In May, Google rolled out a new approach to Gmail inboxes. Rather than one inbox, users now see three tabs: Primary, Social and Promotions. To the user, these look like three separate inboxes, and by default they are taken directly to the Primary tab.
However, if you are a tech B2B marketer and you’re sending an email with an unsubscribe option, it’s automatically shuffled into the Promotions tab, meaning users need to actively select this tab to see your marketing campaign email. A quick Web search on this topic reveals that the email marketing community is up in arms about this new development. Will our email campaigns be seen? What will happen to open and click-thru rates? One BizJournal headline even reads “Gmail’s new inbox: The end of email marketing as we know it?”
Despite the concern, general consensus seems to be that it’s too early to make major changes to your email marketing strategy based on this development alone. According to Constant Contact CEO, Gail Goodman, “The bottom line is that marketers shouldn’t panic. Given that Gmail tabs is early in both its adoption and consumer usage patterns, we’ll continue to monitor this in the coming weeks and months to see if there is any further impact.” (Source: Marketing Land)
Although it’s too early to recommend drastic changes, some companies have come up with an immediate solution to the concern that their emails will be overlooked. They simply ask their recipients to move their emails into the Primary tab, ensuring future messages appear in this tab; just take a look at this example from 360 Connext. While it will be interesting to see how this evolves over time, we see this as another opportunity to prove that our industry is nothing if not adaptable.