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Focus on These 2 Email Marketing Challenges Instead of Gmail Tabs

Focus on These 2 Email Marketing Challenges Instead of Gmail Tabs

The implementation of Gmail tabs has been a hot topic in the email marketing world since it was introduces at the end of May 2013. And it seems email marketers are doing whatever it takes to get subscribers to move their messages into the “Primary” inbox. However, we are starting to see that the rise of the intuitive, segmented inbox hasn’t had as much impact on email marketing as we originally thought. Surprisingly, Return Path reported that the first week after Gmail tabs was introduced opens actually increased for highly engaged subscribers:

Gmail Tabs Analysis- Report by Return Path

Gmail Tabs Analysis- Report by Return Path

For subscribers with a medium level of engagement the open rate stayed nearly the same, and although opens did decrease for subscribers who had a low engagement rate this sector of the reported email marketing list only accounted for 1% of the group. What does this mean? That even with tabs, subscribers who like your brand and want to read your emails are seeking out your messages, even if they are falling into the Promotional or another tab besides the Primary.

Instead of focusing on getting your subscribers to move your email to their Primary inbox, make your content highly engaging and targeted to your audience.

If your subscribers are highly engaged with your brand and want to read your content they will find your messages, no matter which tab your email may fall in. So how to make your subscribers fall into the “highly engaged” category? Get to know your subscribers and build their trust right from the beginning. Understand their pain points, the benefit that your brand and email campaigns bring them, and keep evolving and segmenting to their needs.

Another popular topic of discussion since Gmail tabs has been introduced is the declining open rates for Gmail users. Its true that opens have decreased 13% over the past year, but with tabs only implemented in June we can’t wholly blame the new inbox for this decreased open rate.

Change in Gmail Opens since 2012 via Litmus

Change in Gmail Opens since 2012 via Litmus

Litmus published the above information showing that the decline was well under way by the time the tabbed inbox was introduced in June 2013. But the decrease in opens is still alarming for email marketers, right? Not exactly- this is showing the open rate declining on Gmail web client, where the tabbed inbox was implemented. And with 48% of emails now being opened on mobile, this is a huge chunk of your subscriber base. In fact, only 19% of Gmail opens are happening on the actual web client, where emails are segmented into different tabs. iPhone is still the largest platform for Gmail users, with 34% of opens, and currently does not support the tabbed inbox.

Gmail Opens by Platform Client from Litmus

Gmail Opens by Platform Client from Litmus

Instead of focusing on the decrease in open rates in Gmail’s web client, focus on your mobile email marketing strategy.

Designing your email marketing to be mobile friendly is now a crucial part of your campaign strategy. If you haven’t already, start testing shorter subject lines that will appear fully in a mobile email client, use larger call to action buttons and more padding between links for easier clicking, and a larger font size to increase readability. Also be sure to test your campaign across all devices- Apple, Android, smart phone and tablet.

In order to make sure your emails are fully mobile optimized, open a mailPlants account today to take advantage of our mobile email marketing features! With products like mP Viewer and mP Analytics, you will never have to worry about your mobile subscribers deleting your emails due to poor mobile optimization. Contact us to help you reach your email marketing goals!

 

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