Gmail Tabs: What Do They Mean for Email Marketing?

Gmail got a little fancier this week with the introduction of tabs. This new “smart inbox” automatically separates your incoming mail into three categories: Primary, Social and Promotions. Users have the option to add additional tabs for Updates, Forums, user-created labels.


We’re big fans of the change, but obviously the first question that popped into our head was, “What effect will it have on your email campaigns?”

Well, for starters it means that all your marketing emails are automatically going to be categorized as promotions; unless members star them, at which point they will be moved to the “Primary” tab.

While it’s still pretty early, we think tabs are going to be a great thing if you follow our tips for creating a catchy subject line. Why? Because when users click on the promo tab, they are consciously looking for special offers and news from you.

Think about the first time you sit down to check your email each morning.

If you’re anything like us, you probably scan through first to see if you received personal mail from friends, family or co-workers. Scattered throughout are all those newsletters, sale emails and miscellaneous mail that you want to receive…but you may not get around to checking right away.

You might make a mental note to open them later or tag them to be set aside, but as your inbox fills up and your day gets busy you don’t always get around to it.

The new Gmail tabs will solve this problem by delegating those emails to one place and letting you check them when you feel like looking at mail from your selected businesses (or in this case, financial institutions.) As long as you keep your content fresh and your subject line snappy, this new system actually might give your open rate a big boost.

How do you feel about the new design? What kind of impact do you think they will have on your email marketing?

(Sidenote: If you really hate the tabs, it’s still possible to delete them all and restore your Gmail inbox to it’s original state.)


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