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When the inbox isn't the inbox

There was a discussion today on the OI list about email filtering that brought up something I usually don’t mention in delivery discussions. Most email marketers treat the inbox as the holy grail of delivery. Everything about delivery is focused on getting to the magical inbox.
I think, though, that inbox is often just shorthand for “not landing in the bulk or spam folders.”
For some recipients, particularly those of us who get lots of mail, sometimes it’s better to land in a folder rather than the inbox. I have a folder set up, where most of my commercial mail goes. It’s labeled “commercial.” I check it once or twice a day.
This is beneficial to me and to the senders. Why? Because when I check that folder I’m ready to actually look at my commercial mail. I’m looking for those offers.
For someone like me, who does most of their work in their inbox, commercial interruptions are a problem. Commercial mail that ends up in my inbox, which can happen if I’ve been lazy about filters, interrupts me and usually doesn’t get read. But when it’s in my commercial folder? Well, then I can look at it, visit websites and make purchases.
So just remember, it’s not that you want mail in the inbox as much as you want mail somewhere that the recipient will notice it.

2 comments

  1. jimpop says

    Amen! This is why it is very.important for commercial senders (hey Marriot, I’m thinking of you) to consistently use sane headers so that intelligent customers (generally the ones with money to spend) can filter email, rather tha delete it because it is in the way.

  2. Catherine Jefferson says

    Seconded. I don’t subscribe to much bulk email, but when I do, I will unsubscribe if the sender uses tactics to avoid being filtered into my commercial email folder. The biggest problem with actual spam is that it clutters up my inbox and I miss important personal email. Bulk email that doesn’t respect my choices when sorting my email is just as annoying. Commercial senders need to accept that nothing they send is as important as personal email, even when it is legitimate requested and wanted email. My boss and my mother get precedence. 🙂

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