Internet service provider EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK) has bolstered its new Home Office service by making E-Stamp its online postage supplier. E-Stamp and messaging services from MessageClick are now featured on the EarthLink Personal Start Page.
Now that their technology has been approved by the U.S. Postal Service, E-Stamp and competitor Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP) are furiously battling for distribution, and this exposure on EarthLink greatly increases E-Stamps.com’s potential customer base. The Personal Start Page is used by almost 65 percent of EarthLink’s 1.3 million customers. EarthLink users typically spend more than 40 hours a month on the Internet and access their Personal Start Page five or more times during one online session.
EarthLink Focuses on Small Businesses
EarthLink members are now one click away from co-branded E-Stamp and MessageClick Web sites. At E-Stamp, customers can purchase and download postage. Purchased postage can be printed onto envelopes, labels or documents using standard laser or inkjet printers. After postage is purchased, it can be printed at the customer’s convenience, even when the customer is not connected to the Internet. E-Stamp’s service is targeted at small businesses and home-office users.
Through MessageClick, customers can receive free faxes and voicemail at their Earthlink e-mail address. EarthLink members who use this service will be assigned a unique voicemail/fax phone number. Faxes can be opened with standard imaging software, while voicemail is received as compressed RealAudio files.
EarthLink plans to add other small business-oriented services to the Home Office area in the future.
“About 50 percent of our members use their EarthLink account for some type of business-related communication,” said Howard Lefkowitz, EarthLink’s vice president of business development and Internet marketing.
E-Stamp, MessageClick Will Receive Advertising
E-Stamp and MessageClick are both Premiere Partners of EarthLink, meaning that the two companies will receive advertising and promotional opportunities across Earthlink’s online and print media affiliations. EarthLink will receive incremental revenue through the partnership. During the second quarter of 1999, EarthLink reported incremental revenue of $2.3 million, a 98 percent increase over the same period in 1998.
EarthLink’s other premier partners include e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com, eBay, Travelscape.com and E*Trade, as well as media sites such as ABCNews.com, CNN, ESPN.com and CBS Marketwatch. Other premier partners include About.com, Wired Digital, MBNA and Sprint.