Gmail’s new tabs layout seems to be popular among consumers, but could be a major headache for email marketers, the Inc.com article “Gmail’s New Inbox: Is It Screwing Up Your E-mail Marketing?” explains.
“The one group of people legitimately terrified of the new Gmail is email marketers,” Slate’s Will Oremus wrote about the new format.
For those that don’t use Gmail personally, it now features a series of tabbed inboxes for different types of messages like “Promotions,” “Social,” “Updates,” and “Primary.” The “Primary” tab, for person-to-person conversations and messages that don’t fall into the other categories, is the priority inbox with more pronounced alerts. The concern for email marketers is that their messages will be increasingly overlooked as they’re dropped into the subtler “Promotions” tab.
One email marketing service provider has already noticed a “small but definite drop,” with weekday Gmail open rates dropping from about 13% to about 12%. Another expert says open rates have declined by .5% for desktop users.
But the jury is still out on the overall impact. Gail Goodman, CEO of web marketing company Constant Contact, suggests that the change could be beneficial because it will allow consumers to look for promotions at a time that’s more convenient for them.
So, for now, it’s probably best to hold off on any significant adjustments to your email campaigns and keep a close eye on your analytics to see what, if any, impact occurs.