How GMail Tabs are Affecting Email Marketing

I love my gmail. Love it! Seriously. While I’ve had an account for quite a while, over the last couple of years, I’ve gone 100% over to gmail with all of my email. I can stream all of my email accounts through this one account (I have about 6 email addresses!), and I have the gmail app on my phone, so there are never any issues around synching. It works really well for me.

Recently, gmail launched a new feature which I love. It’s called gmail tabs, and it pre-sorts your email for you. If you’re like me, and you sign up for tons of e-newsletters, you get all kinds of email from social shopper and groupon and shoe companies every day. Well, what gmail now does, is it sorts through my email, and only delivers the actual emails to my inbox, and puts the promotional type emails or any notifications from my social media into separate inboxes. You can actually train gmail to do this better, and smarter. It’s a really cool feature.

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However, email marketers have been raising a lot of concern over this new feature. While it’s great for the consumer, they feel it’s not so great for the businesses that use Constant Contact or MailChimp, because often their emails are getting “banished” to one of the tabs, and not ending up in your mail email inbox. This is resulting in lower open rates.

I checked my open rates on my e-newsletter, and it is down about 10% over the last two months. And I’m not alone, according to this article.

There is something you can do, though. My old pal, Dave Charest, who works at Constant Contact, says this:

The first thing you can do is to continue to send relevant, valuable content to your subscribers. This is content people will look for regardless of which tab Gmail sends it to.

Next, you may consider sending an email to your Gmail subscribers showing them how to move your emails to the Primary tab.

Dave goes on to include an example of this kind of email in his blog post here  

But there’s another way of looking at it: gmail tabs could actually be good. When I go into my “Promotions” tab, I’m usually on a break, and in the headspace to look at what’s on offer today. I might take a few minutes and click through some of the offers, rather than if they ended up in my inbox, I’d just be clicking delete to get them out of the way so I could get on to the important stuff.

I asked another friend, Steve Dotto, for his thoughts on gmail tabs, and he sent me this really great comment:

Those of you out there who are using gmail, what are your thoughts on the new tabbed inbox? I’d love to hear whether you love it or hate it, and how it affects how you read and deal with your email.




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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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