Summary: We are discontinuing our Free Plans for both new and existing users. The market has changed dramatically since we began, and we’re shifting gears to both stay in business and better support our loyal customers.
It’s hard to believe we started working on AwayFind in the beginning of 2008, before there was such a thing as an iOS native app, before Android phones existed, when fewer than 15% of the phones in use had any email access.
It’s obvious to anyone reading this that the mobile and mobile email landscape have changed dramatically. What might not be so apparent are the consistent, incremental improvements that have occurred from the major email providers and smartphone operating systems with regard to managing notifications and processing email.
Just a couple years ago, managing notifications was cumbersome at best. The concept of the Notification Center has matured in not only the mobile operating systems, but on both Windows and Mac OSX. And now all the major webmail providers have some mechanism for separating out a large percentage of email from your primary inbox view.
In the last year, more than 100 companies have launched in the email productivity space. When we entered the market, there were fewer than a dozen SaaS email productivity tools.
Times have changed.
With these changes, our tool is no longer the only way to get emails to your phone, but rather a niche tool for those with high email volume or specialized productivity needs.
In the past, all kinds of people would sign up for our paid plans at a healthy rate, but that’s no longer the case. Now our product supplements tools like iOS VIP and Gmail Important Notifications (free alternatives that offer some of AwayFind’s functionality). As a supplemental tool, most people don’t use enough features to require our paid plans. To make matters worse, many people use (or abuse) AwayFind to get free SMS and Voice alerts, which at times have cost us thousands of dollars per month.
All our users cost a similar amount to service and support (besides the abusers), but 98% of our user base is on a free plan. That means that nearly all our time and resources are spent on activities that just don’t lead to us being a healthy, sustainable business. If we can’t be healthy and sustainable, then we can’t support anyone. And we don’t want to close the doors, not with tens of thousands of people relying on us.
So we’ve made the decision to remove our free plans, effective today. If you rely on our product, then we ask for your support. We’ve tried the “freemium model” for over three years, but today’s market for mobile notifications and email productivity tools simply cannot allow us to sustain that model.
If our product can make your life easier, we hope you can help us to pay our server bills, to pay our employee salaries, and to continue to build products that allow you to be more effective with email.
Thank you for your support of AwayFind. We hope you’ll join us in this next leg of our journey.