The buzz this week has been all about inbox placement. First we had Gmail making changes and rolling out their Priority Inbox feature, now George Bilbrey, President of Return Path has posted about changes coming to Hotmail from Microsoft which will impact the email marketing industry.
If you’d like to see more about Gmail’s new Priority Inbox feature, check out PC Mag’s walk through here.
In his post about the changes to Hotmail, George not only analyzes the changes, but offers some solid advice on what email marketers should do to stay on the good side of Hotmail inboxes.
Here’s an excerpt from the post:
For over a year now, email deliverability experts have been talking about the ‘fact’ that ISPs use engagement metrics (typically not defined by these so-called experts) to determine inbox placement. But calling it a fact is a bit misleading given that none of the large mailbox providers has talked publicly about if they use engagement metrics to determine where emails get delivered.
But that will soon change as Microsoft is in the early stages of utilizing user behavior when determining individual-level inbox placement for Windows Live Hotmail. That means that an individual user’s behavior can influence the delivery of a message from a particular source for that user only. The individual-level analysis overrides the global spam filter’s decision. As a result, the way one user interacts with messages from a certain source might influence Hotmail to put those messages in that user’s inbox, whereas the way another user interacts with the same messages might influence Hotmail to put those messages in that user’s junk folder, regardless of what the global spam filter suggests.
You might also find Tom Sather’s post interesting about what engagement metrics mean to ISPs. While they may use the similar terms that marketers do, they don’t mean the same thing.