Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 Just as the world was getting used to Gmail tabs, Google throws another email curveball with the new Inbox, a “fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.” Our team was lucky enough to score early access to the Google Inbox app, so we decided to share our initial thoughts with the world. “It’s turned my inbox into a newsfeed, which is interesting. But, do I need another mail app on my phone? Also, I was expecting a grid view for my promos. –Sherry Chao (me), Marketing Director “I’ve been using Inbox for two weeks now for my personal account, and I’m looking forward to using it for my Google apps account for work. I really like the snooze feature, and how the inbox is morphing into a to-do list.” –Andrew Boni, Co-founder and Front-end Engineer “It’s slick. The UI is responsive, and looks good on any device, whether that’s mobile, tablet or desktop.” –Ilya Brin, Software Engineer Inbox is cool, but will it last and become the preferred app for accessing Gmail? Let’s first review the new features: Bundles Inbox automatically bundles similar messages together. For example, all promotional messages from ecommerce companies are grouped together in Promo, and emails from social networks are grouped together in Social. It’s kind of like tabs, but has way more pre-built categories like Updates, Finance, Travel, Forums and more. It’s a great feature for those of us who are lazy about tagging our emails with Gmail labels. Improved Search This was definitely my favorite feature. Google is has a level 99 mastery of search and has added that to Inbox. Enter in search terms and Inbox will comb through the sender, subject, preheader and body of your messages and return instant, and often visual, results! Just check out my search for Virgin Airlines! Improved Layout and UI The improved Inbox layout makes it easier and faster to mow through your inbox. Clicking on individual emails in the inbox list view will expand and collapse them, so you no longer have to use the back button to go back to your inbox list view. Another convenient perk is that images in the email body or attachments are visible in the regular inbox view. Sweeping and Mark as Done The sweeping and 1 click “mark as done” features are for folks whose primary email goal is to get to inbox zero. Sweeping removes emails that you are “done with” from your view and into the trash. It’s an improvement from the normal Gmail app because you can easily sweep away multiple messages in a bundle or view, as opposed to either having to select individual emails or tick the “select all” option to delete emails. Personally, I find it a little scary to bulk sweep messages, but then again, I don’t have the need to get to inbox zero. However, I do find the 1 click “mark as done” feature quite useful. Pinning Google is taking a lesson from Twitter and Facebook and allowing you to pin important messages. It’s similar to the old ‘star’ feature and is great for helping you remember important emails that require a response or for saving sentimental emails from your mother. Reminders With 1 click, you can set helpful reminders for yourself that will sit at the top of your inbox for the day and get pinned. This is similar to the Gmail’s Tasks feature, but even more visible. It’s a great feature for those of us who live in our email (like me) and don’t want to use another task management tool. Snoozing Want to respond to an email at a later time? Use the snooze feature to specify a time to be reminded to view an email or to craft a response. This is a great feature for salespeople who need help remembering when to follow up with prospects. Why Should Marketers Care? Right now, Inbox is only available by invite, but marketers can prepare for its mass release by doing two things: 1. Optimize for Search The new Inbox makes all parts of the email highly searchable. This means email marketers should make it extremely clear in the subject, preheader and body text what the email is all about. It may help to apply some SEO lessons when designing emails. For example, steer away from using too many images containing text and instead, simply use regular text. Be sure to add alt tags to images as well, to improve searchability. It also helps to put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers. If you were searching your inbox for a specific promotion, which search terms would you use? Asking this question before designing an email campaign will help you think of the search words to optimize for. 2. Link Your Google+ Profile Inbox shows email senders as photo icons, which are pulled from the sender’s Google+ profile picture. Again, this is one of Google’s ways of forcing individuals and companies to create a Google+ page. You’ll want to follow these steps to make sure that your sender icon is optimized and shows your brand’s profile pic, rather than a boring ol’ default image of the first letter of your company name. Note the difference between the Etsy icon versus the Motel Rocks icon below: To optimize your sender image, you need to: 1. Create a Google+ page 2. Link your brand page to your website 3. Enable Google+ Related Pages Widget in Gmail Gmail’s new Inbox is currently only available to a limited audience by invite only. It is also only available for personal Gmail accounts (no Google apps accounts) using the Chrome browser on a desktop or via the mobile app for iPhone and Android. The new Inbox. Love it or hate it? Share your thoughts below! This post was original published on the Iterable blog. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article was written for Business 2 Community by Kane Pepi.Learn how to publish your content on B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?