Is Gmail’s Redesign Screwing Your Open Rates?

In Customer Experience, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales, Omnichannel by Vaughn HighfieldLeave a Comment

Gmail, Tabs, Social, Promotion, Primary, Spam, Mailbox, Mailchimp, open rates, customer festival, dotmailer, get response

In case you haven't already noticed (and if you haven't how can you possibly work in email marketing?), Google's Gmail service has had a facelift of its app and browser-based inbox. Now emails are tabbed and automatically sorted to help Gmail users filter out the junk from the information they really want to receive.

The trouble is, how do you make sure that this new system isn't playing havoc with your open rates? And if it is, what can be done to remedy this?

First things first, what's changed?

Well, now Gmail has been split into three main tabs: Primary, Social and Promotions.

Users can then create their own tabs and set up what gets put in which, it's all pretty powerful, and certainly helps any Gmail user (of which there are over 720m in the world) make the most of their inbox.

Naturally, this is pretty darn annoying when you've spent an absolute age creating content that you want your customers to see. Instead of being pride of place in their Primary tab alongside the emails they care about, Gmail has gone and shoved you alongside all the other adverts and spam in the Promotions tab.

Not fun.

What are the consequences?

Good question, well, Mailchimp has gone and done a quick poll of its database to have a look at how Gmail has really affected the open rates of its emails.

Having looked at the past year and a half of the emails it's sent to Gmail users, and the open rates attached to them – which equates to a dizzying 12.5 billion emails and 2 billion unique opens – Mailchimp compared their stats.

Gmail, Tabs, Social, Promotion, Primary, Spam, Mailbox, Mailchimp, open rates, customer festival, dotmailer, get response

Shortly after Google's announcement of the new Gmail interface, open rates went up. This is largely believed to be down to people exploring and playing with their new inbox.

Taking that into account, it appeared that once this ‘event' passed open rates did noticeably drop – not significantly though.

Before Gmail's organisational revolution, the lowest Mailchimp's open rate seemed to go was 13 per cent. After the change, open rates stayed on a three week low.

Not quite a cause for national emergency, but a sign that a change could well be coming.

So, what's the solution?

If there was an easy answer I'd have slapped that right at the top of the article for you, but alas there isn't – yet.

The key thing to take away from this is that Gmail has changed the game from encouraging your readers to open emails and instead get them interested in what you have to  say so they feel you're worth moving out of the Promotions tab.

Many users will no doubt just delete the Promotions tab, meaning those emails will all flood the Primary tab instead, but you can't count on this happening.

The general message to leave this post with is to make sure you're engaging with your customers properly, providing them with a service they'd love to keep receiving and making them loyal to whatever you're offering up next.

It's also worth considering exactly how your customers digest their information, luckily these 7 graphs will define your mobile marketing approach.

 

Luckily for you, at this year's Europe's Customer Festival you can meet with some of the industry's biggest email marketing providers – including dotMailer and GetResponse – who can help you get your content in front of customers in new and insightful ways.

To find out who else is going to be there this year download the agenda for free.

Gmail, Tabs, Social, Promotion, Primary, Spam, Mailbox, Mailchimp, open rates, customer festival, dotmailer, get response

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