The Web Mail Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent survey.
I received thousands of responses, and statistically the sample size indicates a 99% confidence level that the quantitative responses (multiple choice) fall within +/- 2.5% of the mean for the entire Web Mail user population. That means the answers should fairly represent most users. There was also great participation in the open-ended questions, where you could describe what you need or would like to see in Web Mail. I added all those answers up too (thousands of open-ended answers and I read every single one) and there were a lot of repeated themes that I’ll summarize and rank.
As promised, I’m publishing the full results here. We’re still digesting all the information internally and formulating plans to try and better meet the top needs of our users. But you can count on a lot of this information leading to specific solutions.
The survey gathered 3 sets of useful data:

  • Web Mail usage by tenure, frequency, connection type, browser, and OS.
  • Web Mail satisfaction for reliability, speed, features, storage, and ease-of-use.
  • Unmet needs and desired improvements.

We asked 8 required multiple-choice questions for quantitative and ranking data, and 3 optional open-ended questions for additional data on user needs and problems. Here’s the results, and some comments summarizing what we learned:

First, the basic questions about Web Mail users.
If we count all the respondents who say they have used Web Mail for over 3 months, AND use Web Mail at least 3 times per week, AND use Web Mail at least as regularly as POP (Outlook or similar software), we get 77% of all the respondents. That’s a high percentage of regular and heavy users providing the data. This “self-selection bias” of respondents means we are hearing from engaged users who have an opinion.
28% say they “usually” or “regularly” use Web Mail over dialup. This is a very important group that has specific needs, particularly speed optimization (more on that later).

  • 15% use Safari, which is a unique browser shipped on Macs that sometimes has different behavior than IE and Firefox.
  • 19% use Mac OSX.
  • 9% are using a Windows version older than XP or Vista (at least sometimes, users could choose more than one answer).

These are significant population segments that must be supported.

Next we asked users about general satisfaction.
I’ve graphed the responses. Here’s the results for all respondents combined.
Here’s the results for only those users who said they usually use Web Mail over a high-speed connection in question #4.
And for the dialup users:
Both high-speed and dialup users rated “speed” and “features” the lowest overall score of the categories listed. The best overall scores were for “reliability” and “ease-of-use”.
High-speed users rated features lowest.
Dialup users rated speed lowest.
High-speed users are generally a little happier about everything, with top 2 boxes averaging 79% vs. 72% for dialup.

Next we asked users to rank the importance of several enhancements we are already considering, in order to help us prioritize them.
The top ranked responses, in order, are:

  1. “Auto-save while writing messages so the text isn’t lost if I lose my connection.”
  2. “Never flag a message as spam if the sender is in my Address Book .”
  3. “Save my default font settings for writing messages.”
  4. “Put common tasks in a toolbar across the top of the page.”

Some others that were highly ranked by users are:

  • “Insert pictures inline in the body of a message.”
  • “Allow more than 3 file attachments on outgoing messages.”
  • “Allow easy switching between mailboxes while logged in.”
  • “Improve searching and sorting in the Address Book.”

We then asked three open-ended questions:
74% of respondents answered one or more of these, and 52% answered two or more. Here’s the top 20 responses for each one. Some of the same general responses show up in each of the questions (we’ll combine them in a minute).

9. Without limiting your answer to the list above, what one new Web Mail feature would be most useful to you?

Rank Generalized response
1 More personal control of spam (higher block list limit, allow blocking top-level domains, allow custom filters)
2 More storage space
3 Auto-save while writing messages so the text isn’t lost if I lose my connection
4 The feature or preference already exists for what the user wants but they don’t know it
5 Better rich-text compose (save font settings as default, should work on Safari, make it easier to use)
6 Improve the layout (make it easier, toolbar at the top, signout link at top)
7 Improve the speed, particularly log-in time
8 Allow easy switching or combined viewing of multiple mailboxes, bypassing login screen
9 Improve address book sorting, searching, and syncing
10 Be able to insert pictures in the body of new messages
11 Eliminate the 3-attachment limit in Web Mail
12 Remove advertisements or move them out of the way
13 Improve the search feature, including message body text
14 Add a positive whitelisting feature for addresses to bypass all spam filtering
15 Improve reliability
16 Allow compose and/or read message in separate popup window(s) so I can do more than 1 thing
17 Improve the spell-check ( better dictionary, inline checking, allow add-to-dictionary)
18 Make forwarding easier and more accurate, particularly with inline images and certain message types
19 Support mobile devices
20 (3-way tie) Login without typing domain; Larger attachment limit; Don’t require login every time from same computer

10. If we could fix one thing in Web Mail that doesn’t work for you today, what would it be?

Rank Generalized response
1 Speed, particularly log-in time
2 Advertising complaints or trouble caused by ads
3 Better control of spam (higher block limit, block TLDs)
4 Better rich-text compose (save font settings, support Safari)
5 The feature or preference already exists for what the user wants but they don’t know it
6 Reliability
7 Desired messages are being caught as spam
8 Storage space is insufficient
9 Autosave to prevent composed messages being lost; save text on lost connection
10 Forwarding trouble, particularly with inline images and certain message types
11 3-attachment limit imposed by Web Mail interface
12 User is confused about POP vs. Web Mail, can’t find messages, not in sync
13 Can’t insert pictures inline in compose
14 Address book feature/usability improvements
15 Allow saving password or keep session open even after closing browser
16 Allow compose and/or read message in separate popup windows so I can do more than one thing
17 Allow easy switching between accounts, bypassing login
18 Need a preference to return to Inbox on delete, rather than display next message automatically
19 Mobile device support
20 Better searching, including body text

11. Please briefly describe any other improvements you would like to see in Web Mail.

Rank Generalized response
1 Remove advertisements or move them out of the way; no animated ads
2 More storage space at no charge
3 The feature or preference already exists for what the user wants but they don’t know it
4 More personal control of spam (higher block list limit, allow blocking TLDs, allow custom filters)
5 Improve the speed, particularly log-in time
6 Improve the layout (make it easier, toolbar at the top, signout link at top)
7 Better rich-text compose with more fonts and features; save font settings as default
8 Improve reliability
9 Support mobile devices
10 Better customer support via phone and chat
11 Add a positive whitelisting feature for addresses to bypass all spam filtering
12 Improve address book sorting, searching, and syncing
13 Auto-save while writing messages so the text isn’t lost if I lose my connection
14 Improve the spell-check ( better dictionary, inline checking, allow add-to-dictionary)
15 Allow larger file attachments
16 Better searching, including body text
17 Allow saving password or keep session open even after closing browser (so I don’t have to log in every time)
18 Allow compose and/or read message in separate popup window(s) so I can view more than 1 thing
19 Easier forwarding
20 Provide IMAP access

Now let’s put it all together, combining the feature questions with the open-ended responses to come up with a top 10 list of what most users want.
Before I get to the top 10, here are a couple things worth noting. In the open-ended responses, a number of users said don’t change anything, they like it a lot just like it is.
A significant number were concerned that “changes” or “improvements” might mean making things fancier at the expense of speed and simplicity, like they’ve seen some other major email providers do. Most users want Web Mail to be fast and simple, rather than trying to imitate a desktop email program inside a web browser.
The most common comparison made to a “good” example, was to Gmail, which is full-featured but still clean and uncluttered. Only a very few users would like Web Mail to be more “like Outlook” or more “client-like” and attempt to behave like desktop software (which tends to hurt performance a lot in a browser-based application). I agree, and we aren’t planning to go down that path.
Also note that in all three open-ended questions, a number of users requested a feature or setting that already exists. We released an update in April (right before the survey ran) that has a completely reorganized Preferences section, making it much easier to find the setting you are looking for. If you haven’t looked at it lately, click Preferences and see what is available there.

Here’s the overall top 10 user needs or concerns:

  1. Advertising – in the way; slows me down; animation interferes; I object to it in general.
  2. Speed – particularly login time; top issue for dialup users; ads perceived as a contributor too.
  3. More personal control of spam – higher block list limit; allow blocking top-level domains; allow custom filters.
  4. Storage space is insufficient.
  5. Improve the rich text (HTML) compose – save compose font settings between sessions; don’t require a toggle; don’t lose text when toggling; make it work on Safari; allow inserting pictures inline.
  6. Improve the layout – including a toolbar at the top with major tasks.
  7. Auto-save text during compose and allow inline re-login if session is lost so no composed text is lost.
  8. Improve overall reliability.
  9. Allow whitelisting – so that email from my contacts never goes to Known Spam.
  10. Improve the Address Book – including searching, sorting, ease-of-use, and syncing.

From the list above I can tell you that we are working on doing something about all of them, and I can make a few specific comments about some upcoming changes.

  • There are several changes coming soon that will improve speed. One involves a quicker login step due to a change in how our servers are set up, and that will happen in the next few weeks. We’re also doing some things to make sure advertisements don’t slow you down. Ads already load last on the page (except login page) for users of any up-to-date browser, so that the pages are ready to use before ads begin loading and you should be able to click anything you want without waiting. A few older browsers don’t obey this, so update your browser if you can. We’re also working hard to enforce file sizes on banners, and using a stricter standard for dialup users, so that they load quickly. And, we have a new layout coming later this year that should display most pages quicker.
  • Advertising – other than the things mentioned above, we’re also about to change the main banner placement to one many users have suggested. Up until about a year ago the banner was at the top of the page, and we moved it to the right side. That is being moved back in early June. Not only is the top placement seen as a lesser evil by many users (not as in the way), it is also smaller and will load faster. And finally, the Ad-Free Web Mail option I’ve mentioned before is almost ready, and it will be available to subscribers in June. More details will be provided soon.
  • Items 3,5,6,7 and 10 are on our roadmap for this year and should show up in updates over the coming months. Some other requested items that didn’t make the top 10 are also going to be included. We’re still working on #4 (storage) but I don’t have any update for now. We’re working on #8 (reliability) all the time. And I’m trying to get #9 (whitelisting) implemented and should have more news on that soon.

Thanks again for your participation in the survey. You’re welcome to comment here on the results or the preliminary plans I’ve mentioned.

22 thoughts on “The Web Mail Survey Results

  1. I use webmail primarily, esp. when traveling. I just got a Blackberry 9530, so I won’t be out of touch when away from hotspots. I’m having incredible problems with webmail on it — it says the certificate is out of date, that javascript must be enabled (it already is). I can get thru maybe one try in ten. I can see two workarounds, and wanted your opinion.
    1) download all messages before a trip, and then use the Blackberry’s email capabilities. But then I’d have them on the Blackberry, and be unable to access them on my desktop, which is where I store my email, or my laptop, which is much handier. Is there any way to keep messages in Webmail and also download them?
    2) forward email to something like Gmail (after making sure it’s available). Is there some way to forward? If so, is there some way to forward a copy and have the original remain on Webmail?

    Use the POP email software on the Blackberry to access your mailbox, and set it to leave copies on the server when downloading. You could also set your desktop software that way.
    Email Guy
  2. Is there a way to type the name of a group in the To: box and have it auto fill like it does when I type a few letters of a name. To send to a group, I have to go to the Address Book, check the group name and click send e-mail to. It’s easy for a person, why not for a group?
    Also, If I pay extra to eliminate ads in my mailbox, why are there still ads on my login page. With dial-up, they can take a while.

    For the groups, an easier way is to click on the To link when composing a message (above the compose area), which brings up a popup of your address book. Then select the group there. We are working on adding the feature you describe.
    At the login page, we don’t know who you are or that you have that feature until after you log in. However, soon we will be eliminating the graphical ads on that page in favor of text ads, making it faster. Also, you should not have to wait for the ad to go ahead and log in. Try it.
    Email Guy
  3. @Bradley
    It’s not necessary or wise to install Firefox 3.0 to the root directory; however, it’s safest to install Firefox 3 to a new location–not the same location where Firefox 2 is located.
    Typically, Firefox 2 (for WinXP) installs here:
    C:\Program files\Mozilla Firefox\
    To keep Firefox 3 separate, you might install it here:
    C:\Program files\Mozilla Firefox 3.0\
    And certainly under Linux, installing to the root directory should be out of the question. User-installed software (programs that are installed outside of the package management system), should go under /usr/local/.
    Backup your profile before installing and running Firefox 3.0. In rare cases, FX3.0 has trashed profiles. Read the release notes for FX3.0 before installing:
    Also visit for much more Firefox information. Support can be optained at
    Firefox 3.0 seems to work well with Earthlink Webmail; however, Mozilla removed some features from FX3.0, and many people go back to FX2. Read the entire release notes before installing.

  4. Greetings, e-Mail Guy!
    For those who were interested in Firefox 3 (FF3) but were afraid to try it because it was beta: It is no longer beta! Get it from I’ve been using it for weeks now and love it!
    No matter which platform you use (Linux, Mac, Win) pay attention here. This applies to *everyone*. Anyone remember my earlier caveat for Mac users? “Don’t install Firefox 3.0 RC 1 in the Applications folder. That was part of what caused Firefox 2 to become trashed. They’re still working on a permanent fix. To sidestep the bug, put Firefox 3.0 RC 1 in the root directory and it will work just fine without messing up Firefox 2.” Well, even though they are out of beta *that* is still true. Worse, they learned that the trashing bug affects Linux and Win also. The cure is the same, regardless of platform – put FF3 in the root directory. Once you decide you no longer need/want Firefox 2, just erase FF2 and move FF3 to the normal place.
    Almost all of the major Add-Ons (100% of the ones that I felt were security-related) have now been upgraded to work with FF3. This is a good time to try it, if you’re ever going to…
    If FF3’s Add-On Tool tells you it’s not finding a compatible update for Firebug 1.05 by Joe Hewitt, check for yourself manually.
    Possibly because a new author is maintaining it or perhaps because it is tagged “beta” (maybe both), the usually reliable tool fails to update automatically to Firebug 1.2.0b3 which was released June 13, 2008 especially for FF3. Also it is useful to know that Firebug 1.2.0b3 requires DOM Inspector 2.0.0. (DOM Inspector used to be built-into FF2. They made it into an Add-On to make it easier to maintain.)
    I Hope This Helps,

  5. I was at first surprised to see the request for mobile device support so far down the list. Then I realized, those of us with mobile devices don’t normally check our email via Web Mail.
    In fact, because Google offers imap and iPhone support, I’m gradually moving all my email correspondence over there and leaving my earthlink account to catch the 10+ years of old friends who still use that email address.
    Please tell me earthlink will offer imap support very soon.

  6. Please, please, please add the ability to embed hyperlinks. Almost every other email client allows this. It’s more than simply cosmetic. Naked URLs are often broken by the line wrapping done by many email clients. I can’t believe this was not included in your survey.
    I asked for this over a year ago:
    It’s a good idea and you keep thinking about it:
    Other requests:
    Thank you!

    I’m aware that many email viewers (most) will not wrap lines that don’t contain any spaces for a wrapping point. But that isn’t the fault of the software used to compose the message, it is the fault of the viewing software. It isn’t a URL issue, and will happen if you just type a long line of any text with no spaces in it. In fact, our Web Mail has that wrapping issue too, and we have it on our bug list.
    For links, if you are using IE, click on Color and Graphics at the top of the compose page. Then when you type in a URL, it is automatically converted to a link. When you send in plain text, you won’t see it as a link while composing, but most email viewers (including our Web Mail) will convert it to a link for the recipient.
    If you are using Firefox, the HTML compose (Color and Graphics) does not automatically insert links. We intend to fix that.
    To your point about line wrapping, I assume you are wanting the ability to embed a link under a text label that is not the URL itself, such as putting in “click here” for example, with a long link under it. When we rework our rich text toolbar this year I’ll find out if that feature can be worked in, but right now it isn’t planned.
    Email Guy
  7. Hoping I get a response from a human….have communicated with your (Earthlink) online chat with a problem that still exists. Have been running in a circle for four days….just discovered this site. My problem: I am unable to login – – rejected; also pop-up box asking for password replies that my password is invalid. i’ve been using this ID and Password for ~ 3 years. Can you tell me what has happened and who (person, please; not an unending list of “if you need this, dial this”) I should contact. I desperately need my address book and many folders and files with saved/important documents. Many thanks.

    The logs show you are using an incorrect password in your POP email software. You are logging in to Web Mail just fine, up until a few minutes ago, so you just need to correct your password in your other software and use the same one as you used successfully in Web Mail.
    Email Guy
  8. Hello, Email Guy!
    A while back (17) I posted the following, but it never appeared. Here it is again. If there was a problem preventing you from posting it it, please let me know.

    The problem was my fumblefingers that day, I remember losing the comment and felt bad about it. Email Guy.

    Re. Speed Improvements for Web Mail
    Recently, in another user’s group, our discussion turned to why some of us were getting acceptable performance with a graphics intensive application, while those with very similar machines were not. For those complaining WebMail is way too slow, it occurs to me, that situation parallels this one. We eventually figured out that those having the most trouble were overworking their virtual memory (which substitutes disk space at a dramatically reduced speed when there isn’t enough real memory to go around), myself included.
    I have a 2.2 GHz 64-bit Core 2 Duo Intel MacBook Pro with 2 GB RAM. That sucker is so fast I didn’t even realize it was bogging down, so I was happy with the performance! Even if you are “sure” you have enough RAM (I was “sure”…), it only takes a minute or two to check (and I was “WRONG”!).
    The advice for Mac owners (Windows has a counterpart in Task Manager) is to open the utility named “Activity Monitor” and click on the “System Memory” tab, at the top of the lower pane. In that lower pane, look for an item named “pageins/outs:” followed by a pair of numbers that superficially looks like a fraction e.g. “40,000/0”. That second number should always be relatively low, or preferably zero. If it is always zero, it just means you have enough memory. (I never heard anyone complain they had too much memory!)
    When I checked mine I was astounded to find “1,200,000/980,000”! The numbers climb until you reboot. If you reboot and the second number climbs again, you really do have a memory shortage which is choking your computer. It is greatly determined by your personal workload. As a retired computer guy who wants blood from his turnips, my workload is always intense…
    I proceeded to my local computer dealer and purchased two 2 GB 900 MHz DDR2 modules to replace the two 1 GB modules already in the machine, at a cost of $170 US. The result was astounding! (You read that right: less than $45 per gigabyte (and still dropping)! That included a discount for replacing both modules instead of just one.)
    Remember, I was already *very* happy with my machine. Downright tickled pink, in fact! I had no idea it was running slower than it was supposed to. The extra memory, on average, doubled the performance of what was already over 20 times faster than my previous machine! The ONLY downside I’ve found: The battery only lasts 3.5 hours, instead of 4, which doesn’t bother me at all. That’s actually a very nice trade-off to greatly reduce wear and tear on the Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
    You may well say, “So what?” Well, apparently WebMail was making extensive use of virtual memory. After adding the extra RAM memory, WebMail is running 4-5 times faster (not just double!) than it was. Using Firefox ub (a special version for Intel-based Macs) >
    there are still delays in switching between the various screens, but they’re very noticeably shorter.
    Yesterday (16) the folks at Firefox released their next update for Firefox 3. The problem that caused Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 to trash my installation of Firefox 2 has been worked around. The new version is called Firefox 3.0 RC 1. (RC = Release candidate). They are billing it as “for testing only”, partly because almost all of the add-ons are broken. I just tried it, and except for the broken add-ons, it seems to be okay now. But that’s not all folks! One of the claims they are making for Firefox 3: it runs twice as fast as Firefox 2, mostly due to optimizing every single subroutine.
    Well, between my newfound speed thanks to my extra memory, and Firefox 3 speed enhancements, when I opened WebMail in Firefox 3, I was blown away! I was switching between pages inside WebMail as fast as I could click the “next” and “previous” buttons!!! 🙂
    If you decide you want to try Firefox 3.0 RC 1 (FX3), >
    there is one word of warning for Mac users. Don’t install Firefox 3.0 RC 1 in the Applications folder. That was part of what caused Firefox 2 to become trashed. They’re still working on a permanent fix. To sidestep the bug, put Firefox 3.0 RC 1 in the root directory and it will work just fine without messing up Firefox 2.
    I hope this helps,
    Update, 02: I’m still using FX3 and only had 1 problem, a conflict with MacSpeech Dictate, which I found a way to work around (but haven’t told MacSpeech yet…). And 4 of my 7 favorite Add-Ons have now been updated to work with FX3, including all 3 of the most important ones. 🙂
    Note to Email Guy: I’m also going to post a slightly modified version of this back to my other group.

  9. Whenever I want to write a message or send an email I get this option:
    Write Message ( Plain | Color and Graphics )
    I would like it to default to Color and Graphics and never be plain whether replying or writing a new message. How can I make that happen? I don’t want to have to select Color and Graphics everytime because I sometimes forget and have to start over, ya know?
    Thanks, Mike

    Currently you can’t change the default (plain text) but we are working on adding that feature so that you can save your preferred default.
    Email Guy
  10. When setting up a mailing list/group, the Address Book to select from lists the email addresses rather than the person’s name. This makes it difficult to know whether you have selected the right person. I would rather have the names listed alphabetically to select from.

  11. I have had intermitent problems with this—(send mail error). Doesn’t happen every time and applies to different addresses. This is generally when forewarding messages, but this am happened on a writen message. If I leave the message I want forewarded and try tomorrow it may or may not work.
    I have read all the blogs and have found help there.

  12. I assume Equifax pays extra so that one’s login and password will not appear whenever one of their ads is running. None of the other ads cause that annoyance. In my case, I responded by simply cancelling my existing Equifax services.

    We removed one Equifax ad recently that was interfering with the browser’s form-autocomplete feature, and the one running now seems fine in my tests. No, this wasn’t deliberate or paid for, it was just a side-effect of a badly-behaved flash script in the ad.
    Email Guy
  13. Hi, E-Mail Guy!
    Follow up re. “your Wachovia advertiser”
    I routinely use Firefox 2.0.0.x ub (Mac) with blocking software (have been for years), and normally only use Safari 3.1.1 ub when I actually *want* to see ads because I’m shopping. The day of the Wachovia report, I had accidentally hosed Firefox 2 by test driving Firefox 3.0beta5. Being in a big d#%n hurry (my natural state!) I just switched to Safari and kept going. If there’s an ad blocker for Safari I have yet to find it…
    Word to the wise: Firefox 3.0beta5 *WILL* totally trash your Firefox 2 install (at least on Mac OS X anyway). I had to delete everything except my bookmarks and add-ons, then reload from scratch to fix it!!! YIKES!!!
    I Hope This Helps,

  14. Here’s another suggestion:
    Have “INBOX” selected by default under the search tool. I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever wanted to search anywhere else. Always having to select “INBOX” for a search is two extra clicks each time.

  15. Improvement suggestions to webmail
    1) I suggest that when one logins, if their email address ends in, that they should not need to input that part. By default, it should be assumed in an “@” is not part of the login entry.
    2) self should be an automatic alias. Sometimes I send myself email via webmail and I do not want to type my whole email address (see above…). “self” and my id should be enough to send email to myself.
    Thanks for listening!

  16. not sure if this is the proper forum, but I have a few suggestions for earthlink email. Ive used it since about 2000 and can still see lot of room for improvement.
    1. Would like to be able to hit shift-select to highlight multiple emails for delete. Ive devloped carpal tunnel over the years checking all of those little check boxes 🙂
    2. Would like to see search functions added (search by sender and search text within emails). I waste a lot of time digging thru earthlink emails. This is probably my biggest issue over the years
    3. Hate to say it, but bottom line, would like to see functionality more like Outlook—without having to use Outlook 🙂
    Thanks for you consideration!

  17. Email Dude,
    Great job putting the survey together and posting the results! As a product manager as well, it is great to see someone else listening to get the customers input.
    for #10, “Improve the Address Book – including searching, sorting, ease-of-use, and syncing.” I hope this includes the ability to easily add people to the address book. If receive an email from someone, allow me to right-click or simply add user or all users to my address book. If I send an email to 10 people, I want webmail to ask me to add those to my address book. My Yahoo address book is full and used because of this – my earthlink one (which is my primary email) isn’t because it isn’t useful at the moment!!
    Keep up the great work!

    Thanks for the feedback.
    When you are viewing a message in Web Mail, there is a link beside the From line that says “Add to Address Book”. It takes two clicks to complete it (that one, then Save). Is that what you’re looking for? Note that the link is hidden when the sender is already in your Address Book.
    There is also a prompt for adding new contacts anytime you send out a message, which takes just one click to accept it (for all addresses in that message). Have you disabled that in Preferences?
    Please describe how you would like to improve these features.
    Email Guy
  18. I already have ad-free WebMail thanks to the blocking software I use. I had not bothered with this until the banner was placed on the right-hand side of the screen, which was so intrusive that I was finally moved to do something. Especially with the blinking and animation, and the ads that somehow picked up clicks while composing messages and unexpectedly transported you to another page, the right-hand-side positioning was a bad idea from day one.
    Accordingly — to the extent other users have done the same thing — Earthlink has outsmarted itself. By moving the ads and making them more intrusive, it led people to block them entirely.
    Of course, this may not actually hurt Earthlink, because there may be no way for its advertisers to know how many WebMail users are blocking the ads. Earthlink may, in fact, be selling ads based on a claim that a certain number of impressions are being made, when in fact a lot of those impressions are being blocked. So it’s just wasted money for the advertisers.
    I doubt if I will remove the block when Earthlink repositions the main banner to the top, but the additional active screen real estate will be appreciated nonetheless.

    Yes, we can tell how many people are blocking, and no, we don’t get paid for them. You are blocking the actual request for the ad, not the display of it. So it is never fetched. There were a lot of users that preferred the side placement, and feedback was one reason the move was made. And at the time that move was made, 15% of our users were running 800×600 display, which definitely benefits from the side placement. But it is being put back for two reasons. We now think it is more intrusive there for most users, after having it for a while and getting feedback. And, the banner industry is fickle and they are moving away from that skyscraper style now, and they prefer the top placement again.
    Email Guy
  19. Hi!
    I thought you might like to know that your Wachovia advertiser is intermittently engaging in what I believe you consider to be unacceptable advertising tactics. They are periodically using bright rapidly flashing activity and continuous gradual motions. It was my understanding that you’re only allowing static advertisements.
    Your prompt attention is sincerely appreciated,

  20. Regarding adding features. If possible you might look at making many of certain features options that can be turned on or off as a use wants. For improved speed and/or ease of use.
    [http 1.1 format omits certain folders(?), re: no-cache]

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