• Barry Moroney

Will Microsoft Inbox Tabs Impact Outbound Sales To Enterprise?

It appears as though Microsoft are finally joining the party to allow users to segregate their emails more efficiently through tabs. Screenshots leaked on Twitter earlier this month suggest that they are adding tabs for Promotions, Social and Newsletters and, though it is not confirmed whether or not it will be rolled out to business accounts, it is clear that they are slowly moving in this direction.

As many startups are allergic to Microsoft products, this news might slip under the radar for some. However, if and when this happens, it is going to have an impact on anyone running outbound campaigns to large corporations, as 83% of Enterprise companies use Microsoft Office for email. Do you remember when Gmail introduced tabs for Promotions, Social and Updates back in 2012? I was doing a lot of B2C email marketing at the time and I still wake up in a sweat thinking about the day that my open rates halved.* *Not entirely true, I was very annoyed at the time though.


Email deliverability to Enterprise is a minefield at the best of times. The reality of the situation is that if you are sending generic copy to large lists of contacts and you somehow manage to get past their very strict filters with it, your message still is not going to land in Primary Inboxes and, let’s face it, the Promotions tab might as well be the moon. With cold email open rates averages already as low as 15-23%, there is no margin for further reductions here.

It Is An Opportunity

Personally, I am delighted with this news and hope that it is officially announced by Microsoft. From a users perspective, it is a great addition (I can’t imagine life before a Promotions tab in my Gmail inbox) and from an Enterprise sales perspective, it is a huge opportunity as there will be a lot less noise in Primary Inboxes if you can break through by following the below principles:

Personalize Your Copy (Properly)

Generic and automated email copy has always been a bad idea for Enterprise, now more so than ever. Email service providers are smart enough to realise when the same message has been sent in bulk and they do their best to stop messages like this getting through. It is a lot of work, but the average contract values of Enterprise sales deals are large enough to justify applying a quality over quantity approach, so tighten your contact lists and personalize your approach to their specific needs.

NOTE: Using custom variables like {{first name}} etc. does not count as personalization.

Take Extra Care With Your Domain Health

Without keeping your finger on the pulse, this can be a trickier one to navigate as best practices seem to change on a weekly basis. That said, the basic principles of ensuring there is as much incoming mail as outgoing mail from your domain along with verifying all data to 100% before sending any cold emails are a good place to start. Industry average open rates hover between 15-23% mostly because people do not abide by these principles.

Need Help?

Hyper-personalized outbound to Enterprise is what we do. We believe in quality over quantity and, as a result, our average open rates to Enterprise are 60-80%. Book a call today if you are worried about the impact that this might have on your current approach. If not, follow these 5 tips to keep your open rates where you need them to be.

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