As more than 50% of the emails are opened on mobile phones and tablets, Google launched its email app in 2014 to help people manage their busy lives. The main difference between the new inbox and Gmail is their design philosophy and the way they evaluate each incoming email.
Gmail takes a traditional approach to email management. Messages come in, you read them, maybe organize them with labels, then archive them, delete them, or just leave them in your inbox forever. It doesn’t make any assumptions about your workflow, it just gives you a bunch of reasonably standard email client features and leaves it up to you how you use them.
Inbox, on the other hand is opinionated software. Their focus is to assist people to organize their emails and make every email count. It has several features like snooze, bundle and highlights which make sure that emails are served in a better way. You can get access to this inbox by sending a request to email@example.com from your Gmail account.
There are some features of the new inbox which can be explored for marketing:
Bundle similar messages:
Now users can organize promotional emails into groups. The subject line plays an important role hence specific and straightforward subjects can help the recipient to prioritize the email’s importance without having to open it. For example, emails related to online purchasing can be grouped together in a category and could be referred and compared later.
Snooze or Pin the email:
With this feature, you can pin the important message at the top of your inbox. With snooze option, you can mark to review it later at the specific time. Marketers can explore this feature by using the compelling subject lines which help users to decide whether to pin or snooze rather than sending it to trash. You can even set a reminder based on date/time & geolocation.
Highlights of an Email:
This feature saves time by showing the summary of the email without having to open it. Marketers could use this feature to display the logo in the From: address as a sender of an email is displayed by an icon rather than a plain text. You can activate this feature by registering with google and having a verified google+ business account.
It was designed with a specific workflow in mind for managing email, and it includes many tools and features designed to make that one specific workflow as easy as possible for you to follow, even sometimes at the expense of ease of use for users who might prefer other workflows or styles of email management. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, once you adapt your workflow to fit with the underlying design philosophy of Inbox you’ll find that Inbox is a delight to use. If you don’t adapt, you’ll probably start to feel like you’re fighting to get the software to do what you want, rather than working with it.
So what workflow is Inbox optimized for? Well, Inbox prefers to think of emails like tasks you have to complete, or items on a to-do list. Emails come into your inbox and are automatically categorized into an appropriate bundle. Then you go through your emails, pinning the ones which you want to come back to later, and marking the ones you’re finished with (whether read or not) as “done”, removing them from your inbox. For emails, you want to deal with at a specific time in the future, you can snooze them, which temporarily removes them from your inbox until the time you specified.
The result is that Inbox now looks like a list of tasks. Emails you’ve already dealt with are hidden away in the “done” folder, leaving only emails which represent reminders or tasks you have yet to complete. You can even add custom reminders to Inbox which aren’t tied to any specific email.
A desktop inbox shows about 60 characters of an email’s subject line, while a mobile phone shows just 25 to 30 characters so there is no margin of error. If you write more than six to eight words and don’t put the most important words at the beginning, you could lose the recipient right from the start. Emails with vague and wordy subjects are most likely to get deleted. If you need a response, make it clear in the subject line.
Personally, I quite like this approach. And the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to think that perhaps my email inbox may have been a list of tasks all along.