Microsoft has announced that it will be converting Hotmail and other email services operating under different domains such as MSN.com to the banner of Outlook.com. Email is an important way for companies to connect with consumers, allowing the providers to track their activities, and the personalized nature makes it appealing to advertisers.
Microsoft is pushing this new move with what it claims will be the biggest marketing blitz in the history of email. Expect to see ads for Outlook.com running on primetime TV, radio stations, websites, billboards and buses, with the spend estimated between $30 million to $90 million for the three month campaign.
These ads for Outlook will coincide with an anti-Gmail marketing campaign that Microsoft launched earlier this month called “Scroogled,” which depicts Gmail as intrusive by delivering ads related to topics being discussed. While the Gmail ads are meant to be educational, the Outlook campaign is motivational, according to Dharmesh Mehta, Outlook.com’s senior director.
“We are trying to push people who have gotten lazy and comfortable with an email service that may not be all that great and help show them what email can really do for them,” said Mehta.
Google says Gmail has more than 425 million account holders, including those that only visit on mobile devices, making it by far the most popular. The latest data from research firm comScore, which doesn’t include mobile traffic, says Gmail has 306 million worldwide users through December, up 21 percent from the previous year, while Yahoo’s email ranked second with 293 million users, a 2 percent decrease from the previous year, followed by Hotmail at 267 million users, a 16 percent decline from the previous year.
Microsoft wants to use Outlook.com to assume control over email again. During the preview period for Outlook.com, it attracted 60 million account holders, including about 20 million that defected from Gmail, according to Microsoft; comScore listed Outlook with 38 million users through December.
The new features being introduced in Outlook include the ability to send massive files, including hundreds of photos at a time, address books that automatically update new contact information via connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and about 60 percent fewer ads than Hotmail. Many of these features are in a new edition of Gmail, which Google hopes to incorporate into all accounts over the next few months.
Source: New York Daily News