Is Microsoft on to something with "Graymail"?


For many tech-savvy web users, Microsoft’s Hotmail has become a badge of ancient times, a service that was valid a few years ago but that has gone the way of AOL as a symbol of not being “up with the times” in email technology. People who see their friends using it might ask, “Why aren’t you using Gmail?”

Tech-snobs aside, the service is still extremely popular and their most recent innovation may give even the tech-savvy crowd a reason to check out their old Hotmail inboxes if only to use it for the gray-area emails. When they declared war on “Graymail” a month ago, they introduced a set of tools that will be appealing to people who subscribe to a lot of services, newsletters, or product updates but who don’t really care about getting those updates.

It happens all the time. We sign up for a new social media service or game and we either forget to click the radio button off that says we would like to receive updates, or we didn’t anticipate the volume at which those updates. Those emails, according to Microsoft, are Graymail, and Microsoft has a solution.

In the infographic below, our friends at Litmus point out that this might be desirable for users, but marketers are going to hate it.

Hotmail Graymail

(H/T: Nissan Puyallup)

Written by Connor Livingston

+Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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  • Anonymous

    Only 2% is “true spam” – Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha – what are they smoking.

    I don’t care what new anti spam tech they’re pushing, they lost me at Spam is only 2% (on what planet?).

    • Anonymous

      I know! How DARE they use their FAR superior intelligence and actual data when you are using your ignorance! YOU are obviously right.

      • Lifeguardernie

        who said the have superior intelligence and actual data?

  • Anonymous

    I hate to break reality to you, but MOST people don’t say “Why aren’t you using Gmail?” because more people aren’t pricks who care what others use. And besides, Hotmail has over TWICE as many users as Gmail, so they would be saying that a lot.

    Using Gmail does not make you ANY more tech savvy. Just more of a pathetic prick.

    • Lifeguardernie

      you seem a little worked up about this

  • Great info. It is better to choose gmail. Recently Google changed gmail’s look.

  • Roberto Tomás

    rather than unsubscribing it, how about automatically identifying it and creating a sub folder and redirection, so you dont have to bother with it unless you want to? 

    That’s actuall ypretty close to how we deal with real coupon mailers and stuff here .. it goes in “the pile”, separate from real mail. when the pile is too big of course we trash it, but its nice to have a list of recent ads to browse… so you can say when you’ve ordered something before “ooh, these are nice…” that one time in a year you might do that..

  • problem with gray mail is teh quantity most companies send, 1 a month would be fine but many send 1 a day !

  • Eddie Thomas

    Am I missing something here?? looks like an amalgamation of Gmail’s ‘Priority inbox’ and filters…??

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