Hotmail’s war on graymail: it’s working

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 21, 2012 22 comments

About two months ago, Hotmail introduced a set of new features to combat what Microsoft is calling “graymail”: that is mail or newsletters that you may have signed up for or opted into, but you now find filling up your inbox.

graymail

The new features, Newsletter Filter, One-Click Unsubscribe, Schedule Cleanup, and and Sweep, are getting a lot of use and making a difference, according to a new blog post on Inside Windows Live today.  Over 100 million graymail actions have been performed since the new tools were released in November of last year, Sweep usage is growing by 11% per month, Schedule Cleanup usage has grown by 70% over the past 3 months, and users are making use of the tools to clean up their inboxes:

  • 90% of Sweeps are “Delete all from” actions, which shows that users are choosing to delete their unwanted graymail (instead of moving it to another folder in order to keep for later)
  • 65% of Schedule Cleanup actions are “Keep latest message from sender” rules, which indicates that users are clearing out expired messages and setting up rules to ensure this happens automatically
  • 60% of “Move all from” Sweeps result in a rule creation, signifying that more and more, users are looking to automate the graymail actions they perform in their inbox

While we’ve got more to do to set up Scheduled Cleanup and Sweep on all of our accounts (we use Windows Live Admin Center for our @liveside accounts), we’ve noticed a big difference here already.  How about you?  Are you cleaning out the graymail?  Are the new Hotmail tools helping?

You can learn more about Hotmail’s new tools at www.conquergraymail.com.

Posted February 21st, 2012 at 10:53 am
Category: News
Tags: Hotmail, spam
  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    It really does work – I have got newsletters sweeped to a separate Newsletters folders, and deleted after a certain period of time (it depends on the newsletter). I could never dream of having the same set up in Gmail.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    It really does work – I have got newsletters sweeped to a separate Newsletters folders, and deleted after a certain period of time (it depends on the newsletter). I could never dream of having the same set up in Gmail.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I’ve found the tools to be really helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I’ve found the tools to be really helpful.

  • Ray Wall

    I tried the new features mostly out of curiosity about 3 or four weeks ago.  I now don’t think I could ever go back to Gmail.  As an example I get a weekly tech newsletter that I like to keep, so when a new one comes in, the previous one automatically gets put into a folder for just that newsletter so I can archive them all – but only the newest one is in my inbox.  I have a few others that I do not care to keep so they automatically get deleted when a new one comes in and others get deleted after a few days.  There are some emails I get weekly from associates that I pin to the top because I refer to them frequently through the week so I never have to keep scrolling down to find them.  Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I really love the interface.  It appears attractive to me.  I don’t care for Gmail’s interface, it just seems kind of plain and ugly (I know – being plain is what attracts most people).

    Now that SkyDrive is getting a desktop app for synchronizing my stuff and the web apps for when I’m on the go I’m really getting jazzed for the direction Microsoft is taking their SaaS.

    I’m also glad that MS came out with a Hotmail and OneNote app for my Android so I can use these services until Sprint decides to come out with a decent Windows Phone (now I’m hoping for a SkyDrive app).

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      I also like the Hotmail interface and don’t like Gmail’s. I don’t see why other people don’t like it!

      • Ray Wall

        I don’t either.  I wonder how much of it stems from Google being (at one time) the new cool company and Microsoft being the company that was cool to hate.  However, back in the dial-up days the plain minimal Gmail and search page was nice because it did load up so fast.

  • Ray Wall

    I tried the new features mostly out of curiosity about 3 or four weeks ago.  I now don’t think I could ever go back to Gmail.  As an example I get a weekly tech newsletter that I like to keep, so when a new one comes in, the previous one automatically gets put into a folder for just that newsletter so I can archive them all – but only the newest one is in my inbox.  I have a few others that I do not care to keep so they automatically get deleted when a new one comes in and others get deleted after a few days.  There are some emails I get weekly from associates that I pin to the top because I refer to them frequently through the week so I never have to keep scrolling down to find them.  Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I really love the interface.  It appears attractive to me.  I don’t care for Gmail’s interface, it just seems kind of plain and ugly (I know – being plain is what attracts most people).

    Now that SkyDrive is getting a desktop app for synchronizing my stuff and the web apps for when I’m on the go I’m really getting jazzed for the direction Microsoft is taking their SaaS.

    I’m also glad that MS came out with a Hotmail and OneNote app for my Android so I can use these services until Sprint decides to come out with a decent Windows Phone (now I’m hoping for a SkyDrive app).

    • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

      I also like the Hotmail interface and don’t like Gmail’s. I don’t see why other people don’t like it!

      • Ray Wall

        I don’t either.  I wonder how much of it stems from Google being (at one time) the new cool company and Microsoft being the company that was cool to hate.  However, back in the dial-up days the plain minimal Gmail and search page was nice because it did load up so fast.

  • Aeverett

    these are great new features. another simple feature I’ve recently found is an attachment reminder. I believe it looks for the word ‘attached’ in the body of the email. when you click send and there is nothing attached, it prompts you with a ‘did you forget to attach your file?’

  • Aeverett

    these are great new features. another simple feature I’ve recently found is an attachment reminder. I believe it looks for the word ‘attached’ in the body of the email. when you click send and there is nothing attached, it prompts you with a ‘did you forget to attach your file?’

  • MissRed

    Clearly some comments here are from people who have never grasped Gmails filter system. Hotmail does have some nice features though, but the Goodies in gmail labs are just too good to pass up.

    • Ray Wall

       I have used Gmail filters.  Although they are similar, I do not believe they do exactly the same thing that Hotmail’s Newsletter function does.  If it does, then I overlooked it.

  • MissRed

    Clearly some comments here are from people who have never grasped Gmails filter system. Hotmail does have some nice features though, but the Goodies in gmail labs are just too good to pass up.

    • Ray Wall

       I have used Gmail filters.  Although they are similar, I do not believe they do exactly the same thing that Hotmail’s Newsletter function does.  If it does, then I overlooked it.

  • http://www.hrworks.de/ Reisekosten Mark

    I haven’t noticed these additions on my hotmail account yet. I guess it might only be available for English users for now, but I’ll have to check again later today. They sound pretty useful, especially for the more lazy people.

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      Features like scheduled sweep that are mentioned here have been rolled out to every Hotmail account for a few months now. If it’s a Hotmail account (even a non-English one) it will have the features.

    • Raimbault Leonard

      In France, in my account, it’s not available now …
      I just have the “Delete all from…” features but nothing about the others features ;(

  • http://www.hrworks.de/ Reisekosten Mark

    I haven’t noticed these additions on my hotmail account yet. I guess it might only be available for English users for now, but I’ll have to check again later today. They sound pretty useful, especially for the more lazy people.

    • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

      Features like scheduled sweep that are mentioned here have been rolled out to every Hotmail account for a few months now. If it’s a Hotmail account (even a non-English one) it will have the features.

    • Raimbault Leonard

      In France, in my account, it’s not available now …
      I just have the “Delete all from…” features but nothing about the others features ;(