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Email Marketing in the Age of the 'Ultra Managed Inbox'

October 20, 2010  

For years, writes Stephanie Miller at the Deliverability blog, marketers have enjoyed the linear nature of the email inbox—your newsletters and offers sitting cheek-by-jowl with personal correspondence from a subscriber's friends. But you shouldn't get too comfortable with this privileged arrangement.

"The world is changing," Miller says. "A new set of inbox management tools are emerging from the global mailbox providers like Yahoo!, Hotmail/MSN and Gmail. These tools make it easier for subscribers to avoid whatever is not interesting to them."

In essence, tools like these will create what Miller terms the Ultra Managed Inbox, where marketing messages are sent to secondary folders that might—or might not—be checked before automatic deletion.

"We can no longer 'ride along' for attention by cozying up to personal messages," she notes. "We must re-earn our way into the inbox, or at least into a folder that subscribers check frequently."

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