Fees Rile Spam Foes

from the oops dept

Cloudmark got a ton of publicity when they launched their “distributed” P2P spam catching application, but they’ve just made a strategic error. Generally speaking, if you’re getting people to help you build your product for free – you probably shouldn’t turn around and charge them, but that’s exactly what Cloudmark has decided to do. It makes much more sense to continue to offer the free product, and charge for added value. When they first launched, they had indicated that the consumer version would always be free – and they would make money on the corporate version. Of course, there’s plenty of competition in the space, and so they’ve decided that the consumer version shouldn’t be free either. In the case of Cloudmark – more than other anti-spam companies – this move is incredibly dangerous because they’re clearly going to lose the large majority of their free users – who are the ones who create the database of spam that makes the product work. By charging for the product, they’re actually making the product not work as well. This doesn’t seem all that well thought out.

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Comments on “Fees Rile Spam Foes”

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David (user link) says:

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Totally agree. The one thing they have done is to say that the beta-testers (ie, anyone who signed up before May(ish)) can continue to use the thing for free. But you won’t be able to download updates or install it on anything new again.

I can’t see many people paying $4 a month for their service. Yes, it works pretty well, but $50 a year to delete emails? Forget it…

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