As December credit card bills began to arrive, indicating my holiday shopping damage, I realized that I only purchased one gift in a brick and mortar store. There are a lot of reasons for this: convenience, laziness, traffic, online deals, etc… But the biggest influencer for me was email marketing. And as far as I am concerned, marketers can thank the Gmail inbox redesign Google released last summer for my lack of time logged at the mall.
A lot has been said about the effects of the redesign on marketers. Deep dives into open rates, opt outs and click-throughs are happening and the reaction is mixed on how email marketing has been affected. However, as a consumer of digital marketing messages, I can say that the Gmail Inbox redesign resulted in me engaging much more with retailers in my inbox. American Express thanks you Google, but me… not so much.
Having all marketing messages living in one place resulted in me being more engaged and receptive to the retailer’s message, offer and incentives. I wasn’t interrupted or distracted by a work or personal email coming in and taking priority. When I clicked on the promotions tab, I knew exactly what I was getting into. Therefore, I was ready to open, click-through to the website and was prepared to buy. Every retailer’s dream, a customer ready to buy.
Regardless of this, a lot of responsibility falls on marketers to still stand out in the inbox. ReturnPath released a study saying that the average email subscriber receives 416 commercial emails a month. So the competition for attention is high. Marketers have to be deliberate and strategic when creating their email marketing messages. Attention to detail is key. Subject lines become integral in getting your email opened. Segmentation and relevancy are necessary to hold attention and drive me to take action. Yes I am ready for you to talk to me in my inbox, however, I have a lot of options… so be thoughtful and creative.
As the channels of communication for marketers continue to shift and change, my online shopping behavior last month solidifies a tried and true marketing principle. You need the right message at the right time. As far as I am concerned, my Gmail inbox served as a marketer’s playground. How was Gmail’s shift affected your interaction with email marketing? Do you find yourself more or less likely to click that promotions tab?