That’s how many people signed up for Microsoft’s re-vamped Hotmail email service, which they relaunched as Outlook.com this past Wednesday, August 1. Many reviewers, such as Gizmodo, are declaring Outlook email the “biggest victory since Gmail.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s Microsoft’s attempt to capture more enterprise customers by integrating themselves into workers’ personal lives. This news should interest online vendors and digital marketers alike. That’s because many consumers favor the use of anonymous-type email addresses (Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, etc) when shopping online or communicating with vendors–including car dealers–because they offer less personal information up front. Chances are good that you will start seeing Outlook email addresses showing up in leads. You need to ensure that your CRM isn’t going to view the new outlook.com email addresses as spam.
On another note, if you were part of the land grab of e-mail addresses on Wednesday, you might have been able to get some really sweet e-mail addresses–maybe even using just your first name. The momentum of sign-ups is sure to plateau, but as long as desirable and easy e-mail addresses are available, we believe many people would make the switch rather than have a long, hard-to-remember Yahoo or Gmail address because of the lack of availability. Would you rather have firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com? The choice seems easy.