The Perfect Free Email Service
This is a "wishlist" of features for a (currently) non-existent free email service. Most of these features already exist in one form or another, but no free email service can do all this yet!
Speed and Reliability
The service should be screamingly fast, and rock-solid. Bells and whistles are only interesting if the basic service is sound.
I want to be able to get my mail any way I like. Give me web-based email, mail forwarding AND POP mail services in one tidy package...
Choice of Email Addresses
Let me choose from a selection of attractive domain names (the bit after the "@" of any email address).
Compatible with All Screens and Browsers:
Don't tell me what software to browse with or what kind of computer I should be using! People browse the web on anything from mobile phones and WebTV units through to dual 29"+ monitors attached to quad-processor workstations... make sure your service works well no matter what people are using to access it!
An "Inteligent" Spellchecker
Help me to smarten up my messages. I want a simple way to check the spelling of my messages, and I need to be able to add my own entries to the dictionary. Keep my changes stored so that they are always available to me.
Give me a simple opt-out option to strip ALL advertising from the service. This could be in the form of a monthly or annual payment, a banner swap (be creative!) and so on.
I want to be able to categorize my email into various folders that I specify ("business", "friends", "newletters" etc.) and then divide these up further (e.g. "bills", "invoices" etc.).
Give me a way to send emails in any language I like. If I have a Japanese operating system and I can enter Japanese text, then I want to be able to receive and send Japanese. Same thing for Russian, Greek, etc. Don't make me sign up for separate addresses to handle each language!
Let me maintain multiple email signatures, and make it easy for me to choose a signature when I send out messages.
Let me tell you who my friends are, and then show me their messages first. Use a larger font, a different colour, etc. Let me tell you who I am not interested in hearing from (newsletters that I only read a couple of times a month, etc.) and put them at the back of the queue for my attention.
Let me specify which newsletters I subscribe to and archive them automatically after I have read them.
Let me decide how much I hate spam: give me lots of choice when it comes to filtering out junk mail messages - and let me disable the filters if I find them too overwhelming!
Let me keep track of the contact details for people I email frequently. I want to be add people to the Address Book with a single click when reading their message! Let me automatically search some of the large directories of email addresses so that I can find my friends, but don't disclose my email address without my explicit permission.
Give me a simple, unobstructive little "ticker" that I can keep open on my desktop to see when I have new mail. Let me choose from a basic notification message or a scrolling text box showing me the subject line. Make the ticker small, and as plain as possible -- after all, I might be running it at work.
Let me set up one or more messages that will be sent automatically to people who email me. I want to be able to set "keyword triggers" so that a different automatic message is generated depending on the keywords in the subject line. Let me specify a range of dates for an automated response (if I go on holiday, I don't want to forget to remove my "On holiday... back soon" message when I get back).
Let me share my messages with colleagues or friends. I want to be able to specify who else should receive a copy of my messages. Optionally, I only want to share certain classes of messages, like all the newsletters I subscribe to.
Extra Notification Paths
Let me choose to be notified of new mail messages by pager, SMS or even by fax if I want to!
Group Mailing Facilities
Let me set up small distribution lists... a limit of 50 recipients should be enough to curb any spamming desires.
Let me pay more to keep more. Give all users a generous storage allowance, then charge a small fee if they want to exceed that allowance. Warn them in plenty of time, and don't penalize users when some idiot sends them a 1MB file unexpectedly. Give them a few days to bring their mailbox down to the space limit.
I want to be able to tell you what subjects I'm interested in, and what bores me to tears. That way, the ads I have to put up with in order to use the service for free will at least be of some interest to me. This information is between you and me only, so no selling it to anyone! Incidentally, this works well for you too since you can charge advertisers more for targeted ad purchases.
Let Me Say Goodbye
With such a great service, I'm unlikely to want to stop using it. However, if I do change my mind, let me cancel the service quickly and painlessly. Tell me as I leave that you are deleting all my personal information -- then be sure to do so!
A Name of My Own
This is something many people are interested in (and would probably be willing to pay for): let me use my own domain name with your perfect email service.
Interface to PIM Packages
Let me suck my contacts out of my PIM database, and pump them automatically into my email address book.
ADDITIONS SENT IN BY VISITORS
"I have one feature for your Perfect Email System wish list: integrated calendaring. I have clients who want to be able to set up their daily/weekly/monthly calendars and have them accessible when they receive or send emails. The ability to have one user send their "available dates/times" to another and to have the calendar compare the two would be marvellous. In fact, I have a client who wants to license an email package with just that feature today."