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Outlook recently launched its new mobile application for iOS and Android in an effort to be the primary, all-encompassing email app for users on the two largest mobile software platforms. Think of it as a more robust, feature-rich version of the native ‘Mail’ app currently on iOS devices. Read on to learn the key features Microsoft’s new app has to offer, how it compares/differs from similar email apps currently in the space, and what it could mean for marketers.
The Ultimate All-in-one:
As I alluded to, the new Outlook app directly competes with the native ‘Mail’ app on iOS and other similar third-party all-in-one mail hubs like the app Mailbox. It allows users to sync multiple email accounts from different clients into one mailbox. Outlook supports the major email clients including:
With the new Outlook app, not only can users get integration of all their email accounts in one place (nothing new), but they can also gain a unified view of their contacts, attachments, and calendars without switching out of applications.
It is no secret that with over 50% of users opening messages on mobile devices, this all-in-one Outlook app could be a major player if it is widely adopted on iOS and Android. Whether it will lead to higher engagement is difficult to say. The key reason is due to the most vital feature of Outlook. It divides the mailbox into two folders: ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’.
After a few days of playing around with the app, my main take away is that it is intended to make users more productive, which is why emails where users are involved on a thread or emails from friends/contacts are generally grouped in the ‘Focused’ folder and everything else in the ‘Other’. Unlike Google Inbox, where there were a lot more folders and marketing or promotional messages were usually organized into the Promo folder, no such folder exists on this app. You can imagine that users with multiple accounts may lose track of various messages coming from marketers as they would be grouped in the ‘Other’ folder. However, Outlook is supposed to be a smart inbox in that it changes how it groups messages based on how frequent users interact with a sender. So if a user is opening and engaging with a particular marketer, look to see those messages classified as ‘focused’ instead of in the ‘other’ folder.
Our team will be conducting tests on this application and provide more concrete implications as they pertain to marketers, so keep an eye out.