Google has introduced a new feature to their email service which will affect almost everyone, whether they have a Gmail account or not. Internet marketers, bloggers, freelance writers, as well as people who simply want to get their email will notice the effect of the new Gmail option.
Gmail is introducing a new tabs feature, which at first glance would appear to be a benefit to most. Google wants you to be excited about their new tabs because it’s supposed to help you only get the emails they deem as important in your primary inbox. The remaining emails that Google does not determine to be important will be sorted into tabs for Promotions, Updates, Social, and Forums.
Here is a video made by Google describing this new feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFf7dlewJus
The new tabs sound good in theory, but getting people to read your emails as well as reading your own will likely become more difficult. Here is why:
- If you want to see all of the new emails you have received, you have to check in five different tabs.
- You will not be alerted to new emails that are sorted in one of the tabs if you have Gmail open all the time.
- All emails from a mailing list will be sorted in the Promotions tab, including emails requiring a confirmation for you to be able to do something. Email marketers will definitely suffer from reduced email confirmation and open rates.
- Automatically generated emails from your dentist or other healthcare professionals reminding you of an appointment will be sent to the Promotions tab, as well as e-gift cards from friends.
- If you or your business has a contact form on a website then all contact form submissions from potential clients or people who are interested in you will be sent to the Updates tab.
- Google email advertisements will be sent to the Promotions tab.
- When you switch to the new Gmail inbox, the emails in your inbox will be automatically sorted into the new tabs. So if you were saving particular emails in your inbox, they might have gotten moved.
This type of email filtering may work well for a few, but on the whole it appears that it will be much more difficult for people or businesses to contact each other with effective messages if they are somehow deemed by Google to not be important. With this new system, important emails could easily be overlooked if they are sorted into any other tab other than Primary. At the risk of losing out on new customers, savings, or just a message from a friend, it might benefit most to turn this new feature off and rely on the standard Gmail delivery method.
You can shut some or all of the tabs off by going to your Settings wheel and clicking on the Configure Inbox option. Then uncheck any tabs that you don’t want, or all of them to get back to Gmail as it once was.
If you or your business has an emailing list, you should send out a notice of this new Gmail practice to subscribers so they know they have options and can receive your emails in any tab they wish or they have the option to turn off the new feature and receive your emails just as they have been.
The new Gmail tabs are an important topic for email marketers to keep on top of because many people use Google for their mail service and it would be a big blow to lose any business simply because of different email settings.
As a full service marketing agency, The Belford Group creates branding, websites, marketing, social media and search engine optimization solutions to assist our clients in finding and reaching their ideal audience.
Call us or email us. We’d love to hear from you.