Google has announced that they will be implementing a new feature across Gmail and Google Apps accounts. The new tool is called Priority Inbox and it may drastically change the way people interact with their email client.
Priority Inbox is a new feature that aims to help people organize and prioritize their Gmail Inbox. Through a series of data gathering measures including user input, Gmail will now be able to prioritize your inbox based on the amount of attention you have given messages in the past. Opening and replying to a message will indicate that message us more important, while deleting without reading or marking a message as spam will do the opposite. You can also manually rate a message as more or less important, which will allow users to customize Priority Inbox even further.
Priority Inbox will split Gmail inboxes into three sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred” and “Everything else”. Customizable filters will be available so users can automatically categorize messages as they come in. This feature will be rolling out for all users over the course of the upcoming weeks.
Now that you know what Priority Inbox is, the question you are probably asking yourself is "How will it effect my email campaigns?". To put it simply, Priority Inbox will further reward those who have already been pushing out quality campaigns and increasingly punish those who send weak campaigns or SPAM. Priority Inbox won't just effect @gmail.com accounts either, it will include users of Google Apps as well.
Priority Inbox puts increased pressure on mailers to follow best practices, send well-designed and thoughtful mailing campaigns, and to get their recipients to add them to the address book. If you aren't sending quality content, users with Priority Inbox will most likely burn out even faster than a typical user.
Rewarding good behavior and punishing the bad guys? Priority Inbox sounds like something that could be good for the industry as a whole. It will be interesting to see how it plays out on a larger scale. One thing is for sure, this is a good time to ensure that your email marketing program is sending quality campaigns. Stay tuned for updates.