In part two of this series, I pick up talking about the latest and greatest news from the email world: Google’s Inbox. Three email vets chime in on key takeaways and advice. What advice do you have for email marketers that may be panicking because of Inbox or ready to seize the new opportunities presented?
Ryan Phelan: Sit down, take a deep breath and relax. This happened the last time with tabs, remember? And since then the world has not devolved into apocalyptic chaos. Many freaked out then, and we are starting to see the same thing now. My phone’s been ringing off the hook with marketers saying, “What do we do?” My response? Well, nothing right now, let’s look at the numbers first and realize that Google rolls new stuff out in phases. This is a limited release, so we have time to see what impact this really does have. Additionally, we need to remember that impact is not based on what you believe the consumer will do, it’s based in the metrics. Before marketers panic, perform the due diligence. You’re talking about a small population (now) only on mobile and one platform. Let’s see how the dust settles. Your email is less about how the user experience of one receiver is and more about what resonance your email has with the consumer on a regular basis.
White: First, going forward we’ll see much of the innovation focused on the mobile inbox. That’s where the growing audience is. Webmail will continue to slowly shrink, so those providers aren’t likely to invest too much more than they have to in those going forward. Google with Gmail has really been the exception, but I wonder now if they were to a degree using Gmail as a test bed to inform their development of Inbox.
Over the past decade, we’ve seen the definition of “spam” completely redefined, engagement-based filtering adopted, inboxes go mobile with HTML capabilities thanks to the introduction of the iPhone, social media dramatically affect email content, and personalization and targeting capabilities grow from infancy to adolescence. The next decade will prove just as dynamic and keep all email marketers on their toes.
The innovative and responsible use of data is not going to diminish. We’ve crossed a threshold where companies continue to prove that it works very well. Compression by receivers in consumable content will continue and those that fail to recognize that path will stop innovating and be conquered by those who met and exceeded the future. Data, attribution and a respect of the customer is where we are. Don’t get left behind because your email program only costs you $.002 per email. Receivers are not going to go backward and decide that irrelevant email is OK. They’re innovating and we had better be out there doing the same thing.
Google and other receivers have changed the email game very fast and recently. If you’re not accustomed to change, maybe now is the time to start to pivot. Read more…