Gmail Inbox, Apple Watch and Google Glass- 3 new ways to read email

By APSIS

2014-10-26

Lately, there has certainly been no shortage of tech announcements with regards to email. In this article we take a look at three of them: Gmail’s new app ”Inbox”, the soon to be released Apple Watch and email on Google Glass. 

Gmail Inbox – an exclusive invite

The most recent addition to the evolving world of email is Gmail Inbox. Announced this October, it feels like ”Gmail 2.0” and is a big step up from the current app. Google are releasing it separately instead of updating the old – a wise move as early adopters will quickly smooth out any kinks, and unfamiliar users won’t be forced into the concept.

The most noticeable change in Inbox (from what we know today), has to be the step up in categorisation compared to Gmail. Users can add their own categories, and Inbox will also single out what they call ”Promotions”, displaying them less often than all other emails.

Stay updated

The new app has also ”borrowed” elegant and convenient interface features from Mailbox, such as archiving or snoozing emails by sweeping left or right.

Gmail Inbox app

Gmail already analyses your emails to present things such as flight and package information in a better way - Inbox takes this several steps further by keeping track of the status of that flight, and finding the phone number of the airline if you would need to give them a call.

Raised profile for relevance

With the Google Tabs update, most of us didn’t see noticeable effects on our campaigns – those accustomed to good results have (most likely due to knowledge and reputation) continued an upward trend, while those with already weak response have seen it dwindle.   

As a marketer, it will be more important than ever to convey relevancy and value to your recipients, as well as keeping your open rates up. 

How do you get Gmail Inbox? 

Just  Gmail back in the day, Inbox is currently available by invitation only (we are eagerly awaiting our own!) - but quite a bit of information is already available. If you wan’t your own invitation - send an email to inbox@google.com.

More about Gmail Inbox:

Official Google blog

Apple Watch – About Time?

Apple Watch has made it’s first public appearance; rumored for years, the device was finally unveiled in September this year and is expected to ship in early 2015. At Email Marketing Evolved, Andrew Kordek of Trendline Interactive made a very important point, based on what we know about the device so far: While early screenshots certainly show an email client - there is no web browser.

This is not about the desire to use a web based mail service on a device - it’s about links: no browser, no clickable links. Even if they did introduce a web browser, it’s hard to see it happen on a screen with a height of less than 4 cm – there are, after all, limits for mobile optimisation!

Apple Watch

Nothing like mobile penetration

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to test Email on Apple Watch ourselves (we’d sure love to!) - but our best guess is that it will be a great device for getting notifications of incoming emails - and that it might even be possible to create emails based on voice commands.

For marketers, it is unlikely that Apple Watch will have the same impact on email as smartphones. However, if the device gains commercial traction it could become important for screening (and possibly deleting) incoming emails - once again reinforcing the importance of sender-receiver relationship, subject line and timing of emails.

Glass not Clear Cut

So, finally, Google Glass. Just like Apple Watch, the device is not, at writing, commercially available. Luckily, we’ve managed to get our hands on a pair to try it out – but we’re not convinced. Our feeling is that Google Glass, despite limited availability for some time now - is not ready for a wide commercial launch and has a smaller chance of becoming a widely adopted platform than Apple Watch.

But - it has an email app built in. It provides the sender name, subject line, a snippet of the email copy and information about when the email was sent.

As an email marketer - should you care about Google Glass? Given the current expectations about market adoption, we don’t think so. And if this changes, it’s once again about optimizing send time, subject line and the sender-receiver relationship. 

Evolution, not Revolution

What do these new ways of reading email mean to you as a marketer?

Well, nothing much that you didn’t already know: 

  • Keep your lists clean and avoid buying addresses. If your recipients don’t want to open your emails, you’ll start sinking into invisibility.
  • Sending relevant and welcome content will influence how Gmail Inbox classifies and files you. This, in turn, will improve the overall relationship between you and the recipient.
  • Test your subject line, then test again. Brevity will most likely be a central trend. Design for smaller screens.       
  • Finally, as always, find the right timing for your sending. The recipient can be reached at an increasing variety of times throughout the day, and Marketing Automation will definitely be an important tool. 

There we have it – important news, but no need for worry or bracing for great change. Just keep on testing, improving and updating your content, subject lines and sending times. But you’re already doing that - right? 

Ps. Do drop us a line over on Twitter @apsis, and tell us your thoughts on Gmail Inbox, Apple Watch and Google Glass

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