Gmail and Hotmail Change How Email is Delivered and How It May Affect Your OrganizationSubmitted Thu Sep 02 2010 15:48:00 GMT-0400 (EDT) by Brett Schenker
This week both Gmail and Hotmail announced forthcoming changes in how they’ll handle email delivery. While we won’t know the full impact of those changes until they launch (and you better believe we’ll be keeping an eye on them), we can share enough about what we do know to get you thinking about how you engage your email lists.
It looks like the days of sending email with no “ask” are officially ending.
To combat “email overload” Gmail has announced the “priority inbox.”
This video explains exactly what that means.
In short this change:
• Organizes a user’s inbox to help them identify messages important to them.
• Uses metrics to measure emails’ importance, including what email is read, replied to and everything else.
• Allows users can train their priority inboxes by telling it what metrics they consider most important.
Microsoft is also going the Gmail route and right now is investigating using user behavior to determine delivery at the “individual-level.” What this means is that the individual’s behavior will affect where email gets placed for them and can override the global spam filter of the system. User interaction affects this and interaction can include:
• Messages read then deleted
• Messages deleted without being read
• Messages replied to
• Frequency of receiving/reading
A lot of this data is already in use in Hotmail to prevent false positives when it comes to marking email as spam but this would allow the reverse and make it easier for people to teach the system to “junk” your email.
What does this potentially means for you?
What this means is content and subjects are king.
You need to give people a reason to open your email and then give them a reason to interact. Interaction could be clicking on a link or perhaps replying somehow. In short, we believe that the major difference will be that all emails will need to have an “ask” of some kind. Organizations will have to be smarter as to whom they’re emailing and what they’re asking them to do.
The bad news is that the majority of people don’t open an email or interact. These individuals over time will be harder to re-engage, as they’ll have taught the system they don’t want to hear from you. These emails would be delivered differently with possibly increased difficulty for catching supporters’ eyes in a self-defeating cycle.
The good news is, you’ll definitely be getting in front of your active supporters. Those that want to hear from you will hear from you – especially so those who actually interact. These are good things, as you’ll develop through selection a solid and active email base, trimming the fat.
We don’t know the dirty details of these changes to email and are going off what’s been told so far. We’ll definitely update everyone as we learn more.