What was your first email address? Mine was [email protected]. I was so happy that my first and last name was available. It helps since I was the only Hanju that I knew existed. Until…I started getting these odd emails from people that claim to know me that I didn’t know. I found out later that there’s another Hanju Lee that lives in Baltimore who had the email [email protected]. People were getting yahoo and hotmail mixed up which were two of three that existed at the time. The third one was aol.com. I ended up contacting Hanju in Baltimore to say hi. I wonder how he’s doing nowadays.
For those of us who got a start to our online presence via email, we can probably remember when gmail changed the email game. But looking back, it’s actually a pretty surprising origin story for what has become one of the biggest, most relevant and powerful companies in the world.
It didn’t start with the intuitive internet search engine to dominate all search engines (literally becoming a verb!) Their first major move was to offer something for free that people wanted and needed at the time: Free email.
Think about it…the revolution that led Google to who they are today all started with FREE.
So what’s the lesson here? Obviously, we’re not recommending you just give away your products. The key is to look deeper and have a greater appreciation for the extreme importance of what can be gained from this “free” exchange.
There’s a reason Google started with email.
Most small companies don’t think enough about building their contact list. One of the most important things a business can do for their future growth is to have a core base of subscribers and fans that they want to hear from.
That’s the brilliance of Google’s original strategy. Their “free” platform had us all lining up to GIVE THEM this valuable contact information!
Next thing you know, they had millions of users, which means millions of eyeballs on all the things that drive business in the Google ecosystem.
So the question is: what are some creative ways that you can be more intentional about capturing emails? What could you give away in exchange for that info?
No matter the size of your business, I hope this inspires you to start thinking of a strategy.
If you do it right, that free exchange could be extremely valuable.
Have a great week everyone. Talk to you next Thursday for some more insight on the power of FREE and how it can revolutionize your business.