Your inbox is very personal. It’s your communications, your business, and your archives. The email you send is clearly very personal too – and it should truly be yours.
When designing the new Hotmail
, we focused on helping people get the clutter out of their inboxes so that they can find important messages fast and be more productive. To do this, we added tools to help people manage the email they receive. For example, the Sweep menu lets you quickly delete or move all email from a particular sender. We also improved the filters and created a way to bring all related email messages together in a conversation view. We even took a hard look into our own practices and asked ourselves: What could we change to better respect our customers’ inboxes?
In asking ourselves this question, we made two significant changes with the new Hotmail: 1) We’re removing the text at the bottom of messages sent from Hotmail, and 2) We’re focused on only sending marketing email that you want.
Removing text from the bottom of messages sent from Hotmail
We’ve seen a lot of feedback regarding the text that gets added to the bottom of email messages sent from Hotmail and some other email providers. In the image above, you can see an example of this text, “Hotmail goes with you. Get it on your BlackBerry or iPhone.”  We call this text a tagline
, and we’d like to address this pretty simply – we’re getting rid of it.
When Hotmail first started in the mid-90s, taglines helped people to discover our then revolutionary new type of personal email service … free web-based email
. At the time, most people had an address tied to an ISP like an AOL, CompuServe, or Prodigy email, and taglines were an efficient way to let people know about Hotmail. As Hotmail evolved over the years, so did taglines, taking on the additional role of educating people about new features & services in Hotmail and other related products. They proved to be effective, with nearly 2 million taglines clicked per month.
But alas, most people don’t really like taglines in their email. Email is personal, and taglines can distract from your message, or make it look less professional. While taglines did drive awareness and clicks, we respect your inbox, and we are taking them out in the upcoming Hotmail release.
Improving our email communications
Email is one of the most popular ways for businesses to educate, engage, and deepen loyalty with their customers; in fact, it’s the communication method that most people prefer when interacting with businesses. However, it’s also a channel that is easily overused, causing frustration when someone’s inbox becomes full of unwanted email
. Hotmail recognizes this, and while we’re adding tools to help you easily manage the email you receive, we’re also making sure that the messages we send are desired and relevant, not adding to the problem.
With our next release, we’re focusing our attention on improving our email communications to be best-of-breed like our new Hotmail. We are implementing two changes in our email communications in the US:
- Don’t open our email? We’ll stop sending it. If you aren’t engaging with our email, our goal is to stop sending it to you, except in the cases of critical account updates or service notifications where we don’t want you to be surprised. We’re also making our opt-out options more prominent.
- More relevant email. Targeted email improves your experience by keeping you up-to- date on the upgrades, changes, products, and services you use. So we’re improving the relevancy of the email we send by taking into account which services you’re using and what you have or haven’t clicked in the past.
A key part of the new Hotmail is respecting our customers’ best interests and personal inboxes. This is reflected in our investments and decisions about how we communicate.