In case you missed it, Google recently revamped its inbox. This change impacts anyone who uses the popular Gmail web email service. The inbox redesign automatically sets up folders for users, who can then customize the folders further if they so desire. The default folders are divided into groups for primary emails, those from social media accounts and finally promotional emails.
As you can imagine, this redesign means that many users do not even check the promotional folder as they dismiss its contents as “junk” mail. This news is great for users who receive quite a few emails every day and need some help sorting through them. At the same time this news is devastating for marketers who have relied on email marketing campaigns.
Of course the change to Gmail’s inbox is so recent that nobody knows for sure how exactly it will impact email marketing. In fact, different studies of email response rates from marketers have indicated contradictory trends, both positive and negative. It will take more time and more thorough studies to pinpoint for sure what this change to Gmail really means. No matter what, businesses that rely on email marketing to any extent should stay aware of the situation as it rolls out in the coming months.
More bad news for marketers comes in the change to advertisements in the new inbox. Now advertisements are embedded at the top of the promotional emails folder in a way that makes them look like another email. This means email marketers will have to compete with ads as well as other marketing emails for customers’ attention.
One method for dealing with the situation that likely will not backfire is to ensure that your marketing emails are valuable to readers. This means your subject line of the email needs to have a compelling hook that is designed to appeal to your target demographic. Not only that, but your email needs to be read easily and be packed with valuable information. Fluff marketing emails will likely be discarded and forgotten, just as before, while emails from organizations that provide value will still be held onto, even if they sit in the promotional folder for a few days before they are read.
In these tough times it is important for businesses to remember to maintain or even improve their other marketing tools. These other tools actually become that much more valuable as email marketing becomes less effective. One area businesses should not neglect is making their website as good as possible, including ensuring it does not go through downtime or experience slow download speeds. Using a reputable hosting service is an excellent way to avoid website problems, and virtualhosting.com is an excellent resource for help.
Fortunately not all Internet users have Gmail accounts. Still, a significant portion do, so the impact on email marketing will be felt by everyone. This change does not mean that you should stop sending marketing emails. Instead, it provides an excellent opportunity to reevaluate your email marketing strategy and hone it to make yourself more competitive in the marketplace.
Gavin Carter is an email marketer. He loves writing about this ever changing field on small business blogs.