Embracing Gmail’s inbox tabs – how brands are doing it Published August 5, 2013 It has been several weeks now since Google made changes to their Gmail inbox. If you haven’t read about it in our previous blog, they have added tabs and category labels to help us Gmail users better manage the priorities of our emails. Several clients of mine have started asking me what impact it’s going to have on their email marketing results. During my research to try help answer some of these questions I realised from reading (and skimming through!) an immense number of blogs already on the net, that fundamentally it is far too soon to know. For now, we need to ensure that we’re aware of the changes and we adapt our email marketing plans to ensure that we are doing what we can to optimise those all-important opens and clicks (just in case!) which we should be doing anyway; irrelevant of whether Google made changes to their inbox or not. Key recommendations Here is a quick overview of some of the key recommendations mentioned in our blog post, and some others which I would make (to combat this potential Gmail tab issue):- • Segment your list – identify how many of your subscribers actually use Gmail. • Check the engagement levels – make a decision on whether your plan is to focus on engaged, non-engaged or all your Gmail subscribers and whether you want to send them different messages. • If the opens are strong, chances are, you have nothing to worry about –your Gmail subscribers are probably loyal fans anyway, so will prioritise their inbox accordingly. Encouraging them to do so with a simple one call to action email wouldn’t hurt. • For your non-engaged Gmail users, this could be a great opportunity to not only get them engaged, but also to let them know what is happening with their Gmail inbox – a more creative subject line would work best here. • Whether you have good engagement with Gmail users or not, keep an eye on your reports. You’ll soon see if you are being impacted. How brands are embracing Gmail With the internet full of discussion about the Gmail inbox tabs, it wasn’t until this week that I spotted a couple of campaigns geared to informing subscribers of the changes. A great example from The Outnet – targeted their Gmail subscribers with a campaign. My top reasons for liking this campaign:- • Targeted message to Gmail users (making them feel special!) • Subject line: We aren’t ignoring you, promise! – this implies the secondary focus which was to re-engage with the subscriber. • Pre-header text – Gmail users! Don’t miss out! – encouraging the open of the message in the preview pane. No one likes to miss out on anything important. • They have provided 3 easy, clear steps on what to do, so that the subscriber remains ahead of the trends; tapping into your emotional state of mind. Another great example hitting my inbox was a message from Mr Porter. They made their campaign even simpler:- This has been my favourite so far due to its pure simplicity:- • They used the subject line “Gmail users, don’t miss out” • The main header text “Gmail user…” is clever psychology because it automatically implies a positive “yes” response in the mind of the subscriber before they have even read the content. • The content of the email was simple, again offering a 3 step process on what to do, with a great use of imagery. Ultimately, if you want to get around Gmail’s new inbox tabs, you’re just going to have to take a look at your engagement levels and consider the content you are sending. If it’s great, valuable, creative rich content your subscribers want to receive, then you have nothing to worry about. Your emails will be opened and prioritised accordingly. Good luck and keep an eye on industry feedback.