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Email Deliverability News: Hotmail Addresses 'Graymail,' Flags and One-Click Unsubs

Email marketing success is dependent on many things, not the least of which is addressing the latest innovations and changes to major email services…and Hotmail certainly qualifies as a major email service.

Just recently Microsoft announced some major changes to what their webmail services like Hotmail will look like and how users will interact with their email moving forward. One of the biggest reasons Microsoft made these changes was because they realized that getting rid of true spam was not enough. They understand that many people report legitimate emails, such as newsletters, offer campaigns and even notifications. Users might do this for a number of possible reasons

  1. They no longer want to receive the email and do not trust the unsubscribe links
  2. They feel it is easier to check a large number of emails at once and mark them as spam rather than going into each email and unsubscribing.

Microsoft calls this type of mail graymail, and they have created new ways to help users organize their inbox and remove the clutter. Previously Microsoft had implemented the “Sweep” feature which allowed customers to automatically move specific emails to different folders. They have now taken that technology a step further by creating a specific "Newsletter" folder where they will automatically put newsletters it delivered to users.

Another item that will potentially change the graymail issue is the implementation of the one-click unsubscribe. By utilizing this process, Microsoft will ask you if you want to unsubscribe from the mailing. Microsoft will then respond to the marketer notifying them to remove the user from future mailings. For any mailings received from the marketer after this process was put in place, the mailings will be automatically sent to the Junk folder as a way to address this complication with email deliverability.

Finally, another change that Microsoft has implemented is the ability to flag emails. Much like Gmail’s labels, or Outlook's flags, this functionality allows users to no longer have to mark messages at unread in order to go back and follow up on items but create flags in order to help them better organize their messages in their inbox.

As a marketer, these changes should not change your approach to your email marketing campaigns. As we have always said at StrongView, it is all about relevancy. If your campaigns are not relevant to your users, you will not see the returns you are looking for. But if your customers find your campaigns relevant they will look for those emails no matter where they land within their mailboxes.

In addition to email deliverability news found here, you can also stay connected to the Email Marketing Insights Blog for more of the latest news in email marketing.

Learn about other email deliverability solutions we provide at StrongView.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 5:19 PM
Categories: email marketing, deliverability, hotmail, graymail

1 Comments

Argh. Why would they pick an ambiguous term and then try to redefine it? It's very close to greylisting which is an entirely different thing all but baked into the RFC for email. http://projects.puremagic.com/greylisting/whitepaper.html

Comment by TV James – October 13, 2011 at 6:36 AM

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