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Stereotyping AOL Email Users

Stereotyping people by the type of email client they use.

Today I’d like to talk about AOL email users.

In our type of industry where we don’t get to meet very many people in person, you can find yourself struggling to find trends within your clients.  One of the trends I look at is the type of email they have and what type of client they turn out to be over the course of time.

I think it’s funny how I hear a lot of people bash on business owners that don’t have a “Real” email address.  (Meaning, yourname@yourbusinessname.com)

About a week or two ago, I had a friend that runs a venture capital company tell me he doesn’t even entertain a proposal from a business if they don’t have a professional email with a domain ending.  Now that theory MAY work for him… But when someone wants to give us money to hire us, I don’t like to discriminate.    So with that preface I’ll tell you about a project we did about a year ago tailored towards AOL email users.

I started to realize that AOL email users were some of my most loyal clients.  Let’s think back to the beginning of AOL.  In the beginning of email hotmail was free, and AOL cost money.  If you have an AOL email, the ONLY reason you probably still have it, was because you weren’t cheap like 13 years ago.  The fact that you still have an AOL email means that you just don’t see the need to change something if it isn’t broken.

Now THAT makes a great client :)

If we dig into that a little farther, AOL people were willing to PAY for something that could be found elsewhere for free.  Did I mention that’s a great client trait also?  (Ironically, that friend of mine still has an AOL email he doesn’t use, but had when I first met him!!)

So in summary, AOL email people tend to be loyal and someone who is willing to pay for a better service or product than what is available for free…  And then not change or think about changing for 13 years… Can I buy AOL just to get this email list?

So we started noticing that AOL users also used different terminology than gmail users and more current email client users.  So we took the time to purposely try to rank for these type of terms.  Further more, AOL search is powered by google search, BUT a lot of AOL type people use Yahoo or MSN.  Which requires a completely different style of a website to rank for search terms than the style needed to rank in google.  Did it pay off?  Oh Yeah.  We have consistently gotten more AOL email signups since going for this strategy.

So what’s my point?

-You may already have some valuable data if you just look at your own clients in the right way.

-Don’t count out a type of client by stereotyping their email address.

-It’s pretty pointless to go out there and pull in thousands of clients you don’t really want.  Finding the type of client YOU WANT is something many people overlook.

Just in case you’re wondering, I’ll stereotype the following email users in the up and coming posts:

gmail.com

mac.com

hotmail.com

comcast.net

businessname.com  (Owned domain with email on it.)

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