Zuku launches free email for its clients; is it realistic in 2019?
Zuku an ISP in Kenya has launched an email service for its customers. The firm is part of Wananchi Group and offers TV, phone and internet services. The firm enjoys the market share of home internet services followed closely by other competitors.
Dubbed ‘Zuku Email’ the free service intends to offer the following features to Zuku customers
- 5 custom email addresses for family of members.
- A secure and reliable email platform
- Cloud storage up to 1GB
- Easy way to manage your contacts
Zuku promises to send their offers and discounts to customers who will be using their email. They will also have access to a bill manager to assist them in paying their monthly bills.
This service in my humble opinion is likely to fail since email as a service is not new.
A discussion on the TAM (Technological Acceptance Model) is centered on constructs such as Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and Behavioral Intention among others. It is unlikely that a Zuku customer will start using a custom email. Android smartphone users are compelled to sign in with their phones using a Gmail account. This then makes it their primary email address in their future communications. These could range from job applications and general communication. In terms of Perceived Usefulness, How will Zuku convince a customer to start using their email service? This is likely to be an uphill task. Secondly, why would you create an email service without appreciating the impact of Gmail, Yahoo and other players who offer a seamless email experience with a bigger cloud storage, offer document editing and spreadsheet capabilities?
In closing, an email service in 2019 is a white elephant and is likely to spectacularly fail. Email is largely accessed on phone through an app and this is not changing going by the smartphone penetration rate in Kenya.