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Old 12-22-2001, 10:21 AM   #1
theguy
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Default making money from free web based e-mail

the software i use to offer free web based e-mail to my visitors is crashing my server. i like to use some of the big free e-mail where i can make some money of it. it would be nice if they can transfer
the users name and passwords as well.
any sideas which one i should choose?
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Old 12-22-2001, 10:35 AM   #2
Edwin
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While I don't want to discourage you, I want to try and give you a realistic assessment of the chance of making money from free email: very small!

I have 30,000+ users of my EmailAccount.com free email service (using Everyone.net co-branded partnership) and so far have made just over $30 lifetime on the service - which has been running for almost exactly a year.

Perhaps your experience will be different, but I've found that free email users are just about the lowest "quality" audience there is (when it comes to trying to persuade them to buy something, that is - every one of the 30,000 people may be *wonderful* human beings )

Part of the problem is most large services only give you control of a fraction of the ad inventory. While Everyone.net claims a 50/50 banner ad inventory split, THEY also show ads on other parts of the page and deliver pop-up ads as well (neither of these ads are shared)

BigMailbox.com (the other large, widely-used provider) gives just 20% of available ad space to webmasters, and keeps 80% for itself.
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Old 12-23-2001, 12:11 AM   #3
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Also, Everyone.net gives you full control over the signature line at the bottom of every e-mail sent.

So you can use that signature line of every single e-mail sent by users for whatever you want.

But the day Everyone.net dies I'll probably stop offering any kind of Free e-mail service. The returns are too low for me to ever offer free e-mail after Everyone.net's service dies. I'm just guessing that Everyone.net will be a dead-.COM one day. Since I personally don't think they will survive with the free e-mail service and not many people are using their paid services.

Last edited by darnell; 12-23-2001 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 12-23-2001, 11:33 AM   #4
WildComputer
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Edwin, I would like you opinions on this thought

I would seem to me that most people who start free email services target more or less everybody, or target some random group of people (example: people who like a particular sports team - but you don't know if they are a dot com millionaire or a hobo).

The problem is that there is essentially no theme of common interest - no type of product - that you can assume the users are interesting in buying.

I was wondering if a more successfully approach might be to target users based on some product or service that they use

e.g. johnsmith @ stockbrokers.com john smith @ theauthor.com , or johnsmith @ thepainter.com

It would seem that this would allow you to generate leads for people you market products too. Also it is likely that if John Smith is a stockbroker, so are many of his friends, so the sig line marketing some stocks-related product, might generate some revenue.

What do you think?
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Old 12-24-2001, 08:57 AM   #5
Edwin
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I think that approach will only work if you have some AMAZINGLY attractive domain name that people would practically DIE to sign up under.

For instance, @doctor.com would be fabulous for doctors. @lawyer.com would be great for sole practitioners and small law offices etc.

But frankly, in this case, I would never go the FREE route anyway. Doctors and lawyers (and stockbrokers for instance) can easily afford to PAY for email. What they want is convenience not "free" stuff!

So charge $50 a year for john.smith@doctor.com and give him a nice easy email account with all the trimmings. I bet you'd get a TON of signups.

Unfortunately, if you're starting from scratch, you're going to have to outlay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to even BEGIN to build a stand-out domain name portfolio.
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