A Simple Business Opportunity

Easyspace, based in West Byfleet, UK, occupies a market niche in the UK similar to TuCows’ position in North America. Founded in 1997, the company offers domain name registration, hosting, and email, and has a wholesale division, Easynic.

The company now has an office in Bangkok, Thailand that does software development and also marketing in the Asia region. Easyspace’s newest domain name offering is the .cn domain. The company expects the China market to grow rapidly. Notes Tina Hulewicz, Easyspace marketing manager, “China has 60 million PC users, which is equivalent to the entire population of the UK.”

Closer to home, in the Europe market, Easyspace has launched Easypost, offering full service email to anyone in the world, but with marketing focused on the UK.

Easypost is powered by San Jose, Calif.-based Everyone.net, an email outsourcer that provides brandable, customizable, full service email. Everyone.net provides anti-virus, anti-spam, POP and IMAP, and webmail. Everyone.net partners with Sophos for anti-virus, and uses its own anti-spam solution.

The company has always touted the ability of email to sell the ISP business. Josh Mailman, vice president of marketing for Everyone.net, says that Easyspace has achieved some notable firsts. “They’re the first to embrace the idea of productizing email service under their own brand, Easypost. We saw this as an opportunity to work with a company that saw email as more than just adding to the service offering they already had.”

Deluxe services help both the ISP and its outsourcer. “Whatever they’re going to do that promotes more mailboxes and more features benefits them, of course, and it also benefits us. The better they do, the better we do. We have great reach within the U.S., but they’re extending the areas where our email service gets sold.”

The offering’s success validates Everyone.net’s business focus. “Mail on its own can be its own product,” says Mailman. “It’s more than just doing it to lower costs. It also legitimizes the product category of mail.”

Easyspace claims 500,000 users worldwide, with monthly growth of 7,000 domain names and 5,000 users. In less than two months, the company has migrated 125,000 mailboxes to the Everyone.net-powered Easypost service.

Martin Lines, Easyspace COO, explains that when the company felt a need to upgrade its email, it decided it had to outsource. “We always offer free mailboxes with domains. We had 105,000 active mailboxes, but we only offered basic POP3 mail. We wanted to push into value-added services like webmail, anti-virus, and anti-spam.”

The company looked at offerings from several companies including its tangential competitor TuCows, but settled on Everyone.net’s complete solution. “We looked at a half-outsource solution where they would provide the infrastructure but we would manage it and we decided to outsource the whole lot,” says Lines. “We were pleased that Everyone.net concentrates on email.”

The company has been offering its full service suite, which it calls “elite,” for free for two months. That offer will end in January. The Easypost price list shows that the company offers full service email relatively cheaply. Assuming that, after taxes, the elite service costs slightly less than £12, it would cost about $21 per year. That’s less than many anti-spam services charge alone, without the additional services offered.

ISPs interested in value-added email services will be able to justify the upgrade if they consider both the additional revenues of a better service and the cost savings realized by upgrading to something more stable. ISPs expecting to charge several dollars per month for anti-spam or anti-virus alone may find that takeup rates are poor.

In addition to cost savings and additional revenues, Easyspace has upgraded its email to outdo the competition and to reach new, less-savvy users.

Notes Lines, “our competitors’ email services are more basic than Easypost. They don’t offer anti-spam and/or anti-virus.”

Adds Hulewicz, “everything in Easypost is geared towards end users who are not too familiar with the Internet.”

Lines enthuses, “the market used to be only tech-aware people. Now there’s a new raft of prospects. They do understand what an email address is.”

“But we want to leave out jargon like ‘domain name’ and ‘POP3’ from our ads,” says Hulewicz. “People understand what an email address is.”

That’s Easypost. Make the service sophisticated, but keep the message simple. Sounds like a good, simple recipe for success.

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