It’s a change directed for the 425 plus million users of Gmail.
But how it can affect your email marketing?
And what you can do about it?
The New Change
Recently, Gmail has rolled out a tabbed feature which categorized mails in five different compartments:
Primary: person-to-person conversations and messages that don't appear in other tabs
Social: messages from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, and other social websites
Promotions: deals, offers, and other marketing emails
Updates: personal, auto-generated updates including confirmations, bills, receipts, bills, and statements
Forums: messages from online groups, discussion boards, and mailing lists
The Impact on Email Marketing
Gmail’s new tab has empowered the users who can now easily sort through personal mails, social updates, sales and marketing promotions and other updates from their online forums. Since Gmail’s new tab automatically separates the promotional mails away from main inbox, readers can straight away delete unwanted marketing emails. And it has already started to pose some new threats (though nothing much to panic about) for email marketers, if reports are to be believed. MailChimp has concluded that they have registered small but definite drops in open rates. Return Path had registered a .5% drop in open rates, but only for desktop users. And according to HubSpot, “the impact of the changes has been mixed.”
So how do you as an email marketer combat this new change?
Educate the readers. Gently address this issue with the customers. You can educate them on how they can use the new tab features to migrate your mails to primary tab. Gmail will implement this reader’s preference.
Timing is important. You need to figure out the best time when you need to send out your emails. Readers will perhaps check their primary folder throughout the day; but might have allotted time for the social and promotional ones. So you need to deliver your emails when it has the best chance of getting open.
Quality is still the king. Quality content will always find acceptance with the readers. So if you continue to deliver useful, relevant and engaging content – readers will seek out for your emails irrespective of whichever tab it’s located in. The golden rule of email marketing remains unchanged.
Use data analytics. Rigorously look for the changes in the metrics and align your email marketing campaigns based on the results. For example, if there are no changes in the opens and clicks, you need not worry much about the tabs. However, if you see a decline in the metrics, then you definitely need to do something about it.
Email marketers just need to keep a close watch on how Gmail’s new tabs affect the results of their email marketing. And based on the data, they can come up with their strategies. As of now, it’s little bit premature to pass on any judgement.