Email was heating up in 2012. It’s on fire in 2013.
As social networking sites work towards taking over email, realistically it will not happen. Just because email has been around forever, doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. However, it can be improved. Jason Fried of 37Signals puts it well,
“Email is still the best invention there’s ever been in the tech world; it’s even more important than the Web, because it’s completely reliable and everyone has it.”
Now paying $100 to send a message is extreme, and there are tons of free email services out there, but they don’t have the capacity to provide top notch customer service, simply because it is impractical to individually respond to each customer inquiry when there are millions of customers. Instead you have to visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Have you ever tried making a call into a customer service helpline where everything is automated? A robot voice gives you menu options to select from, you select your menu number, and it takes you down the never ending road of more menu options to choose from. On top of that, it is close to impossible to actually talk to a live person who will provide you with timely help.
For larger email providers, the practicality of being able to ask a support question is not quite there, in fact it definitely is something lacking with major email companies. When you ask for assistance, there is no certainty of a real human being responding to you on the other end. With newer email apps that have a defined type of user and that cost a minimal fee, you know the response you get on the other end is real. There is humbleness between the support team and the users. It’s genuine help. It’s proper customer service.
When you pay for email, you are likely seeking a specific type of experience than the generic free web based clients. With paid email you are not just another user out of millions of other users. You can avoid ads if they really bother you. You can expect a tailored experience with paid desktop clients that you enjoy because of their flexibility, especially when specifically developed for your operating system of choice. Not another haphazard one size fits all email service. The idea is you get much better support and an overall better experience.
Mailbird uses UserVoice, which is a wonderful service for customer support, and it has been very beneficial for both our private beta testers and our team in managing all the great feedback and reports during our development. We hope to emulate UserVoice by maintaining standards that provide quick and personal responses to our users. A lot of the cool changes and additions to Mailbird have been funneled through our support system, and we hope to continue and maintain this set up.
So again, paying for email has some great tradeoffs to the mass standard free web clients out there. No matter where you are in the world, shelling out a few bucks, Euros, Rupiah or whatever your local currency is for a solid and helpful online communication tool that suits you is worth it. Facebook may have taken this to the extreme with the $100 message to Mark Zuckerberg, but a bold move to test. Why pay for email? Because you will have a phenomenal instrument for communication and team that is dedicated to your happiness, for less than buying a pack of gum once a month.