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Why does Web Mail have advertisements? - 11/29/06

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Why does Web Mail have advertisements?
Date: November 29, 2006 5:45 PM
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Advertisements generate revenue that helps us continue to invest in our web mail application. Features like spamBlocker and our recently launched Anonymous Email Addresses are possible in part because of that advertising revenue. There is no setting that allows you to turn the advertisements off in Web Mail. Of course you could bypass the advertisements completely by using software like Outlook Express or EarthLink Mailbox to check your email. But then you wouldn't get the extra benefits and features of using Web Mail.

Advertisements shouldn't slow down Web Mail, as they are programmed to always load last and all features are fully visible and usable without waiting for an advertisement to load. You can click any feature in the page and use it whether or not an advertisement has loaded, and you don't have to wait.

The ads have been a feature of Web Mail since we first launched it several years ago, and they have never been optional. Web Mail is one of the products that we offer free to everyone. But as a paid user you also get Internet access, email service using any software you like (without ads) and all the other things that come with the service, and you also get the convenience of using Web Mail. We understand that ads can sometimes be annoying, but we work hard to maintain a good user experience even with them.

UPDATE - On June 11, 2008 we added an Ad-Free Web Mail Option. Read about it here.


    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-97 of 97

Posted by: Rich Jordan   |   June 22, 2007 12:45 PM    |   (76)

Another brickbat for the terrible new ad placement in webmail. Unlike the earlier top ads it steals screen real estate right from the guts of the application we're trying to use and imposes its twitchy-flashy-garishness right next to the content we're trying to read.

Put a book you're reading next to a monitor showing one of those blatty annoying cartoons and try to concentrate on the book; you'll get the same feeling.

Its bad enough that we have to deal with advertisements in a PAID application (I'm certainly not getting webmail for 'free'). But when Earthlink arbitrarily decides to move those ads into the most blatantly conspicuous, unavoidable, distracting, space stealing spot on the page short of laying over the center... that is terribly inconsiderate. Put the ads back where they did not interfere with the application, please, if you can't do the right thing and eliminate them completely for paying customers and only punch ads out to folks who are NOT paying for their service from Earthlink (are there any?)...

And that login issue where the flash ads steal input focus? Thats a security issue as well as an annoyance; there have been times when the ad didn't load for 5-10 seconds. Long enough to type in the email address, tab to the password field and enter a character, then *poof* you're suddenly typing your password VISIBLY on the tail end of your email address. Don't notice that that happened? Hit return and your email address and appended password are suddenly in the browser's autocompletion history. NOT a good thing on a shared computer...

Posted by: ACarroll   |   July 29, 2007 3:22 PM    |   (77)

My experience has been the opposite of what you claim. The ads always load first, and the rest of the screen waits until the ads have loaded. I cannot do anything else until the ads have completed loading. Since I have dial-up access, the wait can be frustrating until the ads load.

In that case you are running an old browser and should update it. Browsers released in the past few years will behave as described. Some older browsers don't run the page scripts the same way.

Email Guy

Posted by: M Rowlett   |   August 10, 2007 3:56 PM    |   (78)

The change to the ad on the side decreased the message preview space, which I consider a very bad change. Now a new ad has appeared recently that flashes constantly and is even more annoying than the regular ads. You say that WebMail has more features than accessing your e-mail other ways; what are they?

Posted by: Chuck Wagner   |   September 11, 2007 11:38 PM    |   (79)

Bwahaha- ads load last indeed. you are running an old browser and need to update indeed. I could be wrong but I think I am running the latest update to firefox and I have the same experience as others- ads load somewhere other than last. not first, but in the middle just when I want to put in my log in and it totally screws up my log in typing. So I have to wait and wait while my extra slow dial up loads the dang ads Of course I could try broadband and fix it IF EARTHLINK EVER GOT ON THE STICK AND OFFERED BROADBAND OR A COMPETITVELY PRICED SAT CONNECTION IN MY AREA (Caps intentional shouting after 4 years of complaint, I am entitled to shout at earthlink and you email guy)

Sort of like rubbing salt in the wound as it were.

Slings and arrows, Chuck

As I've mentioned a number of times, the login page is an exception to ads always loading last. Once you are in Web Mail, they always do. We intend to fix this on the login page too. Thanks for the feedback.

Email Guy

Posted by: J Ward   |   September 18, 2007 8:41 PM    |   (80)

Please stop the ads in web mail. It loads last but my browser (latest versions and all) don't free up the window to move on until the ads are fully loaded. There's no opportunity to move on to view other messages, or any other action, until the ads complete. Web mail is the slowest thing I do on the web and it seems to be due to loading the ads.

I cannot believe that 100% of the ad money from display on web mail is put into development of the web mail tool and related infrastructure. Surely some part of the ad money from web mail displays benefits other parts of Earthlink. That is not fair.

Listen to the masses - stop the ads in web mail.

Posted by: gary woodruff   |   September 20, 2007 3:55 PM    |   (81)

It seems to me that email guy is missing the point, people do not like ads on the mail accounts they are paying for. The use of webmail is one of the reasons I started using mindspring/earthlink back in '97, to say that it is free therefore ads can be placed on it, is wrong. The ads are resource drains, and are annoying, very distracting from the task at hand. IF I was geeting your service for free, I would not complain, but as a paying customer for 10 years I find the obtuse statement that it is necessary for a "free service" to be just doubletalk. I use webmail daily, and on several different pc's everyday as I travel around my company, so to tell people to use a mail client to avoid ads is just plain patronizing.

One thing you should keep in mind, is that for everyone of us bloggers complaining there are probably hundreds others that come here, read the same ad justification non-sense and just decide there is no hope, so why not just cancel service and go with a free account like gmail and put up with the ads?

My company had several hundred mindspring accounts that we we paying for, we generally liked using webmail instead of troublesome clients like outlook, but lately we have been canceling and moving our mail to free accounts since we are going to be subjected to ads anyways. Is there any hope whatso ever that someone will make an executive decision and fix this problem?

Posted by: G leffingwell   |   September 27, 2007 9:24 PM    |   (82)

when I see the ads in my personal email, I feel like someone is eavesdropping. I hope earthlink will understand it is a great annoyance before they force people to change by their lack of a listening ear.

Posted by: Christine   |   September 28, 2007 12:10 PM    |   (83)

I'd pay more not to see the ads.

Posted by: chris   |   September 28, 2007 5:50 PM    |   (84)

OMG...these other bloggers have just made me think...of course we all pay for this email service!.....Why do we need to see the ads that are annoying me on this?
I understand the need for advertising...but I'm with Christine...add a little money to our fee and keep the email free....of ADS!

Posted by: Joe Boz   |   November 9, 2007 1:00 PM    |   (85)

Earthlink web is good except for the annoying ads. I WILL NOT GO TO THE SITES offered even if I wanted to. The space on the screen is limited. Why irritate the users? I know the money that you generate adds to the bottom line, but there is the irritation factor that motives people to NOT use their service.

Posted by: Dave   |   November 30, 2007 4:57 AM    |   (86)

I oppose having to pay a significant monthly ISP fee and still having to endure advertising. I request a two tier ISP pricing structure. Low fee say $9.95 per month with ads, or $49.95 per month with NO ads.

Posted by: Tigger   |   December 14, 2007 10:19 PM    |   (87)

Dear Email Guy,

I have used the generic earthlink feedback form (which I REALLY dislike - I want to know that I'll get a response from a REAL PERSON, and not some 3rd party support company in India). I would also like to join the chorus of folks complaining about the obnoxious ads on your webmail service. I, too, have paid for Earthlink service for many years. There are some things I am only able to do on Webmail (like delete large files that are too big to download with our dial-up service). I also have to use Webmail to delete old messages from my account, so I don't exceed my space limit. Having no alternative, I find it HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY (I would use some profanity here, if it didn't make you reject my message!!!!) OFFENSIVE that you LITTER MY visual environment on Webmail with your ads! I find this blatant pandering to commercial scumbag companies (like your recent "no money down, no credit history home loans - can you say, "Subprime Enabler!"?) so offensive that I have started looking for another ISP. I also mention every time the subject of ISPs and email comes up among friends how angry and dissatisfied my wife and I are with your webmail ads. I also agree with one of the previous posters who says that for everyone like us taking the time to complain, you can be sure there are thousands or even tens of thousands of folks who were equally incensed by your ads, but just don't want to waste their precious life energy telling you about it. You REALLY tarnish your reputation with these ads! Why don't you have a way to post messages directly to your marketing folks? They are the ones that need to get this message. I've worked in marketing for a big company and I know what those folks are like (yes, I'm generalizing, but I've been there and worked among them for so long, I feel my generalization is accurate). They get promoted by showing how they can make profits, usually at the expense of the customers - while convincing customers that it is really in their best interest...). Why the heck should we pay MORE for webmail without ads, when we are already paying for your service?

Sincerely Disappointed,

a long-time customer

Posted by: Lee   |   February 6, 2008 7:52 PM    |   (88)

I realize we have to put up with ads but when you added the large one on the right side of the E-Mail screen it, in many cases, cuts off part of the message. Is there any plans in the future to correct this problem ?

Normal email text should always wrap to the viewing window, and we also have that viewing space set to never reduce below a minimum size that can accommodate a standard line length of 80 characters. Highly styled and formatted messages, such as advertisements and newsletters, are often full web pages sent in email, and not really email messages. Those often require a full browser screen to display properly without using a horizontal scrollbar, and most email programs can't accomodate them without scrolling. But there should always be a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom allowing you to see everything. And if you sometimes need to view a particular message full-screen, just click the Print button, and cancel the Print dialog that pops up. That will give you a full window with only the message displayed, and no ad showing.

That said, there is a small bug for plain text messages where sometimes they don't wrap properly at window sizes less than 1024, and you have to use the scroll bar when you shouldn't have to. That will be fixed soon. We also will be modifying the layout in Web Mail 6.0 to allow you to toggle the folder panel hidden or visible, giving you a lot more viewing space. And lastly, there will be an option for ad-free Web Mail introduced very soon, and you will hear more about it when it is ready.

Email Guy

Posted by: Christine   |   February 10, 2008 1:15 PM    |   (89)

About those ads - ladies' buttocks on my webmail screen? Please, get rid of it. Also, those annoying ads from PC Advisor, whatever that is, saying that my computer, not yet one and a half years old, needs a tune-up. I will never respond to ads like these.

Posted by: Jeanette   |   February 25, 2008 10:21 AM    |   (90)

I understand the need for ads. Please stop the butterflies and the dancing ads. They are distracting and irritate you to the point that you would not buy their products. It does slow the process down too much.

Posted by: HH   |   March 1, 2008 7:17 PM    |   (91)

I also want the option of paying extra to get rid off the ads. I often have the the Web email window open when I am at work, and I don't want to worry about some stupid offending ad flashing by just when a co-worker or my boss walks by. I hope Earthlink is listening. I am so tired of the ads that I started looking for alternative email solutions. For example, I already know I can get ad-free webmail with 2GB(!!) of storage from Pobox.com for $50/year. That's less than $4.20/month.

Posted by: Doe   |   April 5, 2008 11:04 AM    |   (92)

All the ads are as bad as pop-ups. If we have a choice for NO pop-ups without a charge then we indeed should have a choice of NO Ads without a charge. Those animated ones are the worst and really look stupid. I agree with a lot of other users who say they never buy anything from those ads. I'm with them!!!

Posted by: Peter Brooks   |   April 7, 2008 3:46 PM    |   (93)

I notice that there are some people who are aggravated by unwanted ads (among them - me :)).

Would it be permissible here to suggest the use of the [redacted] on [redacted]?



Sure, but I don't have to publish those tricks here. :-)

Obviously we can't instruct on or support such hacks, which would confuse most users anyway. Clever users can find many ways to suppress advertising in all web sites if they are so motivated. We're going to offer an option very soon for ad-free Web Mail.

Email Guy

Posted by: Sheri K.   |   April 19, 2008 12:30 PM    |   (94)

Thank's for agreeing to do something about web mail ads. I am a long time (i.e. paying) earthlink customer, and the ease of using Webmail was what kept me here. The dancing people nearly did me it, but this week's ad (the golden ring thing?) it beyond believable. As I sit waiting for focus to return after the eventual (and I mean eventual) ad finishes loading. I could have gone somewhere else and picked up my mail.

Please hurry, and don't forget us paying customers.

I can't locate the ad you refer to. But you should never have to wait, you can click on anything before the ad loads in the background, and just move on to your next task. That should always work except with really old browsers. If there is a badly-behaved ad that interferes with this, let me know (in enough detail to find it).

Email Guy

Posted by: Rick   |   February 15, 2009 2:16 PM    |   (95)

Please STOP the annoying pop-up ads. I could care less where the nearest NAME BRAND gas station is! I DO NOT want to pay for a internet service and get annoying ads! I am on the verge of cancelling my subscription as soon as I check out other alternatives. I do not pay money for service to get unwanted ads. So, please stop them ASAP! Thank you.

We do not allow popup ads at EarthLink, but we are aware that one for Arco slipped in for a day or so before we caught it and removed it (from an ad agency). Please let me know if you see any more.

Email Guy

Posted by: C Plough   |   January 5, 2011 3:44 PM    |   (96)


Posted by: robin   |   July 9, 2011 9:49 PM    |   (97)

I frequently lose text i am typing because the resources are going towards loading our offensive ad videos. They're disgusting. We might as well be using free email like hotmail or gmail. We're the fools for continuing to give earthlink our $$.

    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-97 of 97

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