idea of what they will be successful selling you. That’s the whole point. That advertiser WANTS you to buy something, and people do buy, or they wouldn’t be advertising this way in the first place.
In other cases, these ‘opportunities to earn more’ will be free trial offers that you need to give your credit card info to take part in. This is more common and tends to get more people in. After all, it’s free right? Yes. But you’re taking part in dozens of offers, reading hundreds of emails and taking surveys etc. So it’s easy to lose track and forget to cancel before the free trial period ends. Meaning, you are now paying for a service you don’t even want. And your profit went from small to non-existent.
My point being, not only will you be hit with relevant offers whenever you open these emails. But you will likely be completing offers too, which can easily kill your profit if you’re not careful.
4) The Real Money Is Made With The Referral Program
This is where the real money is made.
And this is why many sites talk favourably about ‘get paid to’ (GPT) sites too. Because if you join through their site, they get a cut of whatever you make.
This might only be a small amount. But people sign up to ‘paid email’ sites at a high rate since they’re free and easy. So if you can convince enough people to signup through you, the profits can really stack up over time.
Some of these referral programs are MLM based too. Whereby you refer people who refer people who… well, you get the point! It’s all about mass recruiting. Not sustainable and one of the main reasons a lot of these sites come and go so frequently.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with legitimate sites in this space, having legitimate referral programs. And not all MLM’s are a scam either. But you should know that this is where people make the real money.
In any case, even though the profit potential is higher than reading emails, it does take a considerable amount of work and effort to get profitable. In order to get people to signup, you need to learn real internet marketing skills. None of which these sites teach you.
You can make money with ‘paid to read email’ sites and they’re not all scams. But as you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan.
At best, you are going to be ‘reading’ a boatload of emails just to make a few pennies. You might be able to increase that income by completing related offers, but it’s highly unlikely your income will be anything substantial. Most people who do this stuff make a very low amount of money, even when they work their butt off.
Worst case, you could end up spending a ton of time doing all number of tasks and completing random offers, and end up making nothing. Or worse, end up getting some ‘great discounts’ on stuff you may never have bought anyway. In other words, losing money.
If you do decide to join one of these sites, always remember that your time is valuable. Even if you can make money this way, ask yourself if it really is worth it. What opportunities to earn real money are you potentially missing out on by joining these sites?