One of the big challenges for communication startups on the Internet is beating text. Despite the obvious potential of video and voice communication for creating a richer messaging experience, there’s just nothing quite as convenient as typing.
GoldMail offers a way to inject your voice into email, combined with text or pictures to help personalize and illustrate the message. And, most importantly, it’s easy to use.
To make a GoldMail message around a presentation, you need only pick out content on your computer for a slideshow (like bulleted text, pictures, PowerPoint slides or .pdfs). Once all the desired content is chosen, you can start recording your voice, simply clicking on each slide to make transitions between them as you speak.
The result is saved as a link that can be embedded in email, or into a webpage. For an example, see this recording of a sales manager sending a congratulatory message to his team with slides showing their quarterly sales data.
There are a number of other uses that spring to mind. The company has seen early customers use it for non-profit fund raising and sales pitches. Individuals can also use it for personal messages.
When we asked GoldMail CEO Guy Longworth why there aren’t more simple products available to create voice or video messages, he told us that internet connection speeds were, until recently, a limiting factor.
Now that both connections and content delivery systems are becoming faster, though, companies are figuring out how to make messaging easier to use. For example, we’ve also mentioned companies like LoudTalks (coverage), which offers voice instant-mesaging, and TokBox (coverage), which does embedded video messaging. There’s also VoiceThread (our coverage), which more intimately links voice and images, but which aren’t focused on the easy use with email.
There’s just one chink in GoldMail’s armor of ease: Making your own GoldMail messages requires downloading its software, which discourages some users. Longworth told us that his company intentionally went with a software download in order to make the experience as rich as possible, but they may switch to a web application if customers demand one.
The service comes in either a free or paid version. The free version displays a banner ad before rolling the video.
GoldMail is based in San Francisco, Calif. It took an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investors.