Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Technology is a double-edged sword in the battle between busy consumers and overeager marketers who’ve spent years building their contact lists only to be sent to the trash without a second thought.

For all the times you’ve begrudgingly given a pushy sales associate your email address knowing full well you’ll delete whatever brand bombardment lands in your inbox, do you ever wonder why you conceded in the first place? It’s because somewhere during the transaction you felt you had something to gain.

So what if we’re interested in what brands have to say, but don’t have the time to sift through the clutter? Google cracked the code as it trialed Gmail Smart Labels, an innovative extension to its priority inbox feature that automatically organizes and classifies emails into customizable labels:

  • Bulk: promotional mass mailings, daily offers
  • Notifications: receipts, account statements
  • Forums: mailing lists, group emails

Senior writer for CNET Stephen Shankland shares how Smart Labels appeals to a broad range of users, revealing a way to filter messages – out of sight, out of mind – until you have the time and patience to see what’s in it for you.

Key Takeaway – a win-win for both sides of the virtual tug-o-war. As a marketer, I have a fighting chance of avoiding the trash and surviving in the Bulk realm for later review; as a consumer, I choose when and where I want to be the target of your promotional pitch.

Too good to be true? You tell me…

-Stephanie C.

(Photo courtesy of googletutor.com)

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3 Responses to Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

  1. Stephanie G. says:

    Very interesting! I saw that GMail was coming out with some new features but hadn’t seen this one yet. I think it’s at least worth a try – I agree with you regarding the win-win in most situations, though I wonder if companies like Groupon or Living Social that depend on people instantly receiving and seeing their “deal of the day” messages may suffer as people may be less inclined to check their smart folders as often as they may check their general inbox?

  2. student says:

    I completely agree with Stephanie G, I don’t think I would ever think to click on the smart folders unless I was expecting something that would go directly there. Usually, as much as I hate 90% of my bulk mail, it’s always nice to see a Groupon pop up that I might actually use. I feel like this definitely has positives and negatives for both the consumer and the marketer.

  3. Kelly says:

    In case we had any doubt, it is now confirmed that Google “reads” the emails. This will also add an interesting dimension to the analytics of email blasts. Will this decrease the value of mass mailings or encourage new platforms? I think that it is going to do both. It is one more mountain that marketers have to climb to get a message in front of their audience.