Google has been working hard on making email better for users and this time they’ve rolled out “Inbox”, a more visual email inbox. Its #1 goal is to be more responsive, which allows you to set reminders and respond to emails in a quick and timely manner.
Here at Demac, we’ve be taking Inbox for a spin since its release.
Users now see what matters to them, front and centre. No more digging and searching your inbox for last minute details on your upcoming flight. Three new features have been introduced with Google Inbox that make your life easier:
Similar to Gmail tabs, Google Inbox neatly organizes your messages into bundles like promotions, travel and purchases, you can even create your own custom bundle.
See what’s in the email without having to open the email. For example, you can track the shipment of a purchase you’ve made, see detailed flight information for your next trip, and photos from the last vacation you took with a friend. These details are provided in a preview, so you don’t have to open the email to get more information.
Add your to-do list to the top of your inbox. It’ll even give you a helping hand in getting things done – e.g. if you’re making reservations at your favourite restaurant – Inbox will limit your search results as you type. Once the reminder has been created, it Google Inbox allow you to call the restaurant and post the hours of operation from within the reminder.
You know the feeling when you’ve just read an important email that you need to respond to, but it’s just not an ideal time for you to do so that instant. You can use the snooze feature to bring an email back to your attention at a later, more convenient time for you.
Inbox really allows users to determine what
is important and what can be ignored.
The pin features allows you to keep an email or conversation at the top of your inbox. When you’re done with an email, you can swipe an email out of your inbox to your “done” folder, a perfect feature for those on the constant hunt for an empty inbox.
What does this mean for Businesses and Marketers?
First of all, if you’re anxiously reading this wondering how it will impact your email strategy for this holiday season, take a deep breath, adoption is slow and only the early innovators have requested invitations to take it for a test drive. In addition, as we found to a degree, you miss emails because everything is so pre-filtered and prioritized. As a result many will elect not to use Inbox so they don’t miss emails that the reworked system thinks are irrelevant such as an invite to join Ello you’ve been excited to receive or a key venue change in a large email chain that was easy to miss with this new layout.
It still doesn’t support media queries (so be sure to use a mobile-friendly, one column layout, to ensure all of your subscribers get the same great email experience).
While images are still being automatically downloaded with Inbox, you should still ensure your emails are being designed and built for an images-off viewer. Using things like alt text, bulletproof buttons, and using both text images in your emails.
Most Important Metric: Customer Engagement
If you put effort into your email strategy and strive for relevant messaging this is a great thing, because Gmail is helping reduce the noise of batch and blast aggressive senders. The new highlights feature will separate marketers who capitalize on relevant content as opposed to those who only mass send. In addition, the new Snooze function will allow subscribers who receive a message at a stop light (for example) will have the ability to snooze the email and later read it on their desktop, whereas months ago this email likely would have been long forgotten. At the end of the day it’s not important if your open rates slightly drop, remember that is definitely not the most important metric. Are customers engaging with you as a brand and are your emails converting revenue? Worry about only the metrics that matter.
As more people move to Google Inbox over the coming months, we’ll be keeping an eye on the effects it has on email marketing, and will be sure to keep you posted.