Gmail, Google’s email service that started as an invite-only program, has grown dramatically – but they’re still dwarfed by Yahoo Mail and Hotmail. To change this, Google is prompting existing Gmail users to conduct “email interventions.”
How Email Interventions Work
Google has started by enlisting the aid of its faithful Gmailers, calling on them to conduct “email interventions” that pull users away from “embarrassing email addresses.” Here’s a video that gives the basic rundown.
But aside from just telling users to go out and convert everyone to faithful Gmailhood, Google has also provided a site at EmailIntervention.com. This site lets users generate a message, including messages to multiple contacts at once, giving a pitch for Gmail that includes a humorous video. Beyond the embedded video, the incentives being pitched include Gmail’s video chat, free phone calls, and the effective spam barriers.
Leveraging User Loyalty for Lock-Ins
Gmail isn’t just a side program for Google. It’s a way to prompt users to create a Google account that can be associated with a number of profitable services, including Google+. By getting the already locked-in users to prompt their friends to make the first step into the Google kingdom, Google is creating a powerful word-of-mouth mechanism aimed at the most valuable business commodity: loyalty.
It’s an interesting tactic, no doubt about it. Plus, its timing – shortly after the public release of Google+ – is far from inconspicuous. This tactic also indicates even deeper integration between Google services and foreshadows increasing importance in social search elements, especially on Google+. SEOs and SMOs who haven’t already jumped into Plus may need an intervention of their own.