The Impact of Outlook’s Focused Inbox for Email Marketers

By Shamita Jayakumar

Outlook Email – Focused Inbox - Tabs

Part of email marketing is knowing what happens to your email after you push send. Your email service provider provides information about who’s opening your email or clicking links, and when these events happen. Sending an email at the right time with the right content becomes a little easier when you have this data. Recently, Microsoft Outlook made some changes that could impact how your readers interact with the emails you send. Focused Inbox is a new tab system currently in use for the Outlook app on iPhone and Android operating systems, but is now actively being rolled out to Outlook.com and Office 365 users.

Is Focused Inbox the greatest thing since sliced bread, a marketer’s nightmare, or another blip in the annals of email marketing?

In this post, we’ll look at what Outlook is changing and how, if at all, it will impact your email marketing strategy.

What changes is Outlook making?

Focused Inbox is an update to a previous tool called Clutter. But where Clutter moved emails to different folders, Focused Inbox utilizes tabs, making it easier for users to access all their email.

This new feature gives Outlook email users some flexibility on how mail comes into their inboxes. Email is sorted by importance and those emails deemed essential are sent to the Focused tab. The rest of the emails go to the Other tab but are still available in the inbox. The ranking is done by assessing how often emails from different people or companies are interacted with and also the type of content that’s included. So an email from a friend will go to the Focused tab, but also a newsletter that’s read and interacted with every month will too. The priority placed on emails is done by how a user interacts with them, not just the type of email. Outlook users can control which emails go to the Focus Inbox tab by marking an email “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other.”

Outlook is also adding a @mention feature, which works a bit like tagging people on social media. A user will just need to type @ then add a person to share the email with and as long as they are a contact, they’ll be included in the email. This is still a new feature and probably doesn’t have much marketing value yet. But stay tuned, it may down the line. The one thing to note about this feature is that the inbox preview will show a @mention at the top of the email, not the beginning text of the email as it normally would.

Outlook Focused Inbox – Managing Emails – Mention Feature

How will this impact marketing emails?

Outlook takes information about how a subscriber interacts with different emails to decide if an email is a priority or not. Different subscribers could see the same emails end up in different tabs, depending on how they interact with Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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