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New Gmail – The Begining Of The End Of Email Marketing Era ?

Posted on : 21-07-2013 | By : stargaterich | In : Internet_Marketing

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Gmail new inbox format

Email Marketing Effectiveness Diluted

Google does it again. Well, besides getting rid of the wonderful RSS service, now it seems they have turned their attention on Gmail.  You will noticed that the layout of  Gmail  is quite different nowadays.  Mails are now organized and segregated into three different categories  namely 1) Primary, 2) Social and 3)Promotion.

You may think this is no big deal and  nothing to worry about. Indeed there is good news and bad news though. On the positive side I think the way all the emails are automatically directed and stored into different folders would benefit those who are very disorganized and bombarded with SPAM daily .

The bad news is that there is potential impact to  email marketing click through and open rate because it might end up in the ‘Social’ or the ‘Promotion’ folders which are not on readers high priority list to read.

Ideally you want all your marketing emails to be inside ‘Primary’ folder where most people will pay attention to . No one knows for sure what algorithm if any Google used to categorize and determine which folder or category the email ends up.

Suffice to say, I believed the title or header of an email is more important than ever because it is quite possible that Google scans it and make up some deterministic decision . It is also quite likely certain keywords or phrases of the email content is scan and filter by the email system so as to figure out which category it belongs to.

Anyway, I guess one of the ways to mitigate the new Gmail system is through trial and error. It is actually pretty simple to figure it out , all you have to do is send out various emails from another account, say Yahoo to your Gmail account and then study in detail  which category it end up in.

Impact On Mobile Email Marketing

The impact to mobile email marketing is even more profound due to the limited size of the device screen display. On a typical four to five inch screen display , the ‘Social’ and ‘Promotion’ tabs are completely obscured from user view. You need to navigate out from the default selected ‘Primary’ folder to other categories by manually tapping or clicking on it. As a result,  a lot more of your promotional emails might be overlook and ignore unintentionally.

How To Minimize The Impact Of New Gmail ?

The good news is that not everyone use Gmail to access their emails.   Regardless  you need to craft the content of your message in such a way that you let the readers knows when to expect your newsletter as well as to remind them to white list or to go into  the ‘Promotional’ or ‘Social’ folders to check for your emails.

Minimize photo or image attachment because in the experiments that I did over the last few days, it seems to me that Google is more incline to put email with photo or video attachment away from the Primary folder.  Keywords such as ‘sales’, ‘promotion’, ‘review’, ‘bonus’,’advertise’, ‘product ‘, ‘marketing’ and ‘time sensitive’ are likely to get into Gmail filtering cross hair.

It is hard to tell for now to what degree the source or the origin of the email, namely the sender (be it another Gmail, Yahoo or some other paid services ) impact or affects where the emails ends up in but suffice to say, you should encourage your subscribers or leads to provide secondary email contacts (none Gmail)  so that you can reach them where applicable.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is a time tested proven so called ‘evergreen’ Internet marketing strategy. It has been and still quite effective as of today to use this approach to generate leads and to build a targeted responsive subscriber list.  It is not surprising given a free service such as Gmail, something is bound to change down the road. Google which owns Gmail reserved the right to change how  emails are managed, stored and directed in and out of  its mail servers.

As an online business marketer, you always need to be aware of  changes and learn to be adaptive to new technology. Always be mindful of the fact that it is not impossible someday your Gmail account might be suspended (for whatever reasons ) so always make it a point to backup your important emails, particularly customer contacts and other important information.

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