Have you enabled your Google’s new Gmail tabs feature? Here at the office, a few of us have made the switch on our desktops and on our mobile devices. However, not everyone is convinced the new Gmail interface is worth the switch. With an entire tab devoted to weekly coupons, sale updates, and reminders that today is the last day for 20% off, deleting unread emails is even easier than before. So what could Gmail’s new tabs mean for email marketers?
First things first: let’s review the change. The new Gmail gives you the option to organize emails into 1 of 5 tabs (though you can choose how many tabs you would like to use). The tabs include: Primary, Social, Promotion, Updates, and Forums. Though the organization is intriguing, the Promotions tab is what might not sit well with email marketers. Gmail seems to put emails that have an unsubscribe link into this tab. Emails from blogs, newsletters, and promotional lists are lumped together in one spot. Sounds great, right? It would be great if it sorted consistently.
The “Updates” tab occasionally holds spill over from the “Promotions” tab--some newsletters and blog subscriptions are in Updates, while others are in Promotions. Even though emails are arriving from the same blog feed/sender, each email seems to be treated differently.
Back to the real question...How can email marketers ensure their emails are filtered into the correct tab, let alone checked? Here are a few items to consider:
Salesforce.com reported (via Adestra) that subjects with fewer than 10 characters received a 58% open rate. Not to mention, Convinceandconvert.com reported that 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject alone. Your subject is your most vital asset. A brief, attention-grabbing subject will increase your chances of gaining a higher open rate, no matter which tab it lands under in Gmail.
Address the Change and Inform Your Users
Tell your customers that they can ensure they see your emails by starring them or moving them to the “Primary” tab. Gmail will remember a user’s preferences when he/she stars or moves an email to a different tab. Who wants to miss out on a serious deal or delicious recipe just because it lands in the wrong tab? Incorporating a friendly reminder about the change and offering quick tips to make your emails readable, customers will appreciate the thought and may even make the changes.
Reconsider Your Timing
Users might set aside particular times of day to read their “Updates” or “Social” emails, so any time sensitive deals might be missed. Even if your customers are not that scheduled, it may take time to adjust to the new layout and to get all their emails sorted properly. Whatever you decide, be sure to consider your audience to determine the best course of action, if any.
Utilize Mobile Strategies
About half of emails are being opened on mobile devices these days, and TopRankBlog states that 64% of decision-makers read emails on their mobile devices. Just consider your target audience and remember, there’s a good chance your customer opened the email on his/her phone and may not have the Gmail app installed. Though the Gmail tabs are much more user-friendly on the mobile app, the iPhone inbox is still one continuous stream of emails. Mobile email apps are constantly evolving and advancing, so don’t change everything because of one Gmail update--it surely will not be the last.
Remember the Basics
With email marketing, it’s all about monitoring your success and adjusting as necessary. Gmail’s new layout may take some time to adjust initially, but as long as you continue to deliver valuable, relevant content, customers and subscribers will look forward to your emails--and even search through tabs to find them!