smart inbox filter

Why Smart Inboxes Scare Me

For the past seven years I have collected, cultivated, and kept safe an email list that I use for my business. It is 80% opt-in in person and 20% via the web. I have it segmented to reduce sending emails to people about things they are not interested in. I rarely send even an email a month in an effort to not be annoying, and I make sure that each one I send contains legitimate news, great offers, and some story about what we are doing at my company.

The Results have Always Been Stellar

Just for the sake of being honest, I have more experience than most small business owners with this type of thing. My style works. That is why smart inboxes like Google’s priority inbox scare me. My own emails get filtered out and put into notifications, and honestly if I did not know I sent them I would never look for them. Since I activated the priority inbox feature I have just about never looked into that notifications folder. Email marketing is in trouble. A few months ago I reached out to a  Twitter contact of mine from one of the best email marketing providers (Blue Sky Factory) and asked her what they were thinking about the new inbox filters. Her response confirmed my fears, they are nervous too, basically she told me all you can do is to make sure your content is something that people are looking for. So I followed up with another contact I have at constant contact, and their approach is very clear. Just look at their homepage: EMAIL + SOCIAL = Works. They are tying their future viability to social. I don’t like it for them.

smart inbox filter

I literally send an email and thousands of dollars in sales start coming in.

That is why this is a problem. How can we avoid the connections we cherish being ruled null and void by filters? Is there an end around out there? I believe there is, and in the next few days I will be implementing that plan with the help of a few new services, and the data I get from the current email marketing services I use. I will let you know how it goes, but until then, you should start to think about how you are going to reach your audience when marketing emails don’t reach the inbox.

Be sure to subscribe to my updates on the upper right (though they may get filtered) as I will be sharing the methods I use to continue to break through the barriers and contact my customers who want to hear from me.

More on email marketing here.