2 Perspectives: The Affect of Gmail Tabs on Open Rates

gmail tabs

Since Gmail introduced its revamped “tabs” look, marketers everywhere have been wondering how the design would ultimately affect their email open rates. Now that Gmail tabs have become a normal part of online life, we wanted to check in with some marketers to hear their experiences. This is what we found.

Positive impact.

Troy Muir, a Data Marketing Manager at a line of supermarkets, said that he’s noticed a positive impact. “I work for a business with an extremely large list (several million contacts). We have actually seen positive impact from the change within our gmail segments.”

What it comes down to, though, Muir says, is still having a purpose, engaging copy, and a great subject line. “Critical to success is understanding your purpose and relationship with the person you are emailing and why. You’re landing in their ‘promotions’ tab because you are promoting things, and thats okay. It still comes down to a great subject line, to avoid the select-all-batch-delete, and then delivering on the promise of that great subject line. The best approach is to make your emails worth a ‘star’ or moving into the priority inbox, through either sensational offers, engaging copy or both.”

Signals the need for more integrated campaigns.

Ryan Clarke, Director of Business Development at a digital marketing company for luxury hotels, said that he, too, has noticed the effects. “We have already seen the direct effect of Google Tabs on open rates. Our clients are boutique, luxury hotels, that send emails directly to predominately personal accounts. You really don’t need the analytics to know that this was going to have an impact on email marketing. Gmail has been the world’s most widely used email client since it passed Hotmail to become the world’s largest email service.

Although Clarke sees the benefits of having the tabs from a user standpoint, he recognizes that the tabs force marketers to take a second look at their campaign strategies. “It signals the need for a push toward more integrated campaigns, combining social, print, mobile, etc. Keep in mind, it hasn’t had the effect on mobile open-rates, where more than half of users are checking their email anyways. Our advice, send email campaigns assuming people will be reading on their iPhone or Android.”

Need to adapt to counteract the effects of Gmail?