Simple mission: provide free email to everyone, and make it accessible anywhere, from any browser.
The question was: What was the best way to inform the public and gain followers?
Answer: branded email signatures
At the bottom of every outgoing email, Hotmail attached a simple message. It read:
- “Get your free email at Hotmail”
- ‘PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail’
If people clicked on the link, they were directed to the Hotmail website where they could quickly and easily sign up for an account. It was a powerful call-to-action because it was succinct, offered a clear benefit, and made it easy to enact upon.
How well did it work?
Well, in just two years, Hotmail gained 12 million subscribers, spending just a half-million dollars in the process.