My new product: Charge people to email you

Hello all,

I just released my latest product. It’s called [Re:Serious][1] and it aims to cut down your inbox overload.

Here’s the pitch:

You’re getting too many emails every day. Your time is valuable, you shouldn’t waste it going through useless emails. But how do you filter out the human SPAM?

By charging people to email you.

Imagine making senders pay $5 to get in touch. Your inbox is now a source of income and all the messages you get are worth your time. Pretty awesome.

[Re:Serious][1] lets you do this easily. Set it up in less than 1 minute and get paid via PayPal.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the idea and the copy on the landing page.



Hi ibeitia!

Hmm, interesting idea-space. Doesn’t feel very “near the money” to me, but its intriguing for sure.

Alternative positioning

  1. Charge instead for an “expedited response”.
  2. Help-line style offering (experts willing to answer email questions for a fee)

I like the positioning of #1 a bit better than the concept you have now, FWIW.

Best of luck!

Interesting idea, and it reminds me of (charge for your advice) and, somehow, of pay toilets. The landing page looks good.

I like the idea.

Sell it to “famous” people as a way to kill their inbox pain while simultaneously giving to charity and building good PR. Win-win scenario.

As a “regular guy” the first thing that came to my head was “man everyone (meaning everyone that doesn’t have a business mindset) will think I’m such a d*ck if I ask them for $5 just to send me an email.”

Seems like your ideal customer would be someone that has HUGE demands on their time, i.e. the person is famous enough that the majority of emailers know that this person would be doing them a huge favor to respond and who see the value in paying a few dollars for that time. Coincidentally, those “famous” people are also likely to be the same folks that would feel the pain of email-time-suck the most acutely.

Now, that could actually be a big win, because if you tailor your marketing and product to “famous” people, if you get one or two to sign up, you’d immediately have a really large network to refer from. Since folks with large audiences are likely not in need of extra cash, it may mean that the selling proposition is that it’s a way to donate to charity, boost your PR, and filter your email in a guilt-free way.

And if you wanted to go the complete opposite direction…i.e. more toward regular consumers, I think it was Fred Wilson in his post about the possibilities of BTC that mentioned a similar concept based more around anti-spam than making email worth your time (though maybe same problem for different values of $MY_HOURLY_RATE). In any case, the idea was to build an email client that would only accept emails if a certain amount of BTC were attached to it. It would use a trivial amount of BTC, i.e. fractions of a penny that would be negligible to those that aren’t bulk-emailing, but would be enough to threaten the economics of SPAM.

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Hmm, this is a very interesting idea. I really like the principal. I think a key part of this is making payment quick & simple. I understand you’re testing the market, but in terms of moving forwards I’d certainly look at something like Stripe to make the process as easy as possible.

For me, if you’re looking at mass market, combining a really small cost per email and making the process dead simple for people to pay then this could have legs. I also second the comments above about the possibility of this working for the high profile lot too.

I think you would want to include some yearly charge for the owner of the email address, maybe $10/yr for up to 10 addresses. Otherwise you run the risk of no-one paying to email and still having to support the service.

You might want check out existing forwarding services such as for general market research.

Yes. I view it as for asynchronous communitcation.

This is phenomenal advice. As you have noted, there are only a handful of potential users but individually bring lots of volume.

Hey @ibeitia. Just a heads up that I just saw, which seems to be quite a similar product to yours but focussed entirely at charity donations.

It’s being made by, here’s what he had to say about it:
“Right now, I want to do a non-profit around making you get less email called”

It’s more niche than yours so it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push on, but worth being aware of the competition.

Thanks for letting me know. I was not aware.

If this service has to work it should on current email addresses (e.g. gmail) - creating a new email address, kind of defeats the purpose, IMHO.

Yes. A new email is annoying but you can forward the messages form your primary account to your Re:Serious account.

I wonder who would buy this?

I reckon very busy people want to be ‘out of reach’ but not ‘appear out of reach’.