Can you really get paid to answer emails from home? This is something a lot of people wonder about. It sounds like a fun, low-stress, non-phone job. So can you do it? Yes. There are certain occupations and companies where this is part or all of what you do.
In this post, I'm going to break down what types of jobs you could have where answering emails is part of the work, and I'm also going to list a couple of companies that need people to do this on occasion.
Virtual Customer Support
There are several companies that hire for customer support (primarily phone work) that also need incoming emails answered. This isn't that uncommon. Unfortunately, most of these companies don't separate the two jobs, so the phone support people might also answer emails. And this means if you're looking for non-phone, you're out of luck. 🙁
There are a handful of companies I do know about that have had email-only support positions open in the past, but it's not that often. Unfortunately most of these may not be hiring right now. Just keep tabs on their “Jobs” pages to see when the positions open.
- Clara Labs – Read Review – This company hires work from home email scheduling assistants, although the position is not always open. You can work whenever you want and get meetings scheduled for Clara's busy clients.
- Sedgwick – Read Review – This company does occasionally have an e-support position available in addition to their regular work at home phone support openings. However, it doesn't open up often and I've heard that when it does, it may be offered to existing workers first.
- Wayfair – I have seen email only customer support positions open here, but they are location specific. It is listed as email sales and support when it's open. The positions listed for that now appear to not be home-based and will also involve phone calls, but I have seen a work at home, email only job posted by this company before, so you may want to keep tabs on their careers page.
- Weebly – It's location-based typically and you have to know a thing or two about building websites to get the job. It's not always posted and I honestly haven't seen it in quite a long time. It's usually listed as email customer service, or possibly just customer service on their careers page. It does not appear to be posted as of the date of this blog post.
- The Yeomen – This company hires remote email support reps on a semi-regular basis to help assist their clients via email, helpdesk tickets, etc. If the position is listed, it's under “community support rep” on their “Careers” pages. This company hires throughout the United States, offers benefits, and will send you a Macbook to do the work from if you are hired.
If you are aware of more, please let me know so I can get them added to this list. And if you don't mind occasionally having to take phone calls, several of the companies on this list will (as described above) hire you to handle calls, emails, and incoming chats. Just read the job descriptions carefully before you apply to verify that answering emails would be part of what you do.
The term “virtual assistant” is very broad because people in this line of work often do many different tasks for their clients. And yes, answering emails is something that many virtual assistants specialize in. There is no shortage of busy business owners and also bloggers who end up with more emails than they can possibly read and respond to in a day's time, and this is where a virtual assistant can be a lifesaver.
There are two routes to go as a virtual assistant — you can either work under a company for a set rate of pay, or work for yourself and set your own rates. Obviously the latter route is going to be the most lucrative in the long-run, but as it is with any business, it can take a while to grow a base of steady clients. If you're working under a company, there is no guarantee you'll get to answer emails as part of your work. You'll be asked to do whatever tasks the company needs in order for their clients to be taken care of. You can let the company know emails are part of your skillset, but again — no guarantees.
Starting out working under a company while you try to build your own business on the side may work out so you can kind of learn what you're doing, market yourself, and still get a weekly paycheck.
I just recently downloaded and read through this ebook, “Answer Emails For Money: Earn $1,000 Per Month Answering Emails For Others” that details the steps that someone else took to set up a virtual customer support business (she was essentially a virtual assistant) answering emails for busy business owners and internet marketers. It contains some good info if starting a business like this is something you'd want to think about. It's 72 pages long.
Getting Paid to Read Emails – Not at All the Same Thing!
If you start researching how to get paid to answer emails, you might find some sites that claim to pay you to read emails. Note this is not even close to the same thing as what I've described above.
While there are some paid to read emails sites that are legit (I think Inbox Dollars may be the original when it comes to these types of sites), it is not a job. It's just extra money, and when I say extra money, I mean you may earn a couple of cents per email read. I used to do this (along with other little extra money tasks) through Inbox Dollars and trust me, it could not be described as a job. Just a little time waster.
If you have any other suggestions for getting paid to answer emails, please comment below and share them. Good luck!