Define: Graymail – The New Spam of the 20th Century

Back then, when the web was just a dark digital matrix filled with zeros, a light shone through and suddenly, messages could be sent across beyond countries, easily, manageably and *gasps* for FREE!

That was the Hotmail that we’ve all come to love, and the one where we used all sorts of funky nicknames as our user handle (mine was Funkyboy, can you believe it?! What’s yours?) and even though there were more e-mail providers after that such as Yahoo!, Rocketmail among others, Hotmail was still the best… until Mr G came about, of course. Suddenly, everything that we were used to doing, Mr G made it easier, and it stayed for a while until Microsoft got worried.

So Hotmail Just Got Even Smarter

Yeap, the largest web-based mail service in the world (yeap, still is!) turned 15th last October, experienced (a much needed) facelift for its user base of over 360 million globally and can now unclutter your e-mail with remarkably efficient spam filtering and intuitively intelligent graymail management. Wait – say WHAT?!

Graymail, what?

In 2012, an average email inbox will receive 14,600 emails. By 2015, that number will grow to 15,300 emails in a year. I’m guessing you and I get more than most, too! The reason for such a rapid rise in number of received emails is due the newsletters and notifications we sign up for, i.e. promotions from our favourite stores, social updates, newsletters and many more. Over time, as we keep on signing for more newsletters and notifications, these messages quickly start cluttering our inbox.

And guess what? According to Barrie Ooi, Head of Windows Live, Microsoft Asia Pacific, 50% of all emails received today are made up of newsletters and notifications that have increased by a whopping 300% in 2011 alone.

Only 14% of emails in our inboxes are true people-to-people communications and astonishingly, spam takes up only 3% of space in an average inbox. Our inboxes are quickly becoming a depository of newsletters and notifications that we want but for the most part, we don’t have time to read and it fast become irrelevant, turning into clutter that makes it hard to find emails we need. These solicited emails – emails that we willingly subscribe to but which are taking up a large chunk of our inbox space is called “graymail” and today, up to 80% of all email sitting in an average inbox is graymail,” he said.

Hotmail: The Smarter Email

Making sense of email is Hotmail’s main focus, which is why Hotmail has added a special category for newsletters. Whether the user has signed up to receive a weekly communication on fashion, travel or shopping deals, Hotmail is 95% accurate in filtering the newsletter emails into a dedicated folder. This process of identification improves as the user builds on this feature by categorizing or un-categorizing his/her emails – enabling them to prioritize what is most relevant. By categorizing, it not only improves the filtering for themselves but for every Hotmail user.

According to a recent survey conducted by Microsoft, users spend 35 minutes each day checking emails

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and 85% of users check email multiple times a day. This is certainly true with me, how about you? However, in just one minute, users can now slice through the graymail clutter, find what they want, and get their email inbox organised.

How? Among these intelligent and innovative tools include:

  • Instant Actions and Flags that help organise emails and find the needed information fast.
  • Smart Email Management which allows users to setup an inbox that automatically manages their emails, organise them into folders, deleteexpired deals and compile all your e-bills into one folder.
  • Alias feature enables you to aggregate all your other email addresses to take advantage of all the amazing Hotmail features.
Have you tried them out yet? Well, all the reason for you to log in to your dust-gathering Hotmail account and give it a whirl. If you’re not sure what to do, here’s a video for you to check out.

 

Here’s a secret that you can do right now to save you the time you take to go through your e-mail: How to stop receiving a newsletter. With Hotmail, users just have to click on “unsubscribe” and Hotmail will do

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the rest – let the site know to stop mailing them, use Sweep to immediately clean up their mailbox, remove all the old newsletters from that sender, and finally, send any new ones that come into their junk mailbox until the sender takes them off the subscriber list.

Do check out the Infographic: Conquering Graymail at the following website: http://www.conquergraymail.com.
Finally, thanks Microsoft Malaysia for inviting me to learn about this new knowledge, and of course, for the Live Messenger dolls that has now formed a Messenger of the Round Table gathering here at the @SocialGrooves and @EYEProject office 😛

Live Messenger of the Round Milo Mugs!


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spinzer

He is an avid blogger at Spinzer.uS and lives 24/7 on Twitter by the moniker @spinzer. Left Investment Banking to pursue the unleashing of Malaysian Gen-Y's hidden talents by founding the EYE (Empowering Youth Endeavors) Project. He co-founded the Young Corporate Malaysians and assists RandomAlphabets in his spare time. He plans to build a socially good empire out of his social media consultancy outfit called SocialGrooves.com in a bid to turn the world into a better place by 2020.

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