I now have the ability to offer free web based e-mail addresses (e.g. email@example.com). The software is already set up (it's sorta like Hotmail without the advertising interference).
Any experiences not covered in the manuals that I can expect to happen? Has anyone noticed increased traffic by offering free e-mail or are people less interested because there is enough free web based e-mail services.
If it is a positive addition to a site, what would be the best way to promote it outside of my web site?
Froggy, it helps for you to advertise your product to the bookmarkers that come back everyday but again you are going to open your self to spam as people will use that as return address for spam mail. I have seen it time and time again.
Not to mention, with all the free email services out there offering your choice of any of 20-100 domains that they've hogged up (I hate that...), and all the "majors" like hotmail & yahoo mail, you'd better have a darn catchy domain name to attract a decent number of users.
I wonder how effective that sort of thing really is though... you may get a high instance of repeat traffic from email users, but how much of the rest of your site are they going to look at? Most of the free email users I've seen tend to bookmark the email log-in page, and ignore the rest of the hosting site.
I started picturing competitor sites using the e-mail address as a dumping ground for FFA link spam. They get the link popularity, I get to store 1000's of "One time only!!!! No Risk Money Making Opportunities!" e-mails.
But there must be a catch somewhere with all the free e-mail addresses going around.