Earlier this year, the team at Basecamp released a new email client called HEY. There are alot of innovative features and a lot of features that will strike fear into marketers. I believe the impact will be similar to when Google stopped providing search terms in Google Analytics. They are making the internet better and ultimately making marketers better by removing the temptation to look at vanity metrics.
The most notable feature, at least as it pertains to marketers, is the Pixel Blocker. The Pixel Blocker won’t allow email senders track email opens, clicks, how long you looked at an email etc.
From the HEY website:
HEY manages this protection through several layers of defenses. First, we’ve identified all the major spy-pixel patterns, so we can strip those out directly. When we find one of those pesky pixels, we’ll tell you exactly who put it in there, and from what email application it came. Second, we bulk strip everything that even smells like a spy pixel. That includes 1×1 images, trackers hidden in code, and everything else we can do to protect you. Between those two practices, we’re confident we’ll catch 98% of all the tracking that’s happening out there.
Now I know marketers are wondering, “how will we report on email metrics? The good news is, we won’t. We will no longer have to be obsessed with vanity metrics and can instead focus our attention on metrics that matter. My favorite thing about email marketing is using it to test messaging rather than as a tool to gauge how interested someone is in our product or service. We don’t understand the buyer journey so we get fixated on the individual emails.
I think things like the Pixel Blocker or Gmail offering to unsubscribe you from senders that you haven’t opened an email from in a while is a net positive thing. I think as marketers we should want people to be in control of their email. I think most of the insecurity marketers have about features described above is that they know they are putting out shit content and want to make it as hard as possible to make people “break up” with us. As I mentioned in another post, our content should dare people to unsubscribe and risk missing out. HEY And similar technologies will ultimately be very good for brands putting out helpful and valuable content.
Here are some other features marketers may find interesting:
When you get an email from a new sender, you can screen them to decide whether you want to hear from them or not.
This is a place for newsletters. You can think of it as the promo tab in Gmail but a bit more sophisticated. I know marketers will fear ending up in the feed instead of the Imbox but this also is a good thing.
Users can give people a code to use in a subject line which will send an email to the Imbox. Think of it as your name being on a list to get inside of a club.