Before G[mail], there was [Hotmail].
I admit that the simple lines of its email inbox and the colourful logo of Google drew me in – in and away from Hotmail. Hotmail is part of my childhood, in fact, my hotmail account is still my MSN messenger account. It still holds tens maybe a hundred plus emails from my gr.7 crush. Many people forget that before gmail came along, we all had hotmail, and probably with a horrific address like firstname.lastname@example.org or something else equally as embarassing.
Hotmail may have lost a majority of their loyal customers over to Google’s, but it retains its status as one of the first true online viral platforms. “Get your free email at Hotmail” – attached to the bottom of every mail led to an extremely high success rate. Everybody wanted a piece of this easily accessible service that was FREE. Viral Curve mentioned that it costed them $500,000 in 2 years to gain 12,000,000 subscribers. Not a bad ROI at all!
Some might dispute that this is so long ago, and they were one of the few services out there, hence their success. Nevertheless, I think this is a good story to learn from. Sometimes it’s not about the fancy apps or the million dollar viral video, 6 small words forwarded from email to email can do a surprising lot!