“The inbox has gone Google. Again,” states the promotional video for Gmail’s new inbox. Revealed in May, the update to one of the world’s most popular email clients claims to put users ‘back in control’.

It’s hard to argue with the tech giant – inboxes can indeed be overwhelming. There are so many different types of email vying for our attention these days, that it is easy to miss the good stuff which is relevant to us. If you’re an email marketer, it makes your job twice as difficult getting your message heard.

The new Gmail inbox (which features both on desktop and mobile) has a neat way of organising different types of content by offering a series of tabs for social, promotions, primary and update emails. The user can easily drag emails into any of the tabs to ensure future mailings from the sender in question are filed appropriately.

Very neat, and certainly the key feature they focussed on during its release. There was another one, however, which could also prove very useful for businesses conducting email marketing campaigns. It is known as ‘Quick Actions’ and could reduce the path to conversion.

This clever little feature allows users to perform actions on emails without the need to open them. With your email marketing head on, it’s clear this could bypass several steps in the conversion process: your readership can suddenly skip opening the email and instead go straight to the call to action.

It’s less hassle for everyone involved, as Google says: “Getting those things done is getting a little easier with new quick action buttons in Gmail, designed to help you tackle your digital to-dos as quickly as possible.

  • Gmail currently supports four action types:
  • One click replies. This is for simple, pre-defined tasks, for example registration confirmation.
  • Review submission. An example might be giving a restaurant a star rating along with submitting a short text review to a third party app.
  • RSVPs. A quick way to respond to event invitations.
  • Multiple step actions which take the user to a landing page.

Each of the above is categorised as either an ‘in-app’ or ‘go-to’ action. The latter add a useful little button next to the subject line in the inbox view. Imagine sending an email about a forthcoming seminar and allowing the user to review the itinerary by simply clicking a button next to the newly delivered email…

It is early days for Quick Actions, but the intention is clear – to make email as easy as possible to digest. There are no losers in this strategy – users are more satisfied and engaged as a result, and business senders can enjoy a far quicker reaction to their emails and much clearer path to action.

We will certainly be watching the development of Gmail’s new feature with interest.


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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