Monday, August 4, 2008

RUNBOX PRESS RELEASE - Going from a free email service to a paid email service

RUNBOX PRESS RELEASE - Going from a free email service to a paid email service

There is a viable long-term business buried in a large free user base, but the process requires that you dare say goodbye to 98% of your users.

(PRWEB) May 15, 2002

runbox had to write off 98% of its users to make money and continue to

Provide great service to the remaining 2% that converted to paying customers.

The Internet boom brought a number of free email services. Today, many

Of the free email service companies are running out of cash. Most free

Email companies believe the free users will never pay for the service,

So they fold the service - and often the company itself - rather than asking for a fee.

Lately, several email services (even large ones like for example

MyVisto. com with millions of free users and millions of USD in the

Bank), have closed their free service without even trying to ask their

Users for a fee.

Runbox has found that there is a viable business buried in a large free

User base. However; making the transition from a free email service to a paid email service, required saying goodbye to 98% of your users.

I am the founder and managing director of runbox AS ("AS" is Norwegian

For Incorporated). I founded runbox in 1999, and developed it into the

Provider of a free email service called runbox mail manager, found at

Www. runbox. com. runbox is a true Internet start-up, where a small number

Of dedicated individuals set out to make the worlds best email service:

We wanted vast storage space for email, extensive email management

Features and no advertisements. We built a system to fit our own

Unfulfilled and demanding email needs, a classic story.

Runbox soon became a success, we were listed on Yahoo, Open directory,

EmailAddresses. com and many other places - As a result, we quickly

Surpassed 100 000 registered users world wide and kept growing faster

And faster. We were not making any money off of our user base, but we told ourselves

That we would develop business models as we went along; such as selling

Private label versions of the service. Life was easy, money was easy,

And we had a lot of fun.

Then the. com doom reared its head for real in the summer of 2001. At

First we believed it would pass, and that everything would soon be back to normal. As we all know, it did not go back to "normal". By summer

2001, our cash was gone, and there was no more investor money to get. runbox decided we had to turn to the users for money; in short, that we

Had to become a paid service.

The decision was made and we spent a hectic few weeks preparing for a

Credit card processing system, updating the database and building a referral program tracking system.

We explained the situation to our users. We shared the fact that in

Order to survive and continue delivering the great service runbox would

Now have to become a paid service, we humbly asked for our users

Understanding. We priced the service at a subscription rate of USD 29.95

Per year. runbox found that whether to pay or not to pay, was the

Question for our users. We found that the users demanding a high

Performance email service and the extra storage space, were more than

Willing to pay USD 29.95 for it. runbox users are even willing to pay

Upfront for two and three years of service.

Runbox found that our users understood and approved. We have received

Dozens of comments like "runbox was too good to be free in the long run,

Here is my payment, keep up the good work".

The result? more than 2% of our former free users now pay for the service. Still, the best part is that we are not only having our existing users paying, we are also getting new paying customers, every day.

What about the 98% of our user base that went out? However much we

Regretted having to introduce the payment requirement to our users, the

Free model did not have the right of life for us. There was little other

Choice than to bid farewell to the 98% of our users that did not want to pay for the service.

Becoming a paid service has yielded all kinds of positive effects, the

Fact that we now have a long term viability to the business, has given a moral boost to everyone involved. The load on our system is greatly reduced allowing for strong growth with existing hardware. On the business side, runbox has got a healthy injection of fresh money from our existing paying customers and continual new revenue from new customers. We discovered the age-old truth that to succeed you

Must focus on delivering great service to your paying customers.

In short; runbox has gone from a free email service that was losing

Money to a paid email service that is profitable. We now see a bright

New future for our company and our service.

Hans Jørgen Lysglimt

CEO / Founder

Runbox AS

Hj@runbox. com

Www. runbox. com

Copy of this press release is posted on runbox website at:

Http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/ci/pressrelease. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/ci/pressrelease. doc)

Press images of CEO Hans Jørgen Lysglimt for free publication at:

Http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/ci/press/images/default. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/ci/press/images/default. doc)


Hans Jørgen Lysglimt

CEO / Founder

Runbox AS

Kongens gate 24

N-0153 Oslo


Hj@runbox. no

Www. runbox. com

Www. runbox. no


Info@runbox. com

Phone: +(47) 24 14 99 50

Fax: (47) 24 14 99 59

Cell phone +(47) 92 41 05 10


Main URL: http://www. runbox. com (http://www. runbox. com)
Help URL: http://docs. runbox. com (http://docs. runbox. com)
Features: http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/default. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/default. doc)
FAQ: http://docs. runbox. com/en/help/faq. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/help/faq. doc)
Support email: support@runbox. com

Make your runbox email experience even better with runbox addons. Get

Faxes directly to your email address, register and use runbox with your

Own domain name, etc:

Http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/addons. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/addons. doc)

Join the Runbox Affiliate Program. Recommend Runbox Mail Manager to

Your friends and make USD 11 for every paying user you refer to runbox:

Http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/referral. doc (http://docs. runbox. com/en/info/referral. doc)

Runbox AS is a privately owned Norwegian limited company, developing and

Hosting custom made email solutions based on the runbox email

Application platform. runbox' latest customer, NRK, is the largest

Broadcasting company in Norway (see http://www. nrkpost. no (http://www. nrkpost. no)). runbox is working with NASDAQ listed (TELN) Norwegian telecom operator

Telenor (www. telenor. com) to integrate the runbox email application with

Chargeable SMS services for mobile phones.

All runbox servers run Linux supported by runbox Linux partner Linpro (www. linpro. no) and are hosted with NASDAQ listed (KQIP)

KNPQwest (www. kpnqwest. no).