In the age of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Google is taking significant steps to ensure that emails remain a relevant mode of communication. It has not only succeeded till now but seem well set to revolutionize email communication across the world- Inbox by Gmail makes emails not just communication messages, rather a personal assistant of sorts.
- Have you spent your time searching for your travel ticket in a heap of emails
- Are you troubled by the enormous amount of emails you receive in a day promotions, social, newsletters and of course, business emails
- Do you manually spend a significant time assigning your emails into different folders or tags
- Google Research suggests 80% of searches on Gmail look for a fact in the email rather than the mail itself
Features under the spotlight
The Inbox by Gmail is your personal assistant to help you manage your emails (read work) better. Here’s what is there in store for you:
The Smart Reply feature, which was rolled out for the Inbox App in November last year, has recently made its way to the Web version. Under this, Gmail would suggest three quick reply options. The reply options are dynamically generated based on the content and nature or the received email. The options selected by you are fed into the system to improve future response suggestions similar to the Spam filters.
Inbox scans your incoming emails and sorts them into different buckets. All seemingly important mails go into your inbox while others get placed into different bundles or folders: Trips, Social, Finance, Updates, Forums, Promos and Low Priority. You have the option of deleting the entire bundle at once or mark as Done.
You can use this feature to snooze the message to a particular date and time when you intend to work or action the message. You just have to open the message and tap the snooze option it gives a pop up to select the scheduled time for the message to reappear.
Are you into the habit of maintaining unread emails in your inbox just to remind you to do a particular thing? Now say goodbye to those unread emails. You just need to tap the Remember To field before the email subject line and type in the reminder. Based on the content in the email, Inbox also suggests the reminder options.
You can pin the messages on top of your inbox even after it’s placed into a folder or bundle. This will act as a reminder to reply to the mail or action the point.
Now you don’t need to regret accidently clicking the Send option Inbox gives you the option to Undo the sent mail. The only catch is that you have got a 15 sec window for the same.
Limitations of Inbox by Gmail
With all the handy features waiting to be explored, Inbox does have its own limitations:
- Lack of a universal Inbox makes it cumbersome to switch between multiple Gmail accounts.
- No option to mute a mail thread
- Machine Learning-based model makes it imperative to train your App. You will have to spend the initial few days navigating through some wrongly bundled mail or not so close replies.
- Last but not the least, the most obvious disadvantage is that it works only with Gmail accounts
Artificial Intelligence for Communication: Potential Impact for Marketers
Inbox by Gmail as a concept is built entirely on the premise of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. For new users, it seems to be a regular app they use but in hindsight, this is an experiment that will govern how people communicate in 2025. Right from smart replies to email sorting, every single concept is geared towards making Inbox do the hard work for you. That will mark the transition of Gmail from an email service to a full-fledged Personal Assistant. It’s worth taking a look at its potential impact for marketers.
- Marketing Emails would still be useful. But it would entail a paradigm shift in the way marketing is done. The fight to Stay on top of the inbox will give way to a marketing format to be present where & when your consumer wants to see you.
- It’s not that consumers do not like promotional emails. They love offers and promotions but get irritated when either it jumps in at the wrong time or too many spammy mails make it difficult to find your important mails. With Inbox in place, it will allow customers to browse through Promotion bundle when they are actually looking for offers.
- Inbox specific Call-to-Action will become important. For example, Snooze Mail feature can be useful for retailers to provide in-store offers that make consumers Snooze the message for their next visit to the mall.
- Its machine-learning based so the way your content engages with the consumer will be important. If the interaction behavior of your messages varies differently in comparison to other mails in the Bundle, Inbox will surely provide more focus to your message. The whole idea of machine learning and artificial intelligence is geared towards this to help you perform your work better.