Do those “read email for money” programs really work?
There are two perspectives from which to approach “read email for dollars” services. Can you make money reading their emails? And can you make money using these services to run ads for your other programs? I’m approaching this one skeptically. I’ve signed on to two of these services as a reader, and one as an advertiser.
The two services are LOLClicks (I’m reading their emails and using their “paid to signup” ad program) and Prestige E-mails. Yes, these are referral links.
Let’s tackle the reading part first. Reading e-mail for money is not a micro-payment proposition from the user perspective. What I mean by this is that although you are earning micro-payments of a few cents per e-mail read, you don’t actually get paid until you reach a certain threshold (the “payout”). Prestige e-mails seems to usually pay in the 10-20 cent range … but you don’t get your money until you’ve racked up $100. The “payout” bar is lower at LOLClicks — $50 — and it can be lower yet ($9) if you buy a “premium membership.” The payment per e-mail is lower too, though.
Caveat emptor: These programs are going to put e-mails into your inbox. It feels a lot like spam, but it isn’t — you asked for it. If you’re not going to work the program by clicking on the links in those emails, don’t sign up, as it will just be an annoyance. If you spend a lot of time on your computer and don’t mind “working” for 30-60 seconds for a few cents by clicking on the link and viewing the advertiser’s site, you can make a few dollars. Don’t quit your day job, though. And be especially aware of the newer programs that are making increasingly bizarre promises ($99 per e-mail! $200 per e-mail!). They also have correspondingly large “payout” minimums ($10,000 and up), and some of them are very subtle in letting you know that you can only get “paid” in advertising credits, not actual dollars. Most of these sites maintain total payout stats on their front page. I don’t know if all of them are honest or not, but it’s a good bet that when the stats say “3,000 members, total payouts $0.00,” they aren’t lying. Do you really want to work a program that is telling you up front it has yet to pay a single participant so much as a thin dime? I didn’t think so.
Read email for money
Can you profitably advertise your other programs on these sites? I ‘m experimenting with that right now. I’m running a “guaranteed signup” package on LOLClicks. It cost me $8.00, for which I am “guaranteed” 10 signed up customers. LOLClicks, in turn, pays its readers 40 cents each to sign up for my $4.94 program. So far the action is not good, and I might have been better off paying for a package with a higher premium.
Just from a common sense standpoint, I am going to argue against using the “pay per click” or “pay per visit” ads with these sites. Since I’m working their programs as a reader, I know that I don’t pay a lot of attention to the sites that I’m “visiting” to earn my few pennies. Most of those sites seem to be “pay per click” search engines … or other “paid to read e-mail” programs. It seems to be a very circular community, and I suspect that most “opportunity program” sites would just get lost in the mix — you’d have a very low probability of converting a visitor into a customer. However, this is just anecdotal. I may give it a whirl just to see how it works out, so that I can report back to you on it.
If you’re considering just buying a static link on one of these sites, give it careful consideration. Check the Alexa rating of the site, and compare it to this graph to get a rough idea of how many visitors the site receives each day. Then decide if the link is likely to bring you enough visitors to justify the cost. I will be experimenting with this in the near future.