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February 12, 2007

What's Gmail's Selling Point?

Google UK's homepage links to Gmail: "Free email with 2.8GB storage and less spam. Try Google Mail (BETA)." If you click on the link, you'll be sent to a different template of Gmail's homepage:

The top reason for choosing Gmail is you'll get less spam. "Users say that less spam is one of the top reasons that they love Gmail." It's interesting that Gmail's storage is not that catchy anymore, now that other webmail services have similar or even bigger storage quotas.

Now that Gmail has become more available and will go public pretty soon for everyone, my question is: why would you choose Gmail now?


  1. Less spam??? Sometimes it puts not-spam letters to spam folder. So, be careful.
    I'm using it, because:
    1) I respect Google,
    2) Very good interface with useful functions,
    3) A lot of space is cause too,

  2. Simply Google rocks. If its from google, no doubt it is best in the market.
    Secondly, I get free pop acces.
    I can FTP my files throug GSPace Firefox extention.
    Thirdly, Ease of use (AJAX matters).

    4. Chat from browser.
    5. Full text search.
    6. Forwarding.
    7. Send mail via another identity.
    8. No spam.
    9. Voice mail through GOOGLE TALK.
    10. Jabber protocol. Use google talk in you companies project. make your own client application for chatting.



    and the list goes on and on.

    You name it and Google have it.


  3. because it's the fastest, best, email client available. nothing is as good as gmail

  4. Gmail is just plain freaking awesome, why ask for reasons!

  5. Because I've got thousands of email stored with it and I've been using it for around two and a half years.

    It rocks too. =)

  6. Hi,

    It's worth noting that the "Create an account" button/link on that page allows UK IPs to sign up for a address istead of the expected

    Despite this, the GMail logo in to the corner has been replaced for a Google Mail logo (for me, seeing as im in the UK).


  7. I use Gmail because I like to share my e-mail with the public and I can be sure that I will be able to look up today's e-mail in 50 years without a single e-mail lost! :)

  8. The bottom line is Gmail has all of the obvious features that others have copied or at least got close...

    Its not however obvious to people who dont use it that infact the threading of email conversation is the killer feature that i for one would not be able to do without...


  9. Because I have been using it for almost 3 years and I use ALL the other Google services and there is nothing better.

  10. I use Gmail because it's great. Better than every other email software out there

  11. In addition to all what is posted, I like that all Google services are controlled from one gmail account. From my Homepage to Google maps, from Blogger to bookmarks, all is controlled from one account. No Disaster, Thanks to Google!

  12. - Labels - I love the ability to assign multiple labels (or a single label!). I'd find it hard to live without it
    - Conversations - grouping them together and hiding the text already read - again, I'd find it's hard to live without it
    - Inbox / Archiving - I no longer have to choose whether something is in my Inbox or in another folder. I also don't have to delete things - they're there when I need them, and not there when I don't want to see them.

    At this point, it would be hard to get me to try another email system, because Gmail is perfect for me.

  13. Yeah, I know Gmail is great. But I was wondering what are the main features that will make people switch to Gmail or create their first email address there.

    Everyone who really wanted to get a Gmail address already has it by now. Google will try (already tries) to get new users when Gmail goes public. How could it do that? What's Gmail's selling point for an ordinary user?

  14. good thread, and timely for me, too, because i've just managed to move my entire immediate family to gmail.

    my feature pitch is that it ties into google calendar, has a built-in chat client (my father used chat for the first time in gmail last week. i cant imagine having to convince my parents to do something like download adium and set up this or that account), and is able to handle large picture files or folders.

    so, i guess size is still, for me, a selling feature. but not the most important one.

  15. This Brazilian Homepage has a different name service for (almost) the same thing:

  16. Gmail WAS great for me, but I've switched back to Yahoo! Mail (for my primary account) and I wish I had never used Gmail. (Windows Live Hotmail isn't all that great, but people now seem to like the 2 gig inbox.)

    To answer your question: Gmail does NOT have a selling point for an ordinary user. An ordinary user does not get emails that would fill the 2.8+ gb mailbox and would care less about having conversation threads in my opinion. Plus, we all know that email addresses are pretty sticky.

    All my friends made a Gmail account and used it in the beginning, but now have deleted their accounts and continue to use Yahoo and/or Hotmail. Also, Gmail does NOT have an attractive interface and is NOT user-friendly for beginners or an "ordinary" user.

    Most importantly, I've TOTALLY lost my trust in Gmail. ForEARLY Gmail adopters (people who signed up for it when it just came out), dots were recognizable. Later on, Google must've realized that they had this problem and "fixed" this problem and gave all dot combinations to one user (and started saying that dots were unrecognizable.

    But, because they made the dots "unrecognizable" later on, I started to receive emails addressed to another person with the same name.

    Please don't tell me that I'm receiving spam or someone has hacked into my account. You don't know this problem until you've experienced it.

    I had firstlastname and the other person had first.lastname. Now, I'm not the ONLY person who has experienced this and many others have experienced as well.

    Do you know where your bank statements and passwords have gone? Kind people have emailed their "dot" or "no-dot" person and notified them and Google, but what if you had a "bad" individual who enjoyed receiving your personal emails?

    It should be fine if you've signed-up for Gmail later (I don't know how much later), but if you signed-up for it early, your emails could be going to someone else's inbox. I hate extreme Gmail lovers who tell me that other people's personal emails are actually addressed to me and/or that they are typos and/or that they are spam. I think they are in denial and experiencing cognitive dissonance.

    Now, I just use Gmail for unimportant mailing lists and also use Google Reader, but that's it.

  17. Some of the best selling points for GMail are missed here:

    1. The core value of Webmail. Anytime access anywhere from any computer.

    2. Top-notch searching and tagging.

  18. its nice interface, storage and please google...don't delete contacts nor emails anymore ;)


  19. I wish it had the ability for a iamge in your signature file for a business logo and I also wish it had the ability to leave reputation information like but besides that it is the best.

  20. I also love it, although could be some improvements in the interface, f.e. a very light weight, with only the absolutely nessecary functions.

    The labels are a bit too tiny, I'd also like to colorize certain e-mails in my inbox. Maybe some more integration with Notebook, wich I heavily use. I'd like to get more space and use it as virtual hard-drive.

    I don't like the Chat-function, disabled now, when I am writing Mails I got too often disturbed. Also it seems to confuse my e-mail connection sometimes. I use already about 30% of the 2.8 Gigs, so I would not say, that "nobody" needs that space. Would be great to know, that there are 10 ;-)

    But what I like:

    The management of contacts and lists of contacts


    The labels

    The scan for viruses

    The drafts

    and the lately integration with other e-mail-accounts, so I do not have to log-in in that anymore
    (I paid a pro-Acc. at GMX and nevertheless had so nerving advertisments and funny-meant "community"-spam-Emails )

    Thank you Google !

  21. The guy above talking about vs. What is he talking about? I have first.last and am getting all my emails. Is he saying my email is also going to His post is confusing me. Can someon elaborate? Should I be concerned?

  22. There are three things that make Gmail indespensible to me: Excellent spam filtering, POP3 access to my other email accounts so I can consolidate all of my email in one place, and threaded conversations.

  23. @mark: GMail ignores the dots in an e-mail address. This means that if you have, someone can send an e-mail to and it'll work. In fact, someone can even send an e-mail to, and you'll still receive it.

    The problem was that early in GMail's history, it let people register both addresses. So if someone wanted, it would let him have it, causing problems to both users.

    This isn't a problem anymore, as you can no longer register usernames that vary only by the dots from existing usernames. But anyone who had that problem in the past might still have such problems.

    As for why I choose gmail? The UI, primarily. I hate the new Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail precisely because they try too hard to mimic the desktop experience. It succeeds in matching the desktop experience, but I don't think that's necessarily the best experience. GMail took some risks by presenting users with something somewhat unfamiliar, but turned it into the best system for organizing large quantities of mail. The storage space is great, too.

  24. I really like gmail and would like to use it for all my email.

    There is a feature to enable multiple email addresses and for gmail to respond using that address. You then forward email for that address to your gmail account. Great - NOT!

    Because when you respond gmail sends out on behalf of thus exposing your gmail account to all and sundry.

    Don't know if this is true when using Mail fetcher if you are one of the lucky ones who can access this yet.


  25. Gmails great as it shows all your e-mails as a conversation. I like this new great g-mail page too, it's a very good design. I've never had any problems with g-mail.

  26. conversations
    chat storing
    mobile access
    send as feature
    mail fetch (pop3 up to other accounts)
    anti spam filter
    phishing warnings
    10 mb attachments
    virus scan
    play mp3 without download
    open pdf, pps, doc... as html
    quick contacts
    integrated chats
    integration with all google services (calendar, docs...)


  27. Pffft, I can't believe that some people still use hotmail.

  28. .......because everything is so simple and easy to work with...

    I can't wait for JotSpot integration and an actual Jotspot account.

    I'll be delighted to shell out some more $$ here


  29. something that's often forgotten but makes a huge difference: there are no ads embedded in the message! the ads are shown on the side.
    I am reminded of how great this is EVERY SINGLE TIME I receive an email from someone with a Hotmail account and I am proposed to fly private jets with Microsoft Office Live or some other crap offer that I could care less about...

  30. >>The problem was that early in GMail's history, it let people register both addresses. So if someone wanted, it would let him have it, causing problems to both users.

    The fact that Google will not admit this past mistake is a BIG problem for me. They've lost my trust in regards to their Gmail service. They should just say something like, "We make mistakes and made a mistake. If you are receiving other people's emails, please delete your email address and create a new one. We will assist with the moving of your emails, etc."

    >>This isn't a problem anymore, as you can no longer register usernames that vary only by the dots from existing usernames. But anyone who had that problem in the past might still have such problems.

    He is correct. I don't know when Google fixed this problem, but it should be okay now as they now give all of the dot combinations to one user.

    I've been using Yahoo mail longer than I've used Gmail and it's definitely more reliable than Gmail. I've never had to wait 3 freakin' days to send one email. It's not significantly slower than Gmail and I'm sure the Yahoo mail team will make it work as fast as it can. If you think it's slow, you can always use the original format and it is faster than ever.

    Oh, and the fact that Yahoo cooperated with the Chinese government is very unfortunate, but I'm sure Google would've given information to the Chinese government if they requested it. The man sent to jail happened to use Yahoo mail, that's all, hence the bad publicity for Yahoo. What about Google's censoring! This is evidence that Google also cooperates with foreign governments. This is just as bad as sending an "innocent" man to jail. Microsoft also experienced similar problems in the past I think, and people don't seem to have problems using Hotmail!

    If Gmail was so great and definitely worth switching, it would have 250+ million users from Yahoo! and 220+ million users from Hotmail. Gmail's global reach is what, 50 million?!?

    On a side note,you should read the TOU/TOS of all the email service providers. I'm a Canadian citizen in Canada and protected by the Canadian law according to Yahoo! Canada's TOU. If I were to use Hotmail, I must abide by State of Washington's laws. If I were to use Gmail, I must abide by State of California laws. NO THANK YOU!

  31. I think that
    1) other Goolge services, old and new, will make people register for a new Gmail account. Like Blogger, Groups,...
    2) Existing users will continue to send invitations to others, so I think Gmail should keep the invitation form.

  32. Conversation History.

    I've been with Gmail beta since launch and I am so addicted to that feature that if it were taken away from me I might honestly quit email all-together. I just couldn't handle email anymore. It'd be like going back to vacuum tubed, card reading, room sized computers.

    Also I am loyal to Google and will always sign up for their stuff.

  33. A very interesting article:

    "Back in 2004, let's remind of the situation: Yahoo! held 30% and Hotmail 33%, the remainder were diluted (Lycos, Sina, Excite, AskJeeves). Yahoo! Mail offered 4 MB for storage and Hotmail 2 MB (that seems so far!!). Their interface was rudimentary and both financed their services through image advertising and premium services extending the initial capabilities.

    Then Gmail arrived on the Web with many leap forward. An interface very modern (based on AJAX) with above all 1 GB for storage. A strong message: You'll neither have to erase your mails any more! (...)

    The awakening is slow but real. To prevent more people to leave Yahoo moved to 100 MB and Hotmail to 25 MB and then 250 MB.

    And how are the statistics doing in 2006: Yahoo! Email with 42%, MSN Hotmail to 23%, MySpace Email at 20%, and Gmail with 2.54%. What is wrong? (...)

    Google set its standards and its approach by being the first to use new technologies. It became a reference. Beyond this prestige fact, we know well that in the current economy the one enforcing its point of view is the one building its future as a leader. Whereas its competitors will be followers spending on catch up R & D to format themselves according to someone else rules. A second approach is that it seems less risky to offer today almost 3 GO of storage space for 2,54% users rather than 2 GO at more than 42% users. Because even if space is almost never filled, the ratio remain 16 to 1 for Yahoo!

    So, Google jabbed its blade and bled the main actors which had to go over their profits, as well as their business model out of fear for losing their best customers, the webmails being an important core to other services. This strategy of the weak facing the strong was perhaps not in the initial plans of Google. It certainly wanted, like it us used to, to collect statistics in order to finalize its offer to the general public. Still, almost 3 years is very long, and competitors had plenty of time to update. This may go against Google which does not offer any longer any disruptive innovation to give a good reason to users to change their main email address. Unless of course, Google kept secret some last moment assets."

  34. currently i am thinking of moving my stuff all to gmail (or any other e-mail provider) from yahoo, mainly because of the reason that i actually forgot the secret answer i will have to provide to my secret question, should i once forget my password.
    i contacted the helpdesk to let reset my secret Q&A, but they told me that they can't since i cannot recall my existing secret answer. indeed, i do have some understanding for their position and that they "stick with the rules".
    however, i am a subscriber of the mailplus service and used my personal credit card (issued on john lastname) on the back of which my identity can be proved very easily, and also my yahoo id is "lastnamejohn". the secret question is in swiss german, my mother tongue, which should be even more of an indication of my origin. and of course, i remember all the other personal and contact details that i submitted to yahoo (and again fit with the credit card static data)-- except for the secret answer.
    it is not that i want a new password at this point-- i still remember it and i am a frequent user of the service-- it is really only about re-setting the secret question and answer.
    anyway, the helpdesk is very un-cooperative, and hence i will have to be very careful not to forget my password ever-- i won't be able to recover it any longer.

    the problem moving away from yahoo to gmail or any other is primarily that a decent combination of my not so rare john and lastname is hardly available any longer from any of the major providers. so i would have to go for a fictional expression to the left of the @.

    second, i think there is a realistic chance that once google feels ready to do so, they switch off many features users have been enjoying (POP3 access, etc.) and will start to offer these to fee-paying subscribers only-- just as yahoo and the others did.

    anybody an idea whether windows live is worth looking at?

  35. I created my account when it was by invitation only and I'm glad that I knew somebody who knew somebody, who knew somebody...
    I'm still trying to wean my contacts off Hotmail/Windows Live and Yahoo but some will not convert. My initial attraction to Gmail was the storage space, but now I love it more for the near perfect spam filtering and the auto save feature to name a couple. Combined with Firefox, it's freakin' awesome.

    The UI is not particularly attractive but I'm looking for more than that when it comes to email. I'm tired of sifting through the Hotmail spam to get through to my real emails plus I just hate the Windows Live UI, period. My first and only webmail address was through Hotmail [10+ years], but now I'm moving to Gmail with Hotmail as an alternate [for the unbelievers among my contacts].

  36. To John above:

    Too bad about forgetting your secret answer.

    Anyway, I don't think Google will "switch off" the many "free" features of Gmail. They seem very data hungry compared to others (this worries me) and want to attract as many people as possible.

    Also, as long as you don't sign-up for the domain you still get POP3 and mail forwarding for free. (To my knowledge, POP3 and mail forwarding is free for users with the domains,,, and a couple of others. You should check for these features after you sign-up.) Also, & (and few others) get AddressGuard for free.

    In terms of customer service, Yahoo Mail's is excellent (even for a non-paying customer). They promptly reply to your requests and questions in a very friendly manner. Windows Live Mail support staff are good too, but they take a bit longer to reply compared to Yahoo.

    If you contact Gmail support, they will NOT reply. You are expected to ask your questions and get answers from your peers in the Gmail support group. (NOW if you pay for Google Apps, they will reply to your questions.)

    Window's Live Hotmail is just so-so to me, but much better than the original Hotmail, of course. I try not to use it.

    Anyway, I think you should try WLH and Gmail and see which one you like and pick one or both!


  37. thank you for your advice. kind regards, john.

  38. POP Access, resulting in the same email available in Outlook and on the web. Also, I hit my 2GB limit at one point and had to delete email to continue receiving email. The next time I checked, my GMAIL mail limit was 15,360MB - basically 15GB.

  39. I've been using Gmail for a couple of years now-- I managed to get an invite pretty early on. While I love the tags and, usually, love the message threading, I wish there was a way to adjust the threads. for example, once in a while an email will get into a thread it doesn't belong in and I would like to take it out or, more commonly, a thread will be disrupted when the mail's subject is different. Being able to combine two threads into one would be convenient.

  40. Try using Microsoft's filemon.exe utility.

    You'll find that gmail is constantly accessing your IE history.

    You may be OK with that, but its something you should know.


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