Email Marketing – Will Gmail’s New Inbox Kill Email Marketing?

Email MarketingI am sure you have heard that Google’s Gmail has made some pretty drastic changes.  You can read about them directly from Google in a support article, Inbox tabs and category labels. Your Gmail will now be put into categories such as Promotions, Social, Updates, etc. This sounds like a good idea as a user but this is definitely cause for concern if you are doing any kind of email marketing. Gmail has a YouTube video called Meet Gmail’s New Inbox that demonstrates this new functionality.

Gmail Market Share

According to Litmus, who conducted email analytics, 4% of 250 million opens in June 2013 were from Gmail. Now 4% may not seem like a lot, but that is actually 10 million opens. This is significant especially if you are doing email marketing.

 Email Marketing Analytics

Gmail Tabs

With this new change, your Gmail will be categorized into the following tabs:

  • Primary
  • Promotions
  • Social
  • Updates
  • Forums

Messages from your friends and family as well as any messages that don’t appear in any other tabs will appear in the Primary tab. Deals, offers and promotional emails will appear in the Promotions tab. Messages from social networks, media sharing sites, online dating services and other social sites will appear in the Social tab.  Any notifications that you receive such as confirmations and bills will appear in the Updates tab.  Messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists will appear in the Forums tab.

Configuring Gmail Tabs

If you want to turn this new feature off, select your settings in Gmail.  You get to your settings by selecting the gear icon on the upper right hand side of your Gmail. From the drop-down , select Configure Inbox. 

 Email Marketing Gmail Settings

The screen below will be displayed. You can select which tabs you want to enable.

 Email Marketing Gmail Tab Configuration

Email Marketing Solutions

There have been mixed results on how this is affecting open rates for email marketers, but there are a few things you can do to overcome this. You can send instructions to your email list on how to turn the tabs off. You can also send them instructions on how to move your emails to the primary tab.  All they have to do is click and drag your emails to the correct tab, and choose to always filter those messages in that folder.  They can also right-click the message while viewing their inbox. Lastly, it is reported that once your subscribers engage with your email, it will start to appear in the “Primary” tab instead of the “Promotions” tab.

We don’t’ know the true effect of these changes yet. The time has come for online marketers to diversify and not rely solely on email marketing.  What things are you doing to combat this change?


Email Marketing – Will Gmail’s New Inbox Kill Email Marketing? — 6 Comments

  1. Just another way Google is trying to control our lives! Geeze. So, if I am sending out regular newsletters (which are now going to the promotions tab), and want to send one out with the instructions you recommended, won’t it just go under their promotions tab? They might never see it anyway! Ugh. I’m looking forward to reading ideas from others who comment here. Thanks!
    Susan recently posted…Happy “Take Your Pants for a Walk Day!”My Profile

    • Susan:

      I would suggest that you find other ways to engage your audience in addition to email. Facebook Business Page, Facebook group, Linked In Group, Google+ Group or Skype groups are some suggestions.

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