How smart is Google's Smart Reply?

| 20 Nov, 2015

With the new Smart Reply feature launched this month by Google for 'Inbox for Gmail' users, Email Marketing Director Monica DiBartolo takes a look at what this means for users.

I have found myself replying to more emails in my Gmail account than ever before because I want to trigger 'Smart Reply'. This new feature is being pushed out through the 'Inbox by Gmail' app. So if you don't have it yet, go download it now. Smart Reply was released just in time for the holidays as emails will be flooding our Inbox; this feature should help save us time by suggesting our replies while we are rushing around trying to find the perfect gifts this season.

There seem to be some mixed reviews in the market place about this latest release, and some hilarious (hopefully spoofed) auto response options. Even guru communities are discussing their experiences with Smart Reply. Some are calling it 'not so smart' others say 'it saves me about 10 seconds per reply.'



Smart Reply

The recently released time-saving feature, 'Smart Reply' for Android and iOS, will generate 3 responses for you to pick from with a single click. Google is able to craft responses due to its new 'TensorFlow' system. This is the power behind many of Google's core functions, ranging from 'Smart Reply,' to speech recognition. TensorFlow is the first implementation for deep learning to support artificial intelligence. This means, Google is training computers to think more like humans than they ever have before.

TensorFlow and other systems like it will continue to become smarter and stronger as time goes on. In my opinion, this is the start of a new future in technology. I can't think of a better way to introduce it to the world than through a medium that is widely used and accepted Š—– email.

In addition to Smart Reply, Google has recently released several features to improve efficiency. They are 'Quick Action' email mark-ups. These features will allow users to engage with their emails without even opening them, it brings the call-to-action to the inbox. From a marketing perspective, this means that we can get our calls-to-action in front of our contacts even faster. In order to take advantage of these new mark ups for Gmail and Inbox, there is an approval process with Google. Once approved, there is specific coding that needs to be included in your emails for these features to appear. I suspect these new features will drive additional engagement and will increase email conversions tremendously. It is possible that these features may roll out to other ISPs in the future, though nothing has been confirmed.

One of the exciting things about digital marketing is that the landscape is ever changing. It's nice to see a refresh coming to the world of email.

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