Changes to Gmail and the impact on email marketing

If you are a Gmail user, you may have noticed a new tab format rolled out earlier this summer. The new format separates received emails into categories and allows the user to see new emails at a glance within each category. This better allows the user to read their emails at their convenience.

In the Official Gmail Blog, product manager Itamar Gilad posted the rationale for the update.

We get a lot of different types of email… All of these emails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.

Like Gilad wrote, as users we can view important emails at a glance and decide which ones we need to read now versus later. However, marketers who rely on email promotions will likely experience a decrease in email open rates from Gmail users moving forward. Unless users move an email from an organization or brand to the Primary tab, they will likely stay in the Promotions tab which defaults behind the Primary and Social tabs.

Until a filter is created that brands can use to deliver their email promotions to the Primary tab, the best way to guarantee your contacts are reading your emails is through engagement. Engaged contacts want to hear from you and interact with your brand. Not only are engaged prospects more likely to read your content, but they are more likely to become a customer.

Engagement drives relationships and relationships drive revenue.