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How to Tackle Gmail Tabs

September 8th was a fairly awesome day as I sat at my desk prominently displaying my Tough Mudder orange headband wrapped tightly around my head, random curls squished underneath. It was, after all, Wear Your Headband to work day as I had completed Tough Mudder that weekend.

I couldn’t wait for my official pictures to be emailed to me, they said I’d get them some time that week.

I waited.

And, waited.

I asked my friends if they’d seen their pictures.

Yup, sure did.

I found my victorious, dirty and just plain great photos. Stuck, just trying to get my attention buried in the Promotions tab in my personal Gmail. Poor, poor pictures.

Since its May release of an algorithm that created tabbed Gmail inboxes, you’ve likely missed a few emails. Maybe, some you’ve welcomed the delay, but with others you have not.  I noticed that while my Banana Republic emails always went straight to the Promotions tab, my Hubspot emails had a 50/50 shot at making it to my Primary box.  Between trying to figure out why that was, and seeing our own DealerRefresh emails end up in the Promotions tab, I thought I’d check into this a bit more.

The stats:

  • Almost 50% of email opens happen on a mobile device (No tabs).
  • There are more people using Apple Mail and Outlook than Gmail itself to open emails.
  • 54% of Gmail opens occurred on a mobile device, while only 19% of Gmail opens happened on the web.

So, what does this all mean to you…:

You’ve become more visible, even if it doesn’t seem like it.  Now, instead of competing in the mix of marketers, Aunt Mary’s Thanksgiving invite, your cousin’s latest crafty card picture and daily horoscopes – you’re just sitting pretty in the same boat with the same paddle.  Only now, the creek is a little less crowded.

What to do:

Be! Just Be. Be engaging, be relevant, be attention grabbing, be great.  You’ll easily get the trash-routed click if you send an email that looks just like rest. Be noticed! Be cognizant of your data. What time of the day are your emails succeeding and failing? Which email subject lines did better than others?

I’ve since gotten my permanent-bragging-rights photos ordered – I was disappointed their merchandise line up didn’t include an excuse to nap daily for a month, but I’m holding out for next year.

Also, I’ve paid a tad, not much, more attention to my Promotions tab. Maybe, because I was on the hunt for Banana Republic coupons for fall, maybe because I was hoping more photos would appear – whatever gets me to look, at least I’m checking it.

What will make your customers check their Promotions tab?

Jessica is a Branding and Marketing professional, working to keep DealerRefresh the automotive industry's leading community based blog and forum. She'...
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Great article on the gmail tabs.
Our gmail open rates have stayed about the same.
There were several articles online about companies which implemented a dedicated gmail campaign asking subscribers to please move them to their Primary tab. Surprisingly, this hasn't worked well for all companies. Some theorize that the benefit to being in the Promotional Tab is that people like to shop online and this makes it easier to find their marketing messages. It will be interesting to see what happens after a few more months. Will subscribers keep seeking out messages from the Promotion tab? Only time will tell.
  • C
  • October 1, 2013
VelocitySales dealerrefresh Informative..thanks for posting
I missed a shit load of semi-important emails since the entry of Promotion Tabs because I check and respond to most email from my phone. 
Somehow I had (or by default) my settings where all "Promotions" bypassed my inbox and dumped into archive. Another reason I overlooked this was the fact that my Promotions tab never displayed at the top but rather on the side with all my other labels. I've recently adjusted the setting to allow promotions to hit my mail inbox so I don't miss anything on my phone. 
How many average users do this?
Thanks for the article Jessica!
1to1 News Hopefully within a few months you will have some data to report back here on DealerRefresh :)
@John Thomas Totally not relevant to the topic at hand -- but where did you hear this from?