This is by far the most witty and calm analysis of gmail's new inbox. No fear for e-marketers like me. All hope is not lost.
New Gmail Tabs: Big Yawn or Zombie Apocalypse for Email Marketing?
by: Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald)
If you haven't checked your Gmail account lately, take a second to log in now. You might see Gmail's new tabbed inbox. If you enable it, this feature will automatically sort your emails into one to five tabs: Primary, Social, Promotional, Updates and Forums.
What we don't know yet and won't know for a long time is whether separating promotional and other marketing related messages will actually be good for marketers, because their messages won't get lost in a sea of unrelated email. It may also train users to be in "shopping" mode when perusing the Promotions tab.
Before jumping out the proverbial Gmail window, let's examine several possible outcomes:
1) A high percentage of Gmail users never switch to the new tabs feature, making any positive or negative impact on commercial messages minor due to lack of adoption.
2) Seeing low adoption, Gmail pulls a Facebook move and automatically switches users over to tabs. Outraged users either change their settings back or discover they like it and keep it but are still mad at Gmail.
3) Users adopt tabs in significant numbers, with two possible results:
- Some users spend most of their time in the Promotions tab, boosting engagement for email marketers, because they don't need to see the updates under the Social Network tab, and none of their friends email them anymore.
- Other users forget or can't be bothered to check the Promotions tab. So, they miss all those free-shipping offers they love so much, as well as confirmation emails (Updates) and LinkedIn requests (Social Networks). But they do check Primary for Grandma's joke emails.
4) Many check Gmail on their mobile device without using Gmail’s mobile app and through a third-party app, rendering this feature useless to those recipients.
5) Gmail totally screws it up and filters and hides Promotional emails. The zombie apocalypse breaks out, and email marketing dies a sudden and shocking death.
OK, so the zombie apocalypse is farfetched, even though some folks would have you believe the tabs will bring it on.