The concept of free electronic-mail for anyone accessing the Internet sounded like a good idea, but after months of attempting to build an advertiser-supported e-mail system, Freemark Communications was forced to close down the service. In a short announcement, the company revealed in inability to find sufficient interest and support from advertisers.
The brief statement said all Freemark e-mail clients would be notified immediately and service would terminate today. Over the past two weeks the company began downsizing current operations in anticipation of the closure.
Early this year, the company attracted considerable media attention with an offer of free e-mail accounts to US citizens accessing the Internet through IBM/clone computers. According to the Freemark model, advertisers would readily support a targeted market of high-tech users. Thinking early advertisers would have a special interest in marketing products in the US, Freemark restricted Freemark e-mail to US Internet users.
The company's long range plans considered expansion with a Macintosh version and a possible international offering, depending on the success of the US effort.
A company spokesperson said, "We are sorry to have to terminate the service, but we were unable to raise the necessary funds to continue our marketing strategy. All of our members were notified last week."
According to Freemark's spokesperson, the company signed more the 45,000 subscribers onto free e-mail accounts after an aggressive launch in July of this year. "Actually, we had an 11% response to a direct mail campaign and we were on target to make our end-of-year projections," said the spokesperson.
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