Here’s my experience with Inbox from Gmail.
What is Inbox?
It’s not a new service. It still is Gmail. Inbox is just a new mobile and web application.
You can check Gmail with the old Gmail app on your phone, as well as the new Inbox. You can check your emails at Gmail.com and also at Inbox.Google.com.
What’s the difference?
First we had the Priority Inbox where you could “star” an email or mark it as “Important”.
Then came the Tabbed Inbox, in which your emails were grouped or bundled into five groups Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums.
Inbox goes a step further. The Inbox app makes it easy to archive the emails, or mark them for later reading. Many actions remain same, or are similar.
The web app pre-bundles the messages into categories. They are arranged vertically, date-wise, as opposed to laid out horizontally like in Tabbed Inbox.
This particular change – horizontal tabbed experience to vertical bundling is in my experience a major change for users. It gets a little getting used to. It will be interesting to see how many Gmail users embrace this change.
The bundling is optional. Which means if you turn all of it off, it becomes a regular old Gmail.
When you Pin an email, it stays in your main inbox. It’s like starring a message.
It’s the mobile experience that makes Inbox very helpful.
If like you you’ve experience MailBox, then you know you cannot go back to any regular email app. I could not go back to the native email app on my iPhone, nor use the Gmail app either. Simply because Mailbox taught me to use gestures.
Swipe the message right = Archive
Swipe the message left = Read later.
Long swipe the message to the right = delete the message.
Inbox is similar.
Swipe right = Done which is same as archive.
Swipe left = Snooze
I really, really miss not having a delete feature, both in the mobile app and the web app. Some folks have been saying the same elsewhere on the web.
How Does It Impact Email Users?
With Priority Inbox, the reader could easily transfer emails from, Promotions to Inbox tab, or vice versa.
In Inbox, I don’t see a feature to keep the Promotions tab lower than say a Forums tab.
Whether the bundle is above or below some other bundle is determined by the latest date of the message in the bundle.
As I wrote this blog post, I got an email, which was bundled in the “Forums” category. This whole bundle moved to the top, with a “1 New” message.
I think moving the whole bundle up and down, is still a new behavior that I am still learning about. This will take some getting used to. I am not entirely happy with it.
How Does It Impact Marketers?
It is still early days for Inbox. The bundling of emails is aimed to make most important message most accessible. However it means that predicting how deep, and where the message will be, above fold, or below fold will be very tricky.
What seems apparent is that messages with images, and with videos seem to stand out. However if they are bundled inside Promotions, that may not be true.
For now, nothing much seems to have changed in terms of rendering, so I am still waiting and watching for any new developments.
About the Author:
Geetanjali is passionate about Digital Marketing. She’s used Internet enablers for business since the dot-com boom. As a consultant, she helps companies use digital channels to improve their sales. She writes about digital marketing at various magazines and blogs at http://ContactArt.in