Little over a year ago, Google announced that it’s email platform “Gmail” had over 425 million active accounts. Whilst many in professional environments continue to use Microsoft’s Outlook or similar clients, the Google offering keeps on growing in popularity and as it does so, it is changing email forever.
The most recent new feature from the Gmail team is the automatic sorting of your emails into pre-defined categories, the default of which are “Primary”, “Social” and “Promotions” (there are others available: “Forums” and “Updates”). Using one of their unfathomably clever algorithms Google can now screen all emails that arrive in your inbox and sort them into these categories, making it easier for you to keep your emails organised. From a user perspective this is a wonderful new feature that will no doubt save time and effort and help ensure you only see the emails you want to see, but from a marketing perspective it could spell trouble.
With all marketing and promotional emails now going into their own tab, the open rate is bound to decrease. Many users will not check their “Promotions” tab as frequently as they do their “Primary” and “Social” ones meaning your emails could end up going unnoticed and unopened. It’s not all doom and gloom however; the tabs are not mandatory and as with any new major release from such a popular platform, many people are likely to restore their inbox to it’s previous appearance. Users can also disable the “Promotions” tab (along with any others) meaning that promotional emails will continue to go into the “Primary” inbox as before. Users wishing to keep the default tabs can also set emails from certain senders to go to a specific tab of their choice too so it may be worth reminding your subscribers that they made need to do this if they want to make sure they see all your emails.
It’s easy to see why these changes have been made. From a user point of view, the new Gmail inbox makes a lot of sense but it could make some subscribers miss out your marketing or promotional emails. There is always hope however and we recommend a gentle reminder in your next mailshot that any Gmail users ensure your emails keep going to the right place, after all, we wouldn’t want people missing out on all the awesome stuff you’ve got to say!