What the Facebook Messaging Social Inbox means for Email Marketing

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Before the announcement, Email Marketing as we knew it was going to end and we were going to be pawns in the battle for the internet between Facebook and Google.

Last night Facebook announced all and we found out that Facebook Messaging is not all about email, it is about messaging and communication between friends on the internet in more than one medium but from one spot, ie: Facebook…read more.

Now we know it’s not a directly competitive inbox, but it is still an inbox and people will be able to read emails in it.

So we know it will have some affect but what kind of affect could it have on Email Marketing?the messages you want

I can see three core variables:

  • The Social Inbox will apparently be able to plug into and import email from your existing POP email accounts.
  • The Social Inbox does not have any complex organisation tools like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail has.
  • The Social Inbox makes it easy to separate personal from commercial email and prioritises personal by automatically prioritising messages from your friends who you are also friends with on Facebook and will allow you add your own friends very easily.

So, a user in the Social Inbox will be able to see all of their normal emails, but it will not be organised or organisable apart from their friends.

For an email marketer this could be good because if you time it right, you’ll pop right in the top rather than risk a filter and go off into a folder for later – like Amazon emails in my Gmail.

However, there is also the chance that all commercial email will be ignored from by the user in the Social Inbox who will live in the ‘Friends Inbox’.

For commercial marketing emails, this is not a good thing because it makes ease of access to their content even worse. Not unlike Gmail’s Priority Inbox but focussed on Facebook Friends – an even smaller group!

On a positive note, it might be hard to read all of the commercial email from the perceived Social Inbox, but people actually want that email, that’s why it gets into the inbox in the first place. People can then assign a priority to it and often even set-up a filter to file it for them.

I for instance, I put Amazon emails into one folder; I put twitter, facebook, youtube and linkedin email into another folder and go through them all in one go once a day – except the DMs, they go straight to the inbox because they are generally urgent apart from those salesy twitter auto follow DMs.

Subsequently the fact that the Social Inbox does not organise your email thus making it harder to read, will be the same thing that keeps people engaged to their existing email accounts, thus changing Email Marketing very little!

I cannot believe that people will be tempted to use their fb.com address for their on-line shopping accounts and out side of digital marketing agencies, I cannot perceive why any business would use an fb.com account for their business emails. So existing email addresses will still stay.

So it should not really make a big difference, it just means that peoples Facebook experience will be enhanced.

There was a rumour that Facebook email will also be POP ready, so your Webmail and Outlook email clients could let you read your fb.com email from there but along wit the rest of the ideas and thoughts, we will have to wait and see.