The Golden Age Of Free Email Is Coming To An End

Written by Richard Lowe

It wasn't that long ago that free email accounts were so totally taken for granted that everyone seemed to have several of them. I remember personally owning dozens of Yahoo!, AltaVista, and Hotmail accounts (among any others), each with their own special purpose.

Evenrepparttar internet marketing books recommended having several free email accounts for promotional activities. You see, many "free" advertising-related activities require an email address so that spam can be sent. The exchange is you get a little free advertising and you agree to receive some useless, silly promotional messages. You cannot just put in a fake email address as this would be detected, so typically you would create a free email account just forrepparttar 109621 purpose. Who cares how many messages get set to an account which will never be read?

This, of course, violatedrepparttar 109622 purpose of free email accounts, which is to display banner and other advertisements as people read their email messages (many of these free accounts also send spam messages of their own to their subscribers as well). Tons of mail dumped into accounts which are never read generate no money forrepparttar 109623 email services.

Nonetheless, inrepparttar 109624 heyday ofrepparttar 109625 free accounts this was a minor inconvenience. Ah, those wererepparttar 109626 days, when businesses would pay major dollars for banners!

In fact, in an even greater perversion of this phenomenon, a few email services popped up which actually paid for people to read email messages. I don't mean those "services" which paid to send you email messages from advertisers; no, I mean you got paid a small amount for every single message, regardless of who it was from, that you read inrepparttar 109627 web-based email client. The concept was that advertisers would pay for you to look atrepparttar 109628 banner ads that displayed atrepparttar 109629 same time asrepparttar 109630 messages.

It was even touted amongrepparttar 109631 "experts" thatrepparttar 109632 free email services such as Hotmail was an incredible thing called viral marketing. The concept here was that every message you send usingrepparttar 109633 service has a link to joinrepparttar 109634 service. This gives every single person who reads a message a chance (and often many chances) to join themselves. Millions (and perhaps tens of millions) took advantage of these offers.

Of course all of this failed to take into account a very basic fact: it really doesn't matter how many people userepparttar 109635 service if money is not being made. In fact this proved very true whenrepparttar 109636 internet bubble burst; more users suddenly meant more money being lost.

The long overdue death ofrepparttar 109637 banner ad as a viable means of promotion foreshadowedrepparttar 109638 failure of many internet businesses. Those with exceptionally poor business models, such as AllAdvantage, fell fast. These were soon followed byrepparttar 109639 merely idiotic (such as TheVines),repparttar 109640 grandiose (such as Kozmos and WebVan) andrepparttar 109641 merely poorly financed (most ofrepparttar 109642 internet companies).

The inevitable is finally catching up withrepparttar 109643 world of free email services. These daysrepparttar 109644 announcements seem to be coming almost daily from all ofrepparttar 109645 major services: Yahoo, Hotmail, and Altavista. They are either attempting to force their users into paid services or are closing down entirely.

Many of these services are finding that they can survive by providing free basic accounts with extra charges for "special" features. The most common "extra feature" is POP3 access (meaning reading email from your email client). The rationale isrepparttar 109646 free service cannot make money from POP3 accounts as no advertisements are shown. This is, of course, a very weak argument becauserepparttar 109647 services do place ads inrepparttar 109648 email messages.

Another common "extra cost feature" is large attachments. The free email services seem to believe that only a small percentage of people use attachments of over, say, a few hundred kilobytes to a few megabytes. They reason that if this is desiredrepparttar 109649 users can pay extra.

The problem is, well, that most of these free email services are worth exactly what they cost: nothing. Free email services are fat, dumb and lazy. If you don't believe me, just try getting customer support! Their paid versions will almost certainly not be any better, and it appears to me to be exceptionally overpriced as well.

So what arerepparttar 109650 alternatives?


One ofrepparttar 109651 few free email services that is worth anything is Mail.Com. I have used this service many times and have had good luck. Their free version is fast, easy to use and simple, although they do charge extra for POP3 access. I like their web based mail system, although their free service does require advertisements. You can eliminate these advertisements for less than $10 per year if you so desire.

Triple Your Web Leads With Email Auto-Capture

Written by Dave Czach

Cary, NC - Converting a website to a direct marketing machine on steroids is easier than previously thought. However, it seems many companies still don't understandrepparttar awesome marketing power ofrepparttar 109620 internet. Thus, they are actually losing leads.

There are two things every website needs to have to triple their sales leads. First, a means to capturerepparttar 109621 visitors email address without trickery. Second, send follow-up email that offers value torepparttar 109622 visitor without a hard sell.

To avoid wasted advertising dollars, you need to set up your new infrastructure. Capturingrepparttar 109623 visitors email address is accomplished by using a simple script written in javascript. When someone visitsrepparttar 109624 website, a small "alert" box pops up (not a web page) and offers a free report or other freebie relative to your website. The visitor either clicks "OK" or "Cancel" to continue. If they click "OK," their email software is activated. Then they click "Send" to subscribe to your email list or newsletter to retreive their freebie. Now you have captured their email address for further valuable offers.

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