Trouble for Marketers with gMail’s Inbox TabsWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 11, 2013 # 6:17 pm # Marketing Insights, Specials # 4 Comments
On May 29th of this year Google began rolling out their newly designed inbox for gMail. Over the past several weeks the vast majority of people have been switched over, and it is causing a lot of heartache for marketers. The biggest changes to the inbox come as three default taps to automatically organize email. The three tabs are, “Primary,” “Social” and “Promotions.” In addition, there are two optional tabs which can be added and configured using the inbox settings.
The majority of email which comes from marketers will now be directed to the “promotions” tab, which may or may not ever be looked at by the recipient. Internet marketers on a variety of forums immediately started complaining, and (as is the norm for many of these individuals) started predicting the end of online marketing as we know it. Getting people to open the marketing email has always been a challenge. The best marketers used clever subject lines and even names to increase their open rates, but with these messages now going into an entirely separate tab, it might not matter at all.
As is always the case, these tabs don’t represent the end of marketing, and it doesn’t even have to mean the end of e-mail marketing. It will, of course, require a change in strategy. In the world of online marketing, however, change is virtually constant and anyone who is not experimenting with new and innovative ways of doing things will quickly be left behind.
According to analysis by MailChimp, the open rate has dropped for people using the new tabs, but it isn’t as significant as many had initially feared. Any drop in open rate, however, is going to be a concern for marketers. At the moment, however, it seems that there is no way to automatically get messages to show up in the primary tab. Anything with an “unsubscribe” link is going to go directly to the promotions tab, unless the user makes changes on their end to direct that specific message to go to the primary box.
Providing users with instructions on how to direct your email messages to their primary box is going to be the best bet for most marketers who want to improve their open rate. If they can get a good percentage of their list to take this step, it could actually improve their response rates because other promotional email will be filtered to the promotions tab.
What has been your experience thus far with the new gMail tabs? Have you noticed any changes in the open rates?
You can see the information on the analysis from MailChimp HERE.