After a decade of relatively little innovation in the inbox (other than moving it from a desktop app to the Web), Google has taken a big step today, rolling out a new feature designed to help users cope with the high volumes of email arriving every day in their inboxes.
Using all its smarts around relevance and ascertaining which messages are truly wanted, Google’s new “Gmail Priority Inbox” segregates incoming messages into three categories: “Important and Unread,” “Starred” and “Everything Else.” To learn which messages you’re most interested in, an adaptive algorithm continually takes into account people you email, people you reply to and people whose messages you open. You can also “teach” it by assigning more or less importance to messages, and by flagging messages you want to read with a star.
This is a great new feature for inbox users. But it does create a potential challenge for some email marketers. As users gravitate toward this priority inbox, they may not dive as deeply into their broader inbox. If you want to be a “priority” in their eyes, you’ll need to make sure your messages are being read and getting starred.
Marketers will need to use every tool at their disposal to understand and listen to subscribers and provide focused content and well-timed delivery. Implementing strategies and tactics like automation and triggered campaigns; personalization best practices; and Send Time Optimization will be more important than ever.
But most of all, this is an exciting development because it means the most RELEVANT and ENGAGING commercial messages will be called out and highlighted. I look forward to the opportunity to help our customers all achieve “priority status” with each of their subscribers.
You can also learn more at Google’s blog here.