Gmail is rolling out Priority Inbox as a way to help manage email. It remembers which emails you tend to open and sorts new emails accordingly. Some regular Gmail users should have received the invitation to start using the new tool, while those who use Google Apps can get access to it a bit quicker by opting in to pre-release features.
TechCrunch looks at the Priority Inbox and notes:
“Of course, this introduces a new dynamic to the way a lot of people are going to be reading email. Email intros will become ever more important, because you’ll want to ensure that your message gets marked with coveted ‘important’ tag. It also has much broader implications. Increasingly, content will be displayed to you based on its importance rather than its time stamp — not just when it comes to browsing email, but for social networks and other content as well.”
Does this create a branch of SEO for email now? I know this only applies to Gmail. But if Priority Inbox proves to be a hit, other email providers will create competing features. To make sure your emails are marked important, will you have to learn how to write optimized emails?
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So far it’s not a big change for me. Actually, it offers fewer options than the Multiple Inboxes, which I’d been using to sort my e-mail (for 4 different e-mail addresses) into 5 panes.
However, I’ll soon be ditching responsibility for 2 of those addresses and need less sorting, so Priority looks like it might work fine. Of course, I’ve only had it activated for 12 hours . . .
It won’t let me tag an email as important, even if I go the extra step and create a filter that does so! So I went into settings and turned the POS off.
I’m one of the people who actually use the browser to read my Gmail when I’m on my laptop.
On that front, it’s actually made it easier to stay out of my inbox when I need to be more productive. Unless I have something that appears in the priority inbox, I can easily say “no e-mail checking until 2pm” and stick to it.
Now on the mobile front all of my e-mail still comes to the inbox the same as before. So I still find myself digging in my pocket for the phone when it goes off.
I’m hopeful this feature will translate over to Android phones. What a great feature to be able to take advantage of!
For me, it would be smarter to teach people how to deal with their emails (through Getting Things Done or other methods) and in a wider extent, how to get organised, than to teach everyone how to write optimized emails.
For example, although I’ve activated the Priority Inbox, it tends not to be useful since I rarely have more than 5 emails in my Inbox at a time. You wouldn’t leave your post mail in your mailbox, would you? Then why do you do so with your Inbox?