Gmail’s “Promotions” Tab: Good or Bad for Email Marketing?

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If you use the Internet to promote your business in any way, surely you are aware that Google is the driving force for the success of your marketing efforts, as well as your overall business. You are likely aware that the world’s most widely used search engine constantly makes changes in order to provide its users with the ultimate Internet experience.

While changes to algorithms have been a part of Google’s framework for some time, they are now making changes to their email platform, Gmail, as well. Just a few months ago, they introduced the new “Promotions” tab to Gmail, and there has been some debate over the effect it has had on the success of email marketing.

About the Promotions Tab

The way the tab works is quite simple. Google filters the mail coming through a user’s account. Based on the information received from that mail, it is determined whether the email should be placed directly into the regular inbox tab of a user, or whether it should be placed into the Social or Promotions tabs.

Emails that have promotional coding and language are typically filtered into the new Promotions tab. The idea behind this is to keep the user’s primary inbox free from clutter, as well as to make it easier for a user to navigate their inbox.

So, why is there a debate about the effect this tab has on email marketing? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

Pros

The pros of the Promotions tab are pretty obvious. As indicated above, it helps keep a user’s inbox free from clutter so he or she can easily manage the important messages received; i.e, those messages sent by actual contacts. This is certainly a pro for the user.

For a business, the advantage is that the Promotions tab makes it easy for those on a mailing list to actually find a promotional email from a company. It is not uncommon that promotional emails are lost in the shuffle of the rest of the email a user receives. Being sent directly to a tab that is specified for promotions allows a user to easily locate an email related to a business; the user simply has to click the tab and scroll through the marketing-based emails. This could certainly have a positive impact on the success of an email marketing campaign.

Cons

Of course, there is always an opposite side of a coin, and in regard to the Promotions tab, there certainly are some cons that marketers are noticing.

Since promotional emails are being sent directly to this tab, many Gmail users are overlooking the emails that businesses send out as part of their email marketing campaigns. Since these emails are stored in another tab and users have to actually click on this tab to view them, they are being overlooked. Many people simply aren’t going to click on that Promotions tab just to check out what they may regard as “junk” mail, which means those marketing emails just sit there collecting dust.

In fact, according to Indianapolis Business Journal, the introduction of this tab has gone from 13 percent to 12.5 percent of marketing emails being opened. While a drop of 0.5 percent may seem insignificant, for those businesses being affected, it is quite monumental.

So, is Gmail’s Promotion’s tab good or bad for email marketing? Take a look at the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, and you be the judge.

Bridget Galbreath is a writer who is well-versed in a wide range of topics, including Internet marketing and the effects it has on businesses, including those dedicated to custom mats.

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