With the launch of our new website, we made the strategic business decision to stop selling email accounts with the @webmail.us domain name extension. The minute we did that, we had a ton of people write in asking if they could still buy one as well as wondering why we made that move.
The Email Discussion Forum also started buzzing with all kinds of questions about this decision. It didn’t help that the day we launched our new website, AOL shut down the Mailblocks consumer email service—please note: we are absolutely allowing current @webmail.us users to keep their account. In fact, even though they’re expecting to pay $20 or $30 per year into the future, we’re waiving those fees and allowing them to keep the accounts for free—BIG difference! Nevertheless, now that Mailblocks is shut down and AOL will soon be shutting off the Mailblocks service, we continue to get a ton of requests for personal email accounts. Are we going to reinstate this service? No. Why not? Well that is the real question, and here are the real answers:
1. We’re a business email hosting company. We decided last year to offer email @webmail.us, but only because we thought it would be easy to do so and that it would allow people to use our platform without having to buy into a business email plan. However, in the long run, we’re never going to be able to keep up with the big boys in the consumer email space—especially if that isn’t our focus. We want everything we do to be extraordinary and if we know we can’t be a leader in a certain area, we’d rather focus all of our resources where we can.
2. It is difficult to offer the level of support we want to offer when you’re only collecting $20 to $30 per customer. At the end of the day, we want to provide the same level of support to everyone we do business with. So at some point you have to draw the line in the sand as to how small of an account you can take on. Our smallest business email hosting plan is still pretty low at $60, but we’re comfortable with offering that—at least for now.
3. The amount of fraudsters that were attacking our single mailbox signup system was simply amazing. We could have dealt with it, but again, with business email being our focus, we simply chose not to dedicate the resources.
So… if you’re looking for consumer email, we all know you can get a free account with one of the big portals. If you’re looking for a paid account, I recommend checking out Runbox.com—I’ve heard and read that they’ve got a pretty good thing going over there. And lastly, we’ll be doing some freebies and giveaways every now and again—stay tuned.
Posted on October 21, 2005