What really makes us angry is when we download software to test and we find toolbars and other garbage bundled with it. It’s becoming pandemic across the web. And you’re probably wondering why this is so. It’s easy. It’s all about the money.
Over the years we’ve turned down dozens of offers to bundle toolbars and other worthless software with our downloads. We’ve refused every single offer – and consequently turned down a lot of money. In the heyday of email stationery (2001-2004) we were averaging over 10,000 downloads per day. At Christmastime it wasn’t unusual for us to hit 50,000 downloads a day. We had offers from several different companies to bundle a toolbar or some other software program with our stationery downloads. We were offered from 50 cents to $1.00 a download. You do the math. We could have made hundreds of thousands of dollars – but we turned then all down rather than violate the trust of our subscribers and site visitors. Perhaps we were stupid. But we did what we felt was right for us.
This week we received another offer to bundle software with our downloads. This time we thought we’d show you how bundling works and why there is so much of it. It’s all about the money and there are very few companies offering free software who can turn down this kind of money. Maybe they’re not a stupid as we are?
Below is a copy of an email we got from a man named Jay from a company called Install Monetizer. He wanted to pay us to bundle the AOL toolbar with our downloads. Other than some personal information, email addresses and phone numbers, this the email exchange between Jay from Install Monetizer Corporation and TC & EB from Cloudeight:
Subject: AOL Toolbar Partnership
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 11:03:52 +0000
From: “Jay S” /// installmonetizercorp.com
Hope you are doing great!
AOL is looking for partners to distribute its toolbar.
I wanted to see if you would be interested in bundling AOL Toolbar into your software.
AOL pays per install.
When are you free to jump on a quick skype chat? My Skype id: (Redacted)
I want to go over the rates and the program in detail.
This was the answer we sent back to him:
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: AOL Toolbar Partnership
We are not interested in bundling software and violating our visitor’s and subscriber’s trust. We don’t believe in putting garbage on people’s computer they don’t want and don’t need.
We find it rather odd that some of these software bundlers like yours seem to have as their purpose installing software that people otherwise wouldn’t install. If people wanted it they’d install it. I cannot imagine why anyone would use an “AOL Toolbar”. Does AOL even have any customers anymore.
Here’s something you can take back to AOL from us: If your toolbar is something people want, then you should make it available to them outside of a software bundle. Apparently nobody wants this toolbar or you wouldn’t be paying companies into tricking people into installing it.
We’re not interested in breaking our visitor’s and subscribers trust by tricking them into installing programs they don’t need and probably don’t want. When people come to our site to download our software, that’s what the get — our software. They don’t get a bundle of things they don’t want. If the software you’re bundling was desirable enough, they wouldn’t be bundling it with software that people do want.
We’re not going to trick anyone into installing anything. When people download a program they should get only the program they are downloading – not a bunch of other things.
Thanks– but no thanks.
TC & EB