How Email Marketers Can Cope With Gmail’s New Changes

Gmail subscribers and email marketing

Gmail has rapidly become one of the most popular email platforms around, outstripping its competitors in numbers of users and constantly looking for ways to improve the efficacy of its service.  Given the prominence of the service, Gmail’s recent rollout of the tabbed inbox concept is something that savvy email marketers should pay attention to and plan around, especially when it comes to email verification (avoiding being characterized as a spammer and having your emails blocked is more important than ever in the wake of these changes).

How has Gmail Changed?

Gmail’s tabbed inbox feature now lets Gmail subscribers who use the feature segment the emails they receive into the following sections: 

1)      Inbox:  Mainly personal messages.

2)      Promotions:  Messages focused on marketing items or services.

3)      Social:  This includes messages from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

4)      Updates:  Generally speaking, this will include messages related to various transactions.

5)      Forums:  Notifications of message board activity.

How Have These Changes Impacted Email Marketing?

It’s too soon to say exactly how the changes to Gmail will affect email marketing campaigns, however, early results do not appear to show any drastic drop-off in open rates thus far.  It’s unclear whether this is due to consumers choosing not to use the new tabbed inbox feature or whether some other factors are in play.  One possibility could be that since the effectiveness of email marketing arises largely from its appeal to consumers, those consumers are checking their promotional emails on a regular basis, thereby keeping open rates steady.  In any case, be sure that you clean up bad emails on a regular basis to keep your open rates as informative as possible.

Monitoring and Reacting to Open Rate Metrics

If you find that your open rates are suffering as a result of the changes to Gmail, one action to take is to request that your email contacts add you to their friends list, thereby moving your emails into their inbox tab.  This whitelisting approach also has the benefit of allowing you to identify your most valuable and motivated contacts.  As a result, you can segment your list into those who have whitelisted you and those who haven’t, and use the former group for some of your most exclusive email campaigns, given the added level of engagement with your products or services that these contacts have demonstrated.

In the wake of the changes to Gmail, keep a close eye on the relevant metrics, and use an email address checker when you add contacts to your list to make sure that it isn’t weighed down by bad addresses that can skew your open rates.