Back in May of this year, Google released an update for their Gmail service. However, the update was far more than a new look and feel – it could have a very big impact on email marketing as we know it.
Basically, the major change to Gmail is that emails are now automatically sorted into five separate tabs: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. This effectively gives the users five inboxes, with each receiving certain types of mail from different sources. Instead of your marketing emails sitting alongside mail from friends or social networks, they will all go under the promotions tab.
This is a noticeable change to “visibility” in email marketing campaigns as we’ve always known it. Users won’t see your messages whenever they check their Gmail, they will only see your message when they specifically check their Promotions tab. Moreover, your message is now directly competing with all of the other marketing materials in the Promotions tab. Since there are more than 425 million Gmail users, the importance of understanding these changes cannot be understated.
From the outset, the change seems like a double-edged sword. You may experience a decline in customers opening your emails because they are more “out-of-sight” under a different tab. However, users who visit that tab do so at a time when they are more open and receptive to your message. Views may go down, but sales and conversions might go up.
The path to success is to not rest on your laurels. Create marketing emails that are engaging and fun for your customers. If your design and message are carefully considered and tested, your emails should have the maximum impact and stand out from the other competition in the Promotions tab.