Hotmail’s Graymail: Their Plan of Attack

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Hotmail started rolling out new graymail features on December 14th. Get the details.

Inbox providers are constantly improving the tools, methods and algorithms they use to help filter spam, organize messages and provide an excellent experience for their users. In a recent blog post from the Windows Live team, Hotmail declared war on “graymail,” thus creating a new term for the newsletters, offers, and other email communications many sign up for but soon may find overwhelming or no longer relevant. This comprehensive set of tools will allow Hotmail users to organize their inbox in new and different ways, but may also affect how the emails you are sending to subscribers are being read.

Hotmail Declares War on Graymail

How do you anticipate your email design or content to change as a result of these announcements? Chad White, Andrew Kordek and Remy Bergsma have offered their opinions in this Focus discussion. Feel free to add your comments below.

  • TV James

    I wish they’d picked a different term. Feels to close to Greylisting ( ) to me. Of course, only us real email geeks would think about stuff like that.

  • Anonymous

    sounds like they are learning from gmail

  • BWIRic

    I hope the feature to aid unsubscribing works correctly and actually requests to be removed from a list rather than just spamming future messages. Would be much more useful. Also if this does stop people spamming messages and make then unsubscribe that’s great,

  • D. Matranga

    Cool graphic

  • Anonymous

    This is basically the same thing as Gmail’s Priority Inbox, but with a more negative connotation – putting the emphasis on screening out “bad” email instead of on bubbling the important stuff to the top. I agree with TV James that there could have been a more positive spin on this feature but it is what it is. How many users does hotmail have left, anyway? (Googled it – wow, they’re the largest email provider out there – 364 million!)

    • Anonymous

      That doesn’t surprise me. We’re all creatures of habit. I’ve had my Hotmail account for 13 years, before Microsoft bought it. I guess I could switch over all communications and archive what’s in there but that would take a lot of time. Probably the average Joe wouldn’t know how to either.

      For me I wish Hotmail would sort out their normal filtering. Too much stuff goes in to Junk that shouldn’t, yet I still get Phishing emails to the in-box.

      I’m surprised someone hasn’t created a unified signup service and API, so as a user we could manage all subscriptions from one place?

  • David Bennett

    Why can’t they just leave users alone to manage their own inboxes. Beats me.

  • Jeremy Roberts

    “Hotmail users desire a tidier, well-organized and useful tool for managing their email communications”

    This just screams “switch to Gmail!”

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