Email Is the Center of Our Online Experiences

Some new data released by the Windows Live/Hotmail team in Redmond illustrates what we all know from our personal experience — that our inbox is the center of the online universe. Well, maybe “center” is too egocentric even for someone who works in email marketing. But it’s certainly a primary starting and ending point!

Data from Microsoft indicates that people make social plans, arrange travel and discuss purchases over email. A few examples:

  • 78 percent of US Hotmail users discuss their social arrangements in Hotmail.
  • 81 percent of US Hotmail female users discuss travel in Hotmail.
  • 76 percent of US Hotmail male users 18 to 35 discuss electronics & gadgets purchases in Hotmail.

We know that email marketing works to keep brands and promotions top of mind. Since this is no secret, we daily battle the clutter in the inbox to nudge out competitors and other marketers — along with personal email and publisher’s newsletters — for precious seconds of subscriber’s time. Subscribers are starting online experiences from the inbox — emphasizing the need to optimize our efforts. What does that mean? The usual suspects: strong subject lines, prominent and relevant calls to action, a cadence and frequency that matches the subscriber’s buying patterns and optimized preview panes.

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