Email Marketing Deliverability

Email marketing: What does the death of Hotmail mean for you?

This week Microsoft has officially shuttered the Hotmail.com domain.  In email marketing circles, this has been announced as the “death” of Hotmail, and in a way it is.  The reality however is that Hotmail is still kicking and will be for quite some time.  It is smart to begin to proactively think about the exit plan for your Hotmail.com users right now.

Microsoft has been pushing the new Outlook.com domain for the past few months.  They began the transition of moving 150+ million users over to Outlook.  That transition from Hotmail is now complete.

Official Microsoft Announcement

What this means to end-users is that now when you login to your Hotmail account, you are using the Outlook.com interface.  You can still use your @hotmail.com address.  Microsoft has said that you will never lose your @hotmail address and it will always work.

How should you approach this from a sender perspective?  This is a fairly common practice in the industry as ISP’s have been bought and sold.  We’ve also seen a similar change as Earthlink and Comcast users moved from .com to .net.  The reality is that as time goes by fewer and fewer people will use their @hotmail address.  Once the brand recognition goes away, people will stop identifying with Hotmail.  Some users will transition to Outlook.com and some might use other email services.

This does not mean that Hotmail will not continue to be a major force in the pecking order of email domains.  You can possibly even expect a bump as many customers add an Outlook.com alias to their account.  You may now have users with multiple addresses that are actually the same account.  Senders will now have another thing to study when thinking about engagement,  re-permission, and list management.

Stay tuned for future developments, and don’t make any funeral plans just yet.

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8 thoughts on “Email marketing: What does the death of Hotmail mean for you?

    1. Kevin Senne

      This is a reality right now as more and more users have moved to Gmail. We’ve seen senders (especially the ones with younger audiences) have a substantial rise in the number of Gmail. This new interface with Outlook is a much stronger competitor to the Gmail setup.

  1. Harold Gardner

    Really means very little to me these days. I gave up Hotmail when it got completely overrun with spam. I hear it is OK these days, but it is tough to go back.

    1. Kevin Senne

      The new Outlook interface has better tools to combat exactly this perception among users. It will be interesting to see if this changes the tide of users moving to Gmail.

  2. Kivan Zia

    Honestly, as far as a technical stand point is concerned this effects me almost in no way at all. However as far as nostalgia goes, I must say I am shedding manly tears on the inside. A lot of good times were shared on Hotmail. First Windows Messenger and now this… the times are certainly changing… sigh…

  3. Justin

    I think its just ANOTHER sign Microsoft is trying to be Google. I’m sure they will adopt all of Googles features and functionality and engagement rules too so be prepared for more spam worries.

  4. Kevin Senne

    I agree 100%. As a long time industry veteran, the Hotmail name going away will be a strange transition. I am sure some of remember the days of Prodigy and Geocities!

  5. Pingback: Email Marketers, Start Thanking Google for the New Gmail Interface | Email Marketing to Schools

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