The new Gmail killer open rates?

Of course you can always go back to the old display without tabs, but we know that the average user is not by its nature geek, and leave everything as it is.

The result? That all (or almost all) the vaguely email advertising will end up under the hatPromotions (in Italian, “Promotions”), which has the flavor of a container at a very low priority (if not spam-like).
Those who work (and earn) with email marketing did not take it very well. Gmail has long been the ‘ most used email in the world , and the fact of knowing that the messages sent to that mailbox are how hidden / filtered did wince different marketer, you are immediately asked:

How much will drop open rates of email, because of the new interface?

Inc.com shows a couple of interesting statements : according to Tom Sather of Return Path is a decrease of 0.5% (only in the desktop version), while Gail Goodman of Constant Contact comes to small movements, “nothing alarming”.

So ridiculous numbers … but we are sure?

The analysis is probably the most thorough one made ​​by MailChimp , that in 6 weeks since the introduction of the new tab has analyzed the beauty of 1.5 billion (!) of email.

These are the results:

Open rates of the old and new version of Gmail

before the new layout, open rates of Gmail were in the order of 13%, a bit ‘lower in the weeks that included the holidays. For example, in the week of Valentine’s Day fell around 12.5%, while between Christmas and New Year around 10.5%.

We can also observe that on weekends the old open rates were between 10% and 11%, demonstrating that over the weekend, as during the holidays, we tend to overlook a bit ‘more of the email (or perhaps because in those periods you receive too many emails cards all together? :-) ).

Since the introduction of the new tabbed inbox, the rate has dropped by at least half a percentage point, both on weekdays and in those public holidays: in fact we see the columns just above the 12% in the weekday and around 9.5% over the weekend.


For now you do not see vertical collapse, but losing a 1% open rate overnight is still not very pleasant for those who have put the email at the center of its business, because the winds doubt that a large segment of users yet passed the new interface (and when that happens, the decline of the openings will be much more significant).

The frustration for marketers, is twofold: after struggling to get user email, to start a conversation with him, that’s now Google Tag it as promotional those emails, as if to say “attention, this email is an advertisement , and therefore have moved into a folder less important. ”

What to do? From the many comments arising from the post of MailChimp, I extracted and synthesized 3 suggestions:

1. Create a relationship with users, so they want to open your email (as I wrote a year ago,the money they are NOT on the list, but in RELATIONS which establishes with the subscribers of the list )
2. Corollary to step 1.: Send Always great content to people who have agreed to receive your emails, and nothing will change
3. Get people to move your emails from tab Promotions (Promotions) to Primary (Main): Gmail will ask whether the change should be considered as permanent and in case of positive response the user, from that moment on, will always receive your email within the normal flow of messages (and not in the tongue part)

If you have other suggestions to make, or if you’ve noticed too a decline in openings, post a comment and :-)

Filed in: Google

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3 Responses to "The new Gmail killer open rates?"

  1. Larry says:

    I think I’ve found a good solution, even for those who ends up in the “promotions”. I am a neat freak and use Gmail as a primary email (for work), and I think that having an organization of the email issues that are not can only be good for the productivity of each. The tab “promotions”, now when I look at it not with the other post, has increased attention on my part because I decided to set aside time just to that section, and if you are interested in making purchases, emails written well and offers interesting look. So I think that the new setting Gmail can only do good to everyone!

  2. Iulius says:

    Finally an article that makes an analysis of the phenomenon and is not limited to panic!
    I was wondering if you figured out how to make gmail tell if an email is promotional or not. Sends promotional mails that arrive from specific services (aweber, mailchimp) or analyzes their content?
    I think it’s the first case, the second might move even private email counseling sites or products, right?

  3. Orin says:

    I find the new approach very practical and less intrusive in the mobile version: the notification will appear only in the case of mail received on the “primary” …

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