Google's Gmail makes hit number two for a very successful marketing tactic. It's not a new tactic, but it's been proven particularly effective for the search giant.
Google's created so much buzz surrounding Gmail that people are willing to give their left arm for an account
. But why? Gmail is just webmail right? I mean, it has alot of storage, that nice. But it's still just webmail.
So why are people going crazy to get an account? Because you aren't allowed to have one! Yes, you might be the best geek around, have all the latest gadgets, but the sing-song voice in your head is chanting like kids on playground "Neah-nee-neah-nee-neah-neah you can't have an account!".
So you want an account! You have a cell phone that takes pictures in the dark, a laptop that can connect to the internet from the south pole, and can track your GPS location within one yard - BUT YOU CAN'T HAVE AN ACCOUNT!
But wait, there's more. How to frustrate a self declared metrosexual (technosexual?) even more? Give out a handful of accounts to one of the most vocal communities around - Bloggers. Now everywhere you turn, bloggers are posting about Gmail. Gmail this and gmail that, but you still can't have an account!
But I mentioned that this is hit number two. Though the shine's worn off a little, Google's Orkut
has followed the same path. You can't join Orkut
unless you know someone else who's already a member.
And the timing could be better! Google's pending IPO promises to be a huge event, and don't expect the announcements to stop coming. The carrot and stick approach has worked well so far. Expect to hear more of this before they offer up any stock.