As of May 29th, the majority of Google Mail users will have now experienced the addition of filter tabs to their inbox. The new Gmail inbox designed to 'give us back control', filters emails into separate inboxes according to their purpose which, of course, we couldn't already, very easily have done with our own personalised folders.
The three central tabs entitled 'Primary', 'Social', and 'Promotions', sort emails into conversations, social network notifications and marketing messages - presenting us with a new challenge - though some consider it to be an opportunity.
So, what's the word on the street? Well, opinions seem to be somewhat divided at this point. While some marketers have noticed a small drop in their opening figures, others argue that the same rules apply that always have applied in the application of successful email marketing. Google organising this content into a 'Promotions' inbox shouldn't have that big an impact.
Indeed, email marketing has, for some time, needed to sophisticatedly engage or inspire its audience in order to achieve results (as simply shouting at them lost its power way back when), but the question is: Will anyone now decide to disregard our once valuable and unique offerings because of this move? The general verdict: no - your email's value is not inhibited by its final destination, only by its content (as has always been the case).
However, for those who remain concerned that their messages may well lie unread and unappreciated amongst rubbish in the 'Promotions' tab, here's a simple way you can try to relocate, which other brands are already implementing:
1. Ask them nicely
They were reading your emails before so there's no real reason they shouldn't continue to do so. A polite reminder of why they signed up in the first place (your great offers, updates and generally amazing stories, etc.) will be all you need to remind them of your worth.
2. Explain how
Not everyone is savvy when it comes to new features and you best believe that even the tiny interruption can be enough of a reason for some people to give up ... Game over. this can be easily solved by a simple step-by-step guide to moving your emails into the 'Primary' tab.
2. Give them a reason
Not quite enough of a reason to make the transition? How about an offer that they can't miss? Timed offers may be the carrot you need to prompt people into moving your messages somewhere they wont be missed again ... the 'Primary' tab!
While some people are now familiar with the new format, these things take time to roll-out. By engaging your audience about these changes before they even understand them themselves, you can immediately demonstrate your usefulness.
We recommend, along with most other practitioners, firstly not panicking, and secondly closely watching your figures and using them as an indication as to whether or not you should re-evaluate your general email marketing techniques: subject lines, content, formats.