5 Ways to Make Friends with Gmail’s New Tabbed Inbox

So we are guessing that you’ve heard about the Gmail’s New Inbox.

Mail Service Providers (MSPs) constantly keep coming up with new policies and strategies to make life easier for their customers by improving user experience of its products.

Recently, Gmail has figured that they’re better than you are at organizing your mailbox, so they’re sorting your messages into five categories that they’ve come up with — one of which is called Promotions.

By now most of the marketing fraternity would be in a fix and thinking how this new inbox feature from Gmail would end up affecting the ROI of their Email Marketing Campaigns.

Frankly, with Gmail dominating almost 50% of customer database, any change in the way email is being delivered into an average Gmail inbox affects the impact of Marketing Campaigns around the globe. Hence, active marketers remain vigilant; evaluate and adapt to these changes.

So, will this change completely ruin your email marketing?

Actually, it depends mainly on how good your email marketing is in the first place.

netCORE strongly believes this is a good change to compel brands and make them move towards a more targeted and focused approach of email marketing.

If your readers are well engaged, this new tab is hardly going to make a difference to the performance of your email campaign. An engaged subscriber will dig out your email even from a promotions tab.

But average Indian marketers look at this medium only to boost sales and add to the misery – we have CMO’s & CSO’s with a vision of achieving their sky high quarterly numbers. No doubt, with such strategies being followed, these brands would face an immediate burn and that’s exactly what we have observed: A 25% dip in opens across the E-commerce industry.

Here are five ways you can make sure your business doesn’t get hit by Gmail’s New Inbox.

1. Fresh & Innovative Content – What do you have for me today?
You need to earn 5 minutes from your subscribers who ideally have lot of important work; right from finishing the task given by his CEO to booking a movie ticket for his spouse.

To earn that, your email content should be useful and interesting enough to grab the desired attention from the subscriber. They should end up looking out for it if they don’t see it in their Primary tab. This might not be the case if your promotion-to-usefulness ratio gets out of balance.

Example: Newsletters with industry updates, gossips, current happenings etc. [Don’t think how someone in an E-commerce or a BFSI would do it; they can if they wish to.]

Online retailer for apparels can talk to their customers about “Fashion Tips”.

Mint.com is one of the Financial Advisors is US, and they don’t always talk about their product, instead they communicate statistics like – “Consumption of US citizens on Junk food” or “Annual spend of a US citizen on Jeans” etc. (Interesting content isn’t it?)

2. Relevant Emails – Every Subscriber has a different taste.
High time you move your email communication strategy from “One to Many” to “One to One”. Personalized emails have always given higher ROI’s.

More than 60% of your campaigns should be triggered based on the available subscriber demographics and his daily user activity with your brand. Every subscriber today is at a different stage of your sales cycle, then why have the same communication for all?

Relevancy of email communication is one of the important contributors for high customer engagement.

3. Time is Money – Every subscriber has different
With the advent of the new Gmail Inbox, analysing the time when your subscribers are responding to your email and accordingly modifying the send time for your future campaigns becomes very critical.

Generic perception about sending out campaigns in the morning might not be true in all cases, for some brands we have observed a campaign sent at 5pm in the evening generates higher ROI. So it is important to study your customer behaviour and act accordingly.

Another angle to “Time” is wherein we try and send the most tempting offers with expiry date attached to that offer. Now the customer expects a good deal and since it is time sensitive he would try and search out your email so that he doesn’t miss the deal.

4. Educate You Subscribers about the New Gmail Inbox
MSP’s like Gmail, Yahoo etc. are bound to come up with such new features to make things easier for their subscribers. Since the behaviour of this new inbox is new for everyone, it’s important that we communicate how this inbox functions.

More importantly it should be followed up with information that would ask them to drag your email to the Primary Tab. Also try and ask for a “Star mark” for your emails which would still take you to the Primary Tab, justify it by stating: “so that you do not miss out on important information”

5. ENGAGEment – The Success Mantra
Brands today fail to understand how strong email as a medium is to strike a conversation with the subscribers. No doubt, sale is important but just don’t always sell. Something we discussed above, send content which will grab users’ interest and they would look forward to your emails.

netCORE strongly recommends on running contests over emails wherein the subscriber has to REPLY to your email campaign. Yes, you heard it right the subscriber has to REPLY.

A “reply” to the email is said to be the highest amount of engagement since it normally happens only when you receive an email from your family and friends. This concept gives 2 immediate effects:

  • Improves overall domain reputation.
  • You as a sender get added to the subscribers address book.

This level of engagement immensely increases the probability of your emails landing in the Primary Tab in Gmail.

The above 5 ways have been game changers for lot of brands. Gmail’s New Inbox can in turn – be a boon for you if optimized and best way to optimize the dynamics of MSPs is by being observant to the change, evaluate alternates and adapt.

I’ll be looking forward to hear the brewing thoughts of each one of you.

Stay tuned, as more on this section is coming soon.

Aug, 17, 2013

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