Should You Offer E-mail?
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You gave them great content. You gave them easy navigation. You gave them pleasant backgrounds, graphic images and an interesting design. You gave them a great Web site, and the traffic responded. But when should you start giving them more? Should you offer e-mail on a site that already seems to have so much to give to the public?
E-mail is one of the most popular aspects of the Internet these days, and it’s quickly taking the place of land mail for many. E-mail has been a staple of the World Wide Web for years, and yet it only seems to get more widely used, while other online fads quickly come and go. If you already have a site that appeals to traffic, why not give them yet one more reason to stick to your pages? Why not offer a full-service site, and offer e-mail accounts for your users? After all, some of the biggest and most well-known sites on the Internet do it, so why can’t you?
Free E-mail Providers
Anyone, literally, can obtain free e-mail on the Internet. There are many sites out there which provide the service, including highly popular search engines such as Yahoo and Google. Even less well-known sites, like Hushmail, offer completely free e-mail anyone can obtain. Go searching for a free e-mail account and you’re sure to find dozens, if not hundreds, of options. In fact, offering free e-mail is a method employed by many Web sites because it attracts a lot of people -- and on a daily basis, no less.
Getting a free e-mail account through most sites takes a matter of moments. Users fill out a simple form (see the example of Yahoo’s e-mail sign-up form, below), choose a name and password and they’re ready to communicate. It’s just that easy to obtain a mailbox equipped with storage, message options, even an address box and other features. But obtaining a single free e-mail account doesn’t always do much for you as a Webmaster.
The wide availability of free e-mail accounts raises another question for those who manage their own Web pages. When there are already so many others out there offering the same service, why should you even bother with giving free e-mail to your users?
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