The tabbed inbox feature of Gmail is making a lot of news of late. It is a feature in Gmail’s webmail client and other Gmail apps for Android and iOS that sorts email by their content type and then automatically relocates the message from the inbox into one of four tabs: Primary, Social, Updates and Forums. The Primary tab displays messages from family and friends; the Promotions tab receives deals, offers, sale and discount emails; the Social tab is for messages from social networks, and the Update tab is for receipts, statements, bills and other similar stuff.
For B2B email marketing, the main fallout of the tabbed system is that newsletters that would have previously caught the eyes of email readers by getting placed in the inbox no longer get that privilege since they are now being automatically placed in the Promotions tab.
The system is good for users, but for companies pitching to Google’s 425 million Gmail users it is bad—very bad. The Promotions tab (and other tabs) creates a blind spot for many users. Even if users do see the tabs, they might be much less inclined to click on them to find the latest news from their favorite company. Newsletter open rates are therefore bound to decline.
On the other hand, even when a newsletter is opened from the inbox section, the user does so mechanically, often without bothering to read the content. With the new tabbed inbox feature in gmail, only users who are actively looking for promotional offers will go to the promotional tab and open those messages. The likelihood of a click-through from newsletter to website will consequently increase for those users perusing the promotions tab.
It is important to note that these changes only affect gmail users who access their email via Google’s email web interface. Business-to-business email marketing accounts will not be affected by this change, nor will gmail users who access their email using third-party email applications such as Outlook or Mac Mail.
Forward Vision Marketing helps companies develop well-designed newsletters with reader-relevant content that generate increased brand awareness and drive website visits. Learn more about our B2B email marketing services here.