New Web-based e-mail start of new trend

The day many knew would arrive is here., a new Web-based free e-mail service, is offering members a new twist on an old theme. This site will pay users to view advertising.

Eric Bibi, vice-president of operations at Los Angeles, Calif.-based BZCOM Marketing Inc., the company launching, explained that this site is different from all others because it allows users to choose not to view any ads, and keep their e-mail account, or to choose to view ads from various categories of interest. And each ad viewed earns hard cash.

“You can choose any category, or you can change your mind. Eighty-three per cent of women choose health,” he noted. “People can say they are not interested at any time.”

The site launched Feb. 8 and has already opened more than 10,000 accounts. Daniel Gibalevich was a beta user who liked the site so much, he was one of the first to join.

The 33-year-old law student at the University of Laverne in Los Angeles said the whole concept is a great idea.

“I tried to look at other sites, like Cybergold, but you have to look at ads before you can use features on the site. YoYoMail combined the advantages of all those other sites,” Gibalevich said, adding the only change he would make is to allow users to send multiple attachments.

There are 31 ad categories for clients to choose from, including fine arts, sports, software and entertainment. Each ad pays the viewer at least US5 cents and when an account has built up US$20, BZCOM will issue a cheque.

According to Matthew Cain, vice-president of Web and collaboration services for META Group, this is just the start of an obvious trend.

“I think that we would be fooling ourselves if we thought that this idea was not going to be produced,” he said, adding one of the most important aspects to this is the concept of personal data as a commodity.

“People will quickly learn that their profile is worth a lot to advertisers, so there may come a day when people can take that information and barter it for services,” Cain said.

The YoYoMail ads usually run between 15 and 20 seconds. At the end of the ad, viewers click a confirm button that generally links them to the advertisers’ homepage.

Gibalevich explained the ads employ Flash and are much more interesting than reading text or banner ads. Gibalevich and Cain agreed the site was amazingly easy to use.

Cain noted there are enough people on the Web to make this a viable business. “Folks who would probably be on the Web making no money, can now be on the Web and making some.”

Bibi added that people can earn more money by referring friends to the site. “For every ad your referral views, you get three cents and for every ad their referrals view you get one cent,” he said. The site will also ask users to participate in polls and pay people for their time. is offering 100 per cent click-through to the advertisers as well. If the advertisers pay for 50,000 viewers, YoYoMail will continue to show the ad until that number of users have confirmed seeing the ad.

Sample ads are available at – click on e-mail samples.

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