Brian Balfour, Coelevate, Reforge

Read what else Brian Balfour is reading for work

Quibb lets you share what you're reading for work. Use Quibb to share news about your industry, discuss what matters, and see what colleagues are reading.

Our mission is to connect professionals over business news and informed commentary — targeting every industry, profession, and geography.


Likes Comments
Startup Edition, Product Hunt

Great piece, Brian. Gmail actions have tremendous potential (I wrote about it as well shortly after the announcement: http://ryanhoover.me/post/50734379955/email-as-an-interface) although I haven't seen it used in practice much. I'd be various curious to see how it's performing for those using it in practice. cc Elizabeth Yin.

Reply · Tweet ·
Coelevate, Reforge

Nice. I didn't see that post before. A lot of the same thoughts re: reducing friction. I think it is a priority calculation right now. Given Gmail is only a certain percentage of a company's users, actions are limited to a few use cases, and little data on how they effect things I can easily see why company's aren't currently prioritizing the initiative. But I think this will change. Inbox actions could be very powerful.

Reply · Tweet ·
Coelevate, Reforge

I should also say that I think the most powerful use cases will be when/if Gmail connections actions to a credit card. How powerful would it be if a user can purchase something directly from an email with one or two clicks?

Startup Edition, Product Hunt

No doubt - also provides email marketers direct attribution/ROI for their campaigns. This will take a while for mainstream behavior to change, imho. Although I could see Google finding more traction in changing behaviors through its mobile app.

Founder & CEO at AwayFind

Ever since the announcement of Actions (and schema.org, more generally) at Google I/O I've been waiting to see this go more mainstream. While not every company can get their Actions proposals approved, there is a ton of potential here. Especially RSVP, travel, and anyone doing collaboration that wants metadata rather than just unstructured communication.

If anyone is looking to know the latest stuff on this, the product manager & developers for this initiative will be presenting on it at Inbox Love on Oct 30th in Mountain View. I'm one of the organizers, but if you dig this stuff, check it out: www.inboxlove.com (use code quibb for 10% off)

Reply · Tweet ·
Marketing Manager at Tweaky

Another great post Brian. I was wondering when your 2nd post in this emerging growth tactics series was going to hit my inbox ;)

Speaking from personal experience here at Tweaky.com, email is definitely one of our highest ROI marketing channels. Every time we send out a promotional email to drive purchases it delivers a strong number of conversions. The fact that inbox actions could reduce steps and friction for a marketing channel that is already performing strongly... well that's bloody exciting!

Looking fwd to the next post in this series.

Founder at Grow.co

Great post. If only Quibb allowed image comments. I could share my own grab bag of Inbox Actions.

Interesting concept, but as the article points out currently at Google's mercy until APIs are introduced to allow us to do useful stuff.

There are other ways to achieve these ends that needn't involve Google or Gmail, and you can copy the mail to Gmail addresses to keep a fully searchable audit trail. If you don't want to run a full server stack companies like SendGrid can handle your outgoing mail, and programs can inspect your incoming mail and take full generality of actions, not just what Google say you can do.

It's possible I am misunderstanding, of course, so I will be interested to see if anyone else wants to chip in.

Awesome tactic, and I'd be curious to see products take more advantage of the in-line engagement features before the API goes fully live (e.g. writing dinner on wed makes the text clickable to add a calendar invite).

Another similar area is the iOS7 text messaging environment which also enables in-line engagement features. Startups currently using SMS to communicate with users or thinking about it may find it beneficial to take advantage of the same click-to-add-to-calendar feature.

Reply · Tweet ·
Marketing Manager at Customer.io

Cool! Thanks for the piece Brian. In-inbox actions are something we've been hoping and thinking about a lot at iDoneThis since the bulk of our service is through email. It would be awesome to be able to "like" an entry, for example, without having to make people go to the site and then have to switch back to the content in the email.

Buford Taylor, Tech Lead at Reforge Buford Taylor
Tech Lead at Reforge