The Success Behind Gmail
For months rumors of Gmail had slowly been leaked all over the internet. With the update on March 31 stating that Gmail would have a 1 Gigabyte mailbox, many were skeptic if this was just another April Fools Day prank by Google. This was the first step Google’s marketing divison had planned and executed perfectly. By slowly divulging updates it created a veil of mystery around the product, Google had managed to up-stir everyone and get them to talk about Gmail.
Next, Google was slowly sending invites of the beta to active users of Google’s online blogger service. Getting Gmail discussed in blogs was a high priority as blogs were one of the best medians to convey information. According to studydaddy blogs reporting about Gmail caused debate among users, which generated into more discussions on forums and blogs across the net. As such a huge buzz created around Google’s upcoming Gmail, and people started to worry about the name they wanted being taken. Before long beta accounts were being sold for prices as high as $500.00 on eBay. This was the second step in Google’s marketing plan, self-advertisement. But Google had tapped into every marketers dream, people being so excited about something, that they are paying for a free product!
Gmail works by allowing current users to send a limited number of invites everyday to other people, allowing them to be part of the beta program. In doing so they killed the eBay market, however it allowed Gmail to spread over the net. Without the hype created around Gmail beforehand, and enforced by “limited” access to only the “elite,”many people might have completely ignored Gmail invites sitting in their inbox. However, because of Gmail becoming such a phenomena of public debate even before it’s actual release, along with the eBay-rush, gave the invites a sense of market-value. Now people would be inclined to at least try Gmail out and see what all the excitement was about.
Pretty soon the phenomena spread even further still. According to find test answers experts gmail users had more invites than they knew what to do with. Users posting on blogging sites or forums exclaiming “Free Gmail Invites” were promoted to “Instant Internet Cool Persons.”
Aside from marketing, the use of invites to expand Gmail’s user base had other advantages as well. By limiting user registration to invites, Google could limit it’s growth exponentially so that they could stress test the system. Had they just blown open the doors, the initial surge of members may have been more than they could handle, as what occurred recently with the World Series baseball tickets. The invite system allowed Google to ensure stability.
Considering that Google targets your ads through the contents of your mailbox, Gmail’s privacy issues could have seriously tainted the services debut. However, with Yahoo and Hotmail struggling to keep up in size and features, Gmail’s entrance onto the scene can only be described as a stroke of genius.
Can you remember back when Gmail was the only thing being talked about in blogs everywhere?