This summer Google introduced a new tabbed inbox for Gmail, which displays emails in different tabs depending on their subject and content. The tabs are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums, and just how Google decides which emails to display where remains a bit of a mystery for everyone. The good thing is that users can also filter out messages based on the sender, assigning them to a specific tab. What matters most for marketers is in what tab their emails appear, and whether that tab receives enough attention.
The Primary tab is theoretically the most important, the one where you receive emails from friends, family, and colleagues, as well as bills for your online purchases, work-related files, and so on. The Social tab is where emails from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, and other social networks end up. The Updates and Forums tabs serve more or less obvious purposes – think of the latter as a kind of social tab. There’s one tab left, Promotions, and this one should contain marketing emails, at least in theory.
Impact of the Promotions Tab on Your Marketing
If all marketing emails end up in Promotions, that raises a concern for marketers. What if users start ignoring the Promotions tab? Wouldn’t it be better if marketing emails would end up somehow in the Primary tab? Won’t they be regarded with better eyes there? Won’t they attract more attention and have higher conversion rates? It’s good to look at your own marketing campaign numbers and try to understand what impact the introduction of Gmail tabs has had so far on you.
Look at recipients with a gmail.com address and consider the open rate, the click-through rate, and the revenue per email. If numbers started to drop after July the 5th, when the tabs were implemented, then it could be because your emails are ending up in the Promotions tab, where they are ignored. Note, however, that not all recipients with a gmail.com email use the online Gmail interface with tabs. In fact, most users are probably accessing email through computer or mobile apps.
Increasing Your Conversions
If Gmail tabs have a negative impact on your email marketing campaign, you have two options: (1) educate subscribers about the tabs and encourage them to move your emails to the Primary tab, providing a simple guide on how to do it, or (2) make your emails stand out from other marketing emails by using a call to action that cannot be neglected. In the end, Gmail tabs are good for users, and if they are bad for some marketers, it’s because the marketing message they are sending is just not compelling enough.