Dear EmailRules Community,


The three most popular web-based email services have been busy improving usability by streamlining the interface, upgrading functions and integrating additional services, such as voice-over-IP. One of the recent trends aims to help users keep their in-boxes in control.


Google launched a tabbed Gmail in-box. It filters the incoming messages under five different content categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums.


Microsoft’s also offers functions to automate the in-box. For example, the set of sweep functions includes: Move, Delete, Unsubscribe and Schedule Clean-Ups.


Yahoo! Mail introduced a new interface to its users this year and announced that it will recycle abandoned email addresses. If your email list has lot of Yahoo! Mail addresses, you may want to read this Word to the Wise blog post “Yahoo retiring user IDs: why you shouldn’t worry”.


As these new functions emerge, they change the behavior of the subscribers and recipients. So there are implications for us, as email senders. The key is to monitor email performance and see if the email metrics change significantly.


When our messages are expected, relevant and interesting and there is prior permission and an existing sender-recipient relationship, the recipient is likely to find and filter the messages to a preferred tab, folder or in-box for reading.


Yet when preferences change,  it is very important to have a clear, visible and working unsubscribe function at the end of each message. This way, the recipients who wish to unsubscribe can do so directly and promptly. This also saves, for example, one round of Outlook asking the sender to unsubscribe the recipient -- or the worse alternative, the recipient blocking and filtering the future messages as spam.


The new web in-boxes show how central email is today. Web-based email services provide a hub that integrates with instant message, voice, video, social media, calendars, file drives, and other applications. Email stays strong and viable, provided each recipient feels in-control over his or her messages and in-box overall and provided we, as senders, respect permission and preferences with every message. The new functions in web-based email are likely to make recipients even more active in their email in-box habits. It is exciting to see email to evolve and integrate with other communication tools.


Happy emailing and happy summer!


Outi Tuomaala



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