What Gmail’s New Tabbed Inbox Means for Email Marketers?

Category : Email Marketing

Google has a long list of services available since the release of its search engine, Google. These services include mail, its famous search engine, translator, a social network and mobile phones – however, there are also other services unmentioned. While almost every month one of their products is updated and widely publicized, certain products are often left behind and left un-updated.

Google’s mail service has not featured an update in several months and it left many comfortable with the new format. However, recently Gmail users opened up their email accounts to an all-new tabbed system. For some, it is unsettling, while for others are utilizing it to the best of their potential. So what about this new Gmail system is making users confused and marketers upset?

Setup – The New Tabs

Gmail implemented new tabs that give users more control over their mail. The default tabs for mail are as follows:

  • Primary – Contain mail from business contacts, friends and family members. Mostly personalized messages sent only to you.
  • Promotions – Contains emails from companies that give out promotions and deals.
  • Social – Social networking, online dating and other media-sharing websites are contained within this tab.
  • Updates – Confirmations, bills and receipts are delivered to this tab.
  • Forums – Contains anything to do with online discussions.

The purpose of these tabs is to implement a system where people can easily decipher between different types of mail. Prior to this system, like other mail systems, there was only an “inbox” and “spam” folder, which differentiated spam mail from regular mail. (Of course, if they chose to, users could customize this infinitely using filters and labels.) This new system will help Gmail users differentiate every type of mail without having to make the tabs themselves and separate the mail as they get them.

What Does this Mean For Marketers?

Companies who send out newsletters are unhappy with the change. These emails will automatically be sent to the “Promotions” or “Social” tab in most cases. Since “Primary” is the default tab, many users will only infrequently check the other tabs, implying that last-minute sales will be missed and other promotions will be seen less frequently.

Moreover, marketers might not even have their sales noticed since many users might utilize the new tab system much differently than marketers would expect or like their customers to do. Since “Promotions” and “Social” contain many repetitive emails, users might ignore the tabs altogether and treat everything inside them as spam or advertising. For marketers, this does not imply good things whatsoever.

How Can Marketers Change The Way Users Treat Their Emails?

Since marketers will have more competition amongst these new Gmail tabs, innovative ideas on getting their customer’s attention will be necessary.

  • Create Better Subject Lines – One of the main attractions to opening an email is the subject line. Within the subject line, people will determine if the email will help them achieve their needs or if it is somethingirrelevant to their needs and desires. Try focusing on the subject lines that make more sales, even if their open rates aren’t as high.
  • Create Direct Email Responses – Users want to know that marketers are creating emails that specify to their direct needs. In order to do this, marketers might find it necessary to analyze each customers and divide them into subdivisions. Each subdivision should have emails created to them that will better cater to their needs.
  • Get to the Point – Marketers sometimes add fluff to their emails to make the content longer. However, that might now be a negative effect for marketers. Getting to the point will make a more effective marketing strategy since users will read your emails more often to see what they are getting. No one likes reading a message that beats around the bush.


The tabbed inbox has caused quite a stir in the marketing and SEO communities. Ultimately, however, they give consumers a better experience by giving them the opportunity to organize their email in more useful ways. As a marketer, you need to realize that these tabs might benefit you slightly if you learn to market more correctly on them. When your customers are in a buying mood, they may switch over to the “Promotions” tab and your great headline could catch their eye.

Whether you are a business or just a single-person company, remember that your customers prefer to be treated as an individual and not like a group. The more direct you are with them and the more you reach out to them, the more likely you will succeed with the new Gmail tabbed system.

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Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin is a social media marketing writer and avid blogger who has written for Content Marketing Institute, SiteProNews, and Search Engine People. Follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin to see more of her work.

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