4 things the new outlook ads tell us about email


Microsoft has a new TV ad showing how trivial it is to remove unwanted email from the inbox. Various busy people use the “sweep” and “delete” functions to clean up mail. The commercial even have a segment counting up the hundreds of emails deleted.
This tells me a few things.Images of all my different filters

  1. Email isn’t dead. Major companies are still investing in email products and creating tools that help users organize and manage incoming messages: Outlook.com is the newest mail product from Microsoft, Yahoo is working on their mail client, AOL launched a new product last year, Gmail is still tweaking their client. Email is here to stay.
  2. People use email as more than just communication. “Inbox Zero” is not just for businesses any more, that concept is running over into personal mail, too. People use their inboxes as scheduling tools, todo lists and reminders. I expect to see more things like mailboxapp to help people deal with email as a scheduling device.
  3. People want to be able to deal with messages in bulk in their mailbox. This seems obvious but when mail is sent in bulk, people want to be able to deal with it in bulk. This is the most relevant point for marketers, I think. Send lots of mail, people are going to develop techniques for dealing with that mail. My techniques centers around filters and segregating different mail into different mailboxes, as shown in the screenshot to the right.
  4. People are seeing so much mail in their inbox they can’t always find what they want. The new tools help organize mail better making it easier to find that mail from the best friend or the most recent sales at your favorite store.

I think it’s great that mailbox providers are thinking about how people use mail and how to make the inbox more pleasant and more useable. This is good for recipients, but it’s also good for marketers. Being able to find mail can be a challenge for heavy email users. Better tools for organization means finding those messages is less of a challenge.

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By laura

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