Feature Article

August 03, 2011

YouMail: Keeping Voicemail Fresh and Relevant

For those consumers out there who would love to be able to access their voicemail from their laptops, tablets and smartphones – and for those wanting to create customized voicemail messages that play depending on who calls –YouMail has it all. 

YouMail, touted as the “must have App for your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry,” offers a free flagship Visual Voicemail Plus application that provides a true multi-platform, unified and social voicemail experience. From sharing voicemails on social networking sites to forwarding voicemails, the YouMail application is all encompassing, according to company officials.

 “People are starting to be impacted by us,” Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail told MobilityTechzone. “The core of what we got is we have a really strong premium platform. Communications have traditionally been very expensive to deploy. We figured out how to do that in a way that allows us to give stuff away and that’s pretty unique.”

The company, which was established in 2007, was founded on the premise of finding a way to add personal greetings to voicemails, similar to how a call center recognizes the caller’s ID and then plays a different message based on where the call came from.

“That idea didn’t work believe it or not so the company spun its wheel, and when we looked at our audience of who was sticking around it was people who cared about voicemail as a productivity tool – people who wanted to share the voicemail and access it on the smartphone visually,” Quilici said.

YouMail clearly found its sweet spot as the leading provider of cloud-based communications apps and services for smartphones has taken off. In fact, the company recently celebrated a huge milestone of having two million registered users in the United States. The two million mark comes only weeks after YouMail announced that the company has now answered more than one billion phone calls for users, including 500 million since September 2010.

YouMail targets three distinct audiences: the SMB crowd; individuals who prefer to use songs as voicemail greetings and like to share voicemails; and moms who run the household and have to navigate through a ton of voicemails each day.

“We saw the success in the SMB segment early on and the rest just started to surprise us,” Quilici said. “People are finding these apps and telling their friends once they get it.”

“The trend of everyone having a smartphone has been great for us and we have evolved from a service to app,” he added.

Another component to YouMail’s offering is that people can share voicemails – from funny drunk voicemails to good advice – on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

“Our big differentiator so far has been the community,” Quilici said. “It’s a community of users posting voicemails that others can listen to.”

For example, if there’s a debt collector that keeps spamming everyone, a user can send the voicemail to the community so that people know what the spammer sounds like, according to Quilici.

But do people really care about voicemail or even leave them anymore? Particularly as text messaging, Skyping and BBMs dictate the mobile space?

“It’s like when TV came out everyone thought radio was dead, but it’s not,” Quilici said. “It’s just used differently.”

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for MobilityTechzone. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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