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BizReport : Email Marketing : October 28, 2014

What will Google Inbox mean for marketers?

Google has announced a beta version of a new email product called Inbox. When, or rather if, the new email tool is rolled out, what will it mean for marketers?

by Helen Leggatt

The new Google Inbox, currently in private beta testing by invite only, gives users a more efficient way to sort and view email but it could also impact on the visibility of marketing email.

Why? Because a feature of the new email tool, Bundle, allows users to sort related content such as marketing email and, due to the bundling, allow them to "swipe" them out of the way. Bundle is reminiscent of Gmail tabs, pulling together emails by category (social, promotions, etc.) but rather than displaying them in different tabs, the emails are grouped together and accessible from the inbox.

Other new features being tested include:

Snooze - this feature allows email recipients to determine a time or location when they want emails to reappear in their inbox. For example, a work email can be set to reappear during working hours or an offer from a retailer when the recipient is in a store.

Relevant information - the inbox scans each email to determine what it deems to be the most important, relevant information such as phone numbers, attachments or flight information.

Engagement with interactive content - recipients can engage with interactive content within emails without ever opening the email itself.

According to Tim Peterson at AdAge, "By reducing the need for people to open an email in order to access the information they need, Inbox may shrink marketers' email open rates. But by potentially distilling the actual value of those communications, it may also reduce the likelihood of people deleting brands' emails or unsubscribing from their email lists".

Furthermore, the new Inbox, if rolled out, will play a more important role in users' lives than previous email programs acting more as a personal assistant by providing reminders and allowing tasks to be created.

The upshot for marketers is that they need to ensure that email messages contain trackable and strong calls to action to ensure ongoing effective measurement of campaigns.

Tags: email marketing, Google, Inbox, trends

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