Will The New Gmail Change Email Marketing Forever?

If you use Gmail (and you probably do since 720 million people around the world do) then you’ve probably noticed some tabs at the top of your screen that look like this:


This is a change by Google in their never-ending quest to de-clutter your inbox.  While it could be a big win for you as a consumer trying to sort through your inbox, it’s not great for brands that rely on email for sales. Popular sites like Amazon, Fab, Gilt and many more do a substantial amount of their business over email and now all that mail will find its way into the “Promotions” tab.


You can fine tune the experience a bit by adding and removing tabs but the filtering all happens automatically out of the gate. What this means for email marketing is yet to be seen but I for one think that open rates are going to go down, way down.

I’ve already seen it first-hand from my own behavior. Emails from brands I used to browse  daily now only catch my attention every couple of days when I notice the “Promotions” tab getting full. This is, without a doubt changing user behavior which means brands will also have to change how they reach their customers and social media could see a major gain on email as a way for brands to reach their customers.

What do you think? Is Gmail going to change email marketing forever?

Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Alan Dodd September 19, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Big time.

    I used to always read Paddy Cosgraves emails from tech conference, websummit.net.

    Paddy is a genius at email marketing. Today, I found an email from him in the promotions tab. It led me to a great blog post on startups here in Dublin, and indeed to gr8 blogs thru links.

    I actually diverted to a hotel to properly read the posts with a nice pot of green tea.

    In short, a good read, which I might have missed had I not clicked that tab. Thanks for posting.

  • Michael September 19, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I am sure it has already effected email marketing a ton! Promotions tab mail is practically the new junk mail! I don’t open it much either and it is email I was reading a month ago!

  • Michael September 19, 2013, 6:08 pm

    Bad for you too I just checked Promotions tab and Fashion Metric is in there!

  • Vincent Jacques September 19, 2013, 7:18 pm

    I’m sure it will, as it caters to the masses. While I have a Gmail account, by virtual default, I never use it and can thereby do my own sorting. However, as you pointed out, with 720 million people on there, it certainly will have a big ripple that will effect MANY, as did Panda, Penguin and every other move the big G makes.

  • Amin September 20, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Here is an interesting article on the impact of the new Gmail : http://intema-blog.blogspot.ca/2013/09/gmails-new-inbox-threats-and_17.html


Leave a Comment