Content sites increasingly are adding the functionality found in "traditional" portal sites--such as free email, stock quotes, and e-commerce--to attract loyal readers and the ad dollars that accompany them. In a January report, Jupiter Communications senior analyst Adam Schoenfeld wrote: "Free email?should now become a standard feature of most highly trafficked content sites."
"Content players should not allow search engines and portals to be the only sites using free email to lure loyal customers, maintain loyalty, and generate incremental revenue from the extra page turns," he wrote.
Offering an email account also can be used to get readers to visit the site daily--even to get users to make the content site their home page. "With a free Business Week email account, busy executives can now send and receive email when they visit the Business Week Web site for their daily news briefing," according to a statement announcing the service.
The Business Week email service is powered by email provider CommTouch, which also offers its service to Discovery Channel Online, Nippon Telephone & Telegraph, and the Headbone Zone children's site, among others.
"Every survey tells us that time is the rarest commodity for business people today," Business Week Online general manager David Smith said in a statement. "By offering email on the Web site where our readers go for business news every day, we enable busy executives to complete two daily and essential tasks at the same time."