Inbox review – Transactional E-mails, Sender Reputation and E-mail campaigns

Inbox review - Transactional E-mails, Sender Reputation and E-mail campaigns

Email marketing is still a very rich marketing channel in 2021, but managing email campaigns and sending out different types of emails can be exhausting. It doesn’t have to be like this, which is why today’s product showcase is Inbox an email marketing platform with multiple features like transactional emails, email campaigns and even sender reputation tools. So without further Ado, let’s dive into Inbox and set up some email campaigns.

We are now inside the platform of Inbox and up here, you can see that they have three main modules. They have Inbox. They have Notify and Verify. Inbox is their biggest module, so we will start out with that. We have a dashboard where we get some quick overview of the amount of emails sent out, our open rate and so on.

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    1. Features of Inbox
    2. Inbox pricing
    3. Alternatives to Inbox
    4. Future of Inbox
    5. Pros & Cons using Inbox
    6. My experience using Inbox

    Features of Inbox

    But what I want to do is I want to set up an email campaign. In here you can see I already started one, but we will create a new newsletter. The first step is that we need to give it a subject and then we need to choose the language. I will just keep it as English and I have chosen YouTube as my subject. Now the next step is that we need to choose whether we want to use templates from Inbox.

    We want to upload our own HTML. We want to sit and code the HTML in their editor, or we want to use some layouts. I will go with templates because that’s the easiest way to get through this step. Then you can see we get a lot of different templates we can choose between. We have some Valentine down here.

    We have some New Year templates, and then we have some more generic ones. I will go with the one called Growth here. I will then press create and we are now presented by an editor, and this is basically like a drag and drop editor. It looks like it’s very much inspired by MailChimp, but it works very well. It’s easy to edit, and it’s easy to change the text and change the actual fonts, the font sizes and so on.

    So you can see we have a lot of different elements going down here. We have some text elements, some images we can even work with columns you can see over here. We can add new columns in different sections, and we can also see how it looks on mobile. So it is responsive templates that we actually build. For everything you want to edit, you basically just click on it and then you change the text or the colours or the links or the actual image that you want to change.

    It is that simple.

    And when you’re satisfied with your newsletter, then you just go up here and then you press send. And then Inbox has now started our campaign. We now need to fill out the rest, and then we can send out the actual campaign. So you can see we have some different menus up here and some different menus going down. So here we have the subject.

    We need to choose the from sender account we want to use. We need to choose who we want to send it to. I will say a contact list and then my first contact list. Then we need to choose when we can either schedule it or we can send it now and then last down here we have other settings where we can get some emails depending on what we choose. So we can get an email when it starts to send out emails, and we can get an email when it’s done sending out this newsletter.

    Now we can also A/B test our campaign here, and we can A/B test by multiple things mainly about the subject up here, where we choose between either using the subject or the center account name. We can also do customised subjects down here. Then we can choose who to send from. We can choose who to send to and then down here you can see that right now it will send about 25% to group A and 25% to group B, and it will wait by the last 50% until it has a result from the first group.

    Because based on the first group, it will then choose the winner and then send out the rest of the emails in that format. And you can choose down here how the winner is chosen, how long after they have been opened and et cetera, it’s very simple to set up, and this is a great additional feature because then you won’t waste an entire newsletter on A/B testing. You will only waste half of it, and it’s not even half of it. It’s more like 25% or even less that you’re actually wasting in order to figure out how you can best possible, send out this specific newsletter.

    If we go up to the top here we also have auto resend campaign where we can choose to resend the campaign with a different subject or could be to a different group.

    And down here we choose whether we should send to the ones who didn’t click or the ones who didn’t open. And the last menu point is RSS campaign. This you can easily use if you have a WordPress website or another type of website who can generate an RSS feed. An RSS feed often contains all of your blog posts and your pages. So this will basically send out a newsletter every time you post a new blog post on your blog for instance.

    That is just one of the examples, but when you’re ready, you just go up here and then you hit send now. Now in the menu point, we just skipped contacts and this is just small lists that we can do. We can do segments, we can do groups, and then we can do contact lists. Of course, contact list is the most simple where we only give it a list and we choose a group and then we choose the content policy where we can choose GDPR, CASL or others.

    And then we also choose the source, whether it’s active clients.

    Is it from business cards? Is it employees? Who is this list about? This is just some great features that you can add to easily differentiate between your different lists. Now moving on to the reports here.

    When it is that you send out email campaigns, then you will be able to generate a report based on this report. You can see simple elements like open rate, how many clicked in the email and how many were successfully delivered to all of the different emails. It’s simple numbers like that. Now the forms module here we can build forms and attach it to a list so you can see that there are six steps we need to go through here. I will call this one form one with a small description here.

    Then we go to the next step where it is that we actually have to design our form. Here you can see that we get a very simple form with a title, some descriptions, and then the actual form here and we can change everything. We can change the text by clicking on it. We can change the heading, we can change the placeholder, the email field, we cannot change, but we can change the button here.

    Now next step is we need to choose all the people who signs up for this specific form. They need to be assigned to a specific list. Again, I will just choose my first contact list and then I’ll go to the next step. The next step is basically to activate our form. We choose the language of the form, then we choose the center account.

    We need to choose what activation newsletter that we want to use. And here you can see our email campaigns or we can just choose the system template. Then we can choose whether we want to use the default link. And here you can see some different types of links. Activation success is mainly when they have signed up via the form.

    And then there’s a failure link that we want to send them to. If they do not succeed to sign up for the email, you can also get notified yourself every time there is a sign up. And now the next step here is the actual messages that we can control. Here we can choose the messages they need to see based on they signed up or they didn’t sign up or an error occurred. I will just leave them as they are.

    And now the last step is that we can share the form. We can either share it as iframe or as an HTML. And then you can see that we can add it to our email signature or add it to a physical store as well. I will just keep it as it is. Press done and we now have the form ready.

    I want to use this form in the landing page that we need to build now because they do also have a landing page module. As I mentioned in the introduction, this is a really feature rich product, so let’s build our landing page here. First off, I’ve chosen the title Landing page, a description, and then move on to the template. Here we are presented by a lot of templates and they seem quite good. They’re not as outdated as I’ve seen in other tools.

    I will just choose the first one here and now we are inside the landing page editor. This is a copy paste from the email editor, so you will know how it works. It is by clicking on the elements or dragging and dropping different elements that you want to showcase. It’s very simple, but what I wanted to do is that I wanted to add my form, so I will pull that form down here and then I will choose the form we have built form one. It takes a little bit of time, but when it’s done then you will see down here it has the form.

    Right now it doesn’t match very well in here and it is limited what we can change of the actual form here, but we can always go back to the form and in the form editor change the form to match the template right here, but I will just keep it as it is and I will press done. Now we have set up our landing page and we have designed it and we have added our actual form. Now the last step here is to put in some titles, a description, a social share title and a social share description.

    You can also do code injection if you want to add analytics, Google Search Console and those elements. I’ve just filled out the page title and the page description and I will now go to the next step.

    So now we have our landing page ready and you can see right here if I copy the link. This is our landing page. You can see it’s very simple. It has our form down here that is working and I can sign up and I will automatically be added to the list that we chose for the form. It was so fast to add this landing page and it’s so easy to change the design and it is responsive for email and it just works very well.

    Now there are two more modules I will show you before we move on to the notify module. The first one here is automation. You can add automation in order to basically automate your entire email marketing flow. So I will create a workflow here. You can choose between some pre done one.

    You can do a welcome message. Every time someone signs up for a specific list, you send them an email. You can do some birthdays. You can do email series if you want to send out a campaign where you send out multiple emails. Then you should choose this one.

    But I will just start from blank so you can see the different options. Now out here we have triggers, we have actions and we have conditions. Right now they do not have that many integrations, so it is limited to what we can do within the workflow and within the automation. But one that’s often used is that when contact is added to the list, you simply just drag it over and then we click on what list we want to use. And then we can choose whether it should be added from the form from our landing page, the panel, or the API.

    I will just choose the form. Now we need to do something with this and here we go to Actions. So in actions we can send them a campaign. And the way that you link these together is by putting them underneath each other. So you saw that there was this blue dot that is what is highlighting that they actually merged together now.

    So here we choose the sender account. We choose what newsletter we want to send out, and then we press save. So now every time someone signs up for my email list, they will immediately receive a welcome email telling them, welcome to the list. You will be able to receive this and that and you will get an email approximately one time a week. But you can see out here we have a lot of different actions that you can use. We can also schedule. We can also wait. Let’s say that you want to send out an email campaign. Then you can make a list of emails and then divide them by wait elements here.

    So you send out an email and then you wait two days and then you send out another email, wait two days and send out a third email. This is the way to build these email series, but I will just save and close this automation and give it a name and I will activate it. So now it is actively running. Now the last module before we move on to Notify is events. And here you can actually set up specific events that you want to do.

    Now we can create the event up here, and the event is basically an image, a title and a description. Down here you choose whether you want to use a Twitter hashtag to create some awareness around the event. You can choose when the event is being held, and you can choose the place, the company email address, company phone, and the web URL. You can easily let people add this event to their calendar. You can also up here see when the event is actually going to be held.

    And then you can add sponsored forms down here. Now I will just try and save this one as it is. And now we have our actual event. I will then preview it. And now here you can see how it looks for the people who are entering this event.

    You can see we can share it on social media. We can add it to our calendar. Right now the time to event is not working, and that’s because I chose it to start in the past. But other than that, you can see the different attributes down here. And there is event place where I have added a link to Instagram right now.

    So here you get an entire event page that you can just build, and you can easily combine this with the landing pages so you can gather leads of course, because that’s what it’s all about. Now let’s move on to the Notify module. The Notify module within Inbox is very simplified because it is a transactional email module, which means that you will send emails from your system via Inbox. So you are not in here manually sending out emails.

    That is why we only have some few menu points out here, like statistics, the history of emails sent out, our templates, which I will dive into, and then we have some settings down here, including Payouts. Now in. The template is where you build your actual emails to send out. And this is transactional emails. But a transactional email often contains a template with variables that you filled out from your system.

    So here we’ll just build a simple template. Now we can choose between the rich text editor or if you want to code it from scratch, I will just choose the rich text editor. In here you can add text to the actual template, and you can see here after adding text, we basically just have the text. We can see it as HTML preview, plain text preview, or we can edit the text. This means that you cannot build pretty templates with the design unless you’re extremely good with HTML. There’s no drag and drop in these elements.

    You just need to be aware of this. Up here we can send a test to a specific email address to see how it looks. But right now the inbox Notify is very simple. It does work with transactional emails, but they do not have designs within their emails. Now let’s move on to the last module, which is Verify. Verify is used to increase your sender reputation, and it’s done by two ways.

    You can either bulk verify all of your emails, or you can verify a single email. The reason for this is if your email is sending out a lot of emails to accounts that just doesn’t exist or your emails bounce constantly. This is not a great element for your sender reputation, which is why it’s a good idea to verify your emails, making sure that they are valid and you can send emails to them. But here we can choose to either bulk verify by uploading a file with emails, or we can just verify a simple email, and they do also have an integration to the other module Inbox.

    So by clicking on import from Inbox, you can import an entire list and then you can basically verify the list and you can even update the list after you have run it through. This means that they will delete all of the emails which are Invalid and only keep the valid emails. I will just verify my list right here. It did fail for some reason, but I can always try to run it again as a verification, but it keeps failing. However, it is great to see that I can easily just import my entire list so I don’t have to export it and then import again into verify.

    These three modules work very well together. I just wish that within the Notify module we could build actual templates where we could drag and drop, insert variables and work in that way, it would just give a much better impression of the company who is actually sending out transactional emails via Inbox. But other than that, it’s really great to see.

    Inbox pricing

    When we take a look at the pricing structure of Inbox. The price depends on the amount of contacts you have.

    You can see that they have two plans and the first one you can get started with completely free. Now when you do get more contacts, you have to sign up for a paid plan, and when you do reach this point, you need to choose between the two plans you see here. Now these two plans differs on two elements, the amount of brands that you manage and the sending speed that you want to send out emails. The speed of sending out emails is only applicable to you if you have a tonne of contacts.

    Otherwise, it is really only the amount of brands you need to look at.

    Alternatives to Inbox

    Now the alternative to Inbox is MailChimp. Mailchimp is a much more developed tool compared to Inbox within MailChimp. We have a better design. We have more extensive functionality, and they have just recently added automations within MailChimp, and this is also something we see within Inbox being in beta at the moment.

    Encharge.io - Set your e-mail marketing on autopilot

    Encharge

    Encharge is another alternative to Inbox. Encharge has more integration and a more modern design to really deliver the full package.

    Now, a tool that Inbox has which we do not see within MailChimp is sender reputation tools. Within Inbox we can build our sender reputation and the way it works is that you send out a lot of different types of emails to a specific email address or a list of specific email addresses, and what Inbox will then do is make sure that for all of these emails they will always go in inbox, and they will never land in spam. By doing this, you will really build a great sender reputation so your emails will never end up in spam.

    Future of Inbox

    Taking a look at the future of Inbox. They have a lot of things they’re working on, but there are three main elements I want to highlight. First off, they are working on their integration page for their native integrations, they will make it easier for you to add all of your integrations. Then they are working on adding more templates, both to your landing pages, your email campaigns, and even your transactional emails. This means that you can build emails a lot faster than we do right now.

    Last but not least, they’re working on an experimental feature which is called voice email. This will make it possible for us to basically dictate our entire email. Inbox will then write the email and send it out for us. This is a very interesting feature that I can’t wait to see how they will develop.

    Pros & Cons using Inbox

    Moving on to the pros and cons of Inbox. Starting with the pros, you get a feature rich tool with a lot of modules, and you can build landing pages, whereas for the cons, you do get an outdated design, and I’m missing more integrations to really automate my email flow.

    My experience using Inbox

    Inbox is a really powerful email marketing tool. The more you dive into it, the more features appear. I’m really impressed by the three main modules and I can’t wait for them to update their design. Overall, I will give inbox three and a half stars. They have a lot of great features, but I need more integrations and a more thought through design for them to score higher.

    But yeah, that is my review of Inbox. I hope that you liked the video, and if you did, please give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions to Inbox or other products you would like me to review, please leave a comment down below. Thank you so much for watching. Let’s catch up on the next one.

    Posted by
    Phillip Stemann

    I have been in the software industry for 10+ years, and I’ve gathered a ton of experience I’m sharing with you. I test out tools each week and share my findings with you, for you to easily choose the right software for your needs. I have so far reviews many types of software and even built software myself, it’s a huge passion for me.