Unlike most online survey companies, Respondent actually pays “real” money for participating in studies.
This isn’t about watching silly videos or completing offers for pennies. What do I mean by real? It’s possible to earn $100 an hour or more.
(At press time, the website cited the average payout even slightly higher, at $140 an hour.)
Does that sound enticing? If so, keep reading.
I signed up for an account a while back and I’ve been able to earn some great money in my spare time. You can have the same results.
What Is Respondent?
Respondent is a company that pays you to participate in research studies.
Their structure is much different than most online survey sites and apps. Respondent facilitates one-on-one consumer research studies and focus groups, both in-person and online.
Respondent works both with individuals responding to surveys as well as companies and organizations looking for feedback. In fact, I took it as a positive sign that their homepage is actually business-facing:
That shows they’re prioritizing getting new customers — the companies that need research done.
In contrast, most low-paying survey sites target you, the survey taker.
How Does Respondent.io Work?
If getting paid for your opinion sounds like fun, create a free Respondent account today.
Since the site seems to have more a business/professional focus, I signed up with my LinkedIn account.
You’ll enter some personal information and then you will see various surveys based on your background. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up your account and then you can start earning money. Let’s take a deeper look at the process.
Sign Up Process
You can either sign up with your email address or with an existing social media account.
Since the site seems to have more a business focus, I signed up with my LinkedIn account.
From there, Respondent collects personal information from you. This includes your name, birth date, home address, email address, and phone number.
This is pretty standard stuff that every survey site will ask for. Companies completing research want to make sure they’re reaching specific audiences.
These are designed to match you up with the best / most relevant surveys. They do this by asking for demographic information, including:
- Education Background
Filling out the necessary information should only take you a few minutes.
Once you are done, you’ll end up on the main page of your account. You’ll immediately see “Marketplace Projects”, which are the surveys Respondent offers.
Who is Eligible to Join?
Anyone 18 or older is eligible to sign up as a Respondent. From what I can tell, most studies are targeting US residents, but the site claims to have international opportunities as well.
You’ll also need a PayPal account (so you can get paid!), and either a Facebook or LinkedIn profile to verify your identity.
Filtering and Selecting Projects on Respondent
Once you’re logged in, you’re presented with all your different project options. You can see how much they pay, how long they’ll take, and what type of study it is.
Use the sidebar filters to further narrow down your options.
Gotta love the “Remote” checkbox! I can answer questions from home? Yes please.
Types of Studies on Respondent
Respondent offers a variety of project types. Let’s take a quick look at some examples of typical projects available through Respondent.
The screenshot might be kind of hard to read, but there are studies for:
- people interested in investing – $75 for 45 minutes
- supply chain professionals – $50 for 60 minutes
- small business owners – $85 for 60 minutes
- online banking customers – $50 for 60 minutes
- and more
All of the projects clearly mark how long it should take to finish and how much it pays. There is also a brief description of what they are looking for in a respondent.
Many of Respondent’s projects seem to have a small business or technology focus, but there are broader consumer studies that also pop up.
For the most part, projects pay well, but there are also lower paying surveys too. You can decide if it’s worth your time or not.
Projects can vary in their setup. It depends on the specific company that is in charge of the project.
Most are one-on-one discussions with a company representative. Others require you to keep a log of certain activities over multiple days or weeks.
The first study I participated in through Respondent was a $200 in-person focus group. These are just some examples of what you might see the more you apply and are approved for projects in Respondent.
Once you find a project you like, you can click on it and apply. To apply, you’ll need to fill out a brief screener survey to ensure you are the right fit. This usually takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
Respondent has more stringent requirements to get picked for surveys. This sets Respondent apart from other survey sites and is also why they pay more. Companies are looking for honest feedback from the right people.
The website will display a match score of 0-100 based on the results of your initial survey. If the company wants you for their project, they’ll reach out through Respondent’s system.
Being chosen for projects isn’t as easy with Respondent as other sites, even if you’re a good match. You could end up applying for several projects before getting picked.
You can see these in your dashboard if you click on “My Surveys”:
I just finished one screener survey and it gave me a match score of 91%, so I imagine if the company can’t find anyone better-qualified, I’ll get a call.
(I was “100% Qualified” for the focus group I was chosen for.)
My $200 Respondent.io Focus Group
Like I mentioned above, my first “hit” with Respondent was for an in-person focus group near me. Well, it was about 45 minutes away, which did eat into my effective hourly rate.
But I wanted to go to see what it was all about.
The study targeted small business owners and the company wanted to learn more about our accounting and bookkeeping processes.
(As an Excel-junkie, I was shocked to learn my fellow panel participants still employed the “receipts in a drawer” method!)
It was a really interesting experience, part of which included building a model of our businesses out of Legos:
Yes, I really got paid to play with Legos!
How Much Money Does Respondent Pay?
According to Respondent, the average payout for a completed project is $140 an hour. This makes Respondent the best paying online survey company I’ve come across.
As you can see from the examples above though, not every project pays that much.
My focus group was $200 for 2 hours. ($100 an hour if reducing fractions hurts your brain.)
All payments from Respondent are made via Paypal. Payments are usually processed within 8-10 days, which isn’t bad at all.
My payment actually took more than 3 weeks to arrive, which was a little annoying, but it did eventually show up.
Respondents are paid the cash incentive amount advertised by the researcher minus a 5% fee (or a $1 fulfillment fee, whichever is higher).
The 5% fee is for payment processing as well as a service fee for facilitating projects. So my $200 turned into $190 by the time it hit my PayPal account.
Fees are clearly marked on the initial screener survey of all projects. You can view your payment status under the “My Surveys” tab.
Other Ways To Earn Money With Respondent
Not only can you earn money by completely surveys with Respondent, but you can also earn money for referring your friends.
If you know someone who would be a good fit for studies like these, send them an invite and earn $20-$50 when they complete the study.
Grab your unique referral link under the “My Referrals” tab in your account.
Best Practices for Earning Money with Respondent
To maximize your time and earnings with Respondent, it’s a good idea to follow these best practices.
Set a Calendar Reminder
Set a reminder to log in weekly to check for new studies. Unlike other survey sites, Respondent doesn’t proactively message members to let them know about new opportunities.
Or at least they don’t send them very often. So far this year, I’ve received two emails with my “personalized research studies.”
If you see a project you like, fill out the screener survey immediately. As you might guess, remote studies fill up quicker than in-person ones.
Respondent will also show you which studies are “over subscribed,” meaning they have more willing participants than they need. Don’t waste your time applying for those.
When filling out the screener survey, answer questions honestly.
This may eliminate you from certain projects, but the goal is to maximize your time by only participating in the best surveys for you. This helps you and the companies seeking feedback.
If you don’t care for Respondent or are having trouble being selected for projects, not to worry.
While Respondent is one of the highest paying survey sites, there are other programs where you can make decent money as well.
User Interviews is perhaps the most similar service to Respondent I’ve found. The company specializes in one-on-one market research interviews, mostly done over the phone or online.
The average rate of pay is in the ballpark of $100 an hour.
Fieldwork is a company the runs (mostly) in-person focus groups. I took part in one of their studies in San Francisco, and earned $150 for a 2-hour focus group, plus a $50 bonus prize for showing up early.
They have locations throughout the US.
Compensation starts at $75 for participating in Fieldwork’s focus groups, with sessions usually lasting between 1-2 hours.
FocusGroup.com is Focus Pointe Global. They offer nationwide paid research opportunities.
The studies pay between $75 and $200 and are scheduled over the phone or webcam.
Check out my full guide to Online Focus Groups for more money earning opportunities.
Is Respondent Worth it?
Taking part in surveys won’t make you rich and it’s not something you can leverage into a full-time gig.
But if you are looking to make some extra money on the side, Respondent pays very well if you are selected for their projects. Like I said, I netted $190 for a couple hours of work, and it was pretty fun!
Setting up an account is free so if you find it’s not for you, then you only lost out on a little time. I think you’ll find that Respondent is an easy way to make extra money.
How Do I Sign up for Respondent?
Signing up for Respondent is easy.
Just head over to their website and you can set up an account today in minutes.
If you are looking for a high-paying side hustle that doesn’t require a ton of your time, Respondent could be what you need. Check it out today!
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