Microsoft recently ended custom domain support for outlook.com, their free email service. Google buried Google Apps free edition back in December 2012. So with Microsoft and Google having turned their backs (but not their wallets!) to SMBs, what should Zoho do?
Well, when Google ended Google Apps Free edition, we increased our free plan to 5 users. Let us take a peek at what happened to the no. of sign ups to Zoho Mail email hosting plans:
Given that an approx 600% increase in sign ups over five quarters is quite impressive, we have decided to raise the bar further.
Starting today, we are increasing the number of users / mailboxes offered with our free email hosting plan, doubling it from 5 to 10 free users. And oh! It’s also ad-free. Beat that!
Better yet, it doesn’t stop with 10 free users. Get up to 15 more bonus users credited to your business account by referring other outlook.com users; err, we mean other ‘no more for free’ email hosting services in general 😉 And when you invite another business, they get 5 bonus users too. It’s a two-way referral incentive arrangement. In all, you can get up to 25 free users, ad-free.
So what is the catch? We just believe in the Freemium model. We are committed to it. It has helped budding entrepreneurs to get started with their dreams, which in turn helped us gain more visibility. When they grow, they are happy to upgrade to higher plans with a price tag. It lowers our cost of customer acquisition; we would much rather spend our money on product development than on excessive sales and marketing as so many of our competitors do.
But what’s even better is the goodwill developed in the process. And that is priceless. Here’s a recent feedback from a customer that captures this essence:
I’m glad to be a Zoho customer. For me as a small company, it’s very important to save money first, but also it’s important to get good services. Zoho Mail service has a great free plan. Big companies have monthly fees for similar plans and they don’t care about small companies like ours. So, I think, to have such sensitive partner like zoho is really important. And when you grow, and can afford bigger plans, then you choose only those who supported you. I’m happy with all apps and services I have now in your servers. So thank you!
So if you love our free plan and believe in the power of free, please do us a favor. Spread the word about us. Word of mouth is the best help you can provide us in return for the quality, free service. That’s why we provide you even more for free, when you refer other businesses to us.
It is said that the best things in life are free, like sunshine and rainbows. We think the best things in life are free and also ad-free, like Zoho Mail. So switch (and / or refer others to switch) to the business email with a cleaner outlook 😉