Is Inbox by Google going to change email marketing?

Since the release of Inbox, a new email app by Google, it’s been in the center of email industry attention. There were questions raised whether or not, this new app is going to impose changes on how email marketers craft and deliver their email communication. This uncertainty was also caused by the limited access, as not everyone could begin their tests straight after the app’s launch.

First of all – as with many Google launches in the past – to be able to use Inbox you had to receive an invitation (which can be sent either by another Inbox user or Google). This obviously

inbox-nexus6-500slows down the adoption of the app making it more resistant to efficiency issues caused by sudden user surges. Because of this the app’s impact on email industry at the moment is rather insignificant, but is going to gradually increase over time. That’s a major difference comparing to introducing the Gmail Tabs, which were imposed on a huge user base within just a few months.

When it comes to the features and usability – Inbox aims at making user interaction with all kinds of messages easier. For example – it can follow a link and inform you, without the need of leaving the app, that you should expect the delivery of a package you had ordered in 3 days. It can show you the most relevant information from an email before you even open it.

I must admit it took me a few days of getting used to the new interface, especially to segregating my emails into so called “bundles”. Some might not like the effect, but for me the learning curve paid off. Inbox managed to sort most of the messages just as I expected it to. Do not worry, if you will not find the preset bundles to your liking, there is a lot of space for customization.

But the feature that drew my attention the most was the option to set how often each bundle should show up. You can set the “promotional” emails to show up once a day (or even a week). This results in all offers competing for user attention at the same time, as this feature definitely decreases the significance of when a message is delivered. At the same time it means that the relevancy of the email content remains the most important email campaign success factor and should be the main focus for email marketers.

Still, are all those new features enough to make Inbox change the email marketing landscape? I am leaning towards the opinion that, at least for now, it should be treated as a curiosity. Maybe in the future this app will receive more options and capabilities, and even more importantly – more unique users, but for the time being it is clearly not a game-changer. We will have to wait and see if Google introduces new features that will be able to meet the requirements of more savvy users. For now email marketing as we know it is not going to change much because of Inbox launch.