All posts by Matthew Pittman

What’s cheaper than money? Time!

So, I wanted 50 workers to complete a survey. I put an accurate description, and set the payment to $.20 cents. After a few hours, very few workers had undertaken my task. So, I did what seems natural—I raised the payment to $.40 cents.

This worked…. a little bit. A dozen or so workers completed my HIT in the first hour. But that wasn’t fast enough. I wanted more workers, NOW! But I didn’t want to spend any more money. What to do?

A-ha! I decreased my allotted time per assignment from 60 to 15 minutes. I know my survey will only take 10-ish minutes, so why would I leave so much allotted time there, to potentially scare away workers who are quickly scanning HITs and think mine might take too long? It worked. I finished my batch within the hour. I was so excited I ran another batch, this time with the original $.20 cent payment, and IT STILL FINISHED IN AN HOUR.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.11.11 PM  = 12 workers in 1 hour (w/ $.40 payment)

as opposed to

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.10.55 PM  = 50 workers in 1 hour (w/ $.40 & $.20 payment)

Lesson? If you can tighten up your allotted time for a HIT to something reasonable accurate (plus a few minutes for slower readers), then you will attract more workers.