Will Gmail’s new tabbed layout hurt your business’ marketing?

For the last few months, Gmail’s new tabbed layout has raised questions, created panic and caused confusion. Will this change really be the end of email marketing as we know it?

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the layout, Gmail now features five tabs in its inbox: primary, social, promotions, updates and forums. By default, only the primary tab is displayed when users log in and, on the mobile app, recipients don’t receive notifications for campaigns that arrive in other tabs.

This change has caused a lot of concern. Marketing emails are now sent directly to ‘promotions’ and, as a result, emails have been lost. This has seriously damaged businesses sending out time-sensitive offers and information.

But, how will it affect open rates over the long-term?

Since the introduction of Gmail’s tabs, open rates for recipients using this email client have dipped slightly, by between approximately 0.6 and 3.1%. However, it is summer. People are on holiday and the weather has been great. Taking a short-term view of these changes isn’t the right way to go. The true impact of tabs requires long-term analysis.

Google loves quality and this change is intended to enhance its user experience. Take this opportunity to review your own email strategies and the quality of your campaigns. No matter which email client your recipients use, quality content and positive associations should always be at the front of your mind when planning email marketing.

How can you prevent your open rate dropping?

  • Educate

Let your Gmail users know about the changes and how this can affect your email’s location.

  • Be worth opening

Always use quality content that’s tailored to the needs and demands of your segments. Make sure you include the most important and compelling information above the fold and in your subject line.

  • Know your list

How did you build your list? How long has it been since you last emailed your recipients? It’s about quality over quantity so focus on targeting people who have opted in and want to hear from you.

  • Promote

Email content isn’t just for email! Don’t forget to talk about upcoming campaigns (particularly if they’re time-sensitive) across your social media pages, on your website and even in your offline communications.

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