Over the past year Gmail has been making changes that are affecting users and those who market to them. It has caused some consternation among email marketers, who are constantly worried about open rates and changes that may negatively affect them. Here’s a look at the changes Gmail has been making and how they may impact you.
Quick Actions allow users to manipulate or react to emails without opening them. According to Litmus, the four Quick Actions include:
- RSVP Actions
- Review Actions
- One-Click Actions
- Go-To Actions
Quick actions actually make it easier for email marketers to get a response from their emails as long as the Call to Action is clear and simple. Litmus also states they are not permitted for large promotional bulk email campaigns.
The Tabbed Inbox
As we’ve written about before, the Tabbed Inbox allows Gmail and the users to pre-sort emails under various tabs. This means that many marketing emails are now being sorted as promotional. Initially, this caused a great deal of concern for marketers who reacted by requesting readers sort their emails as primary. Mailchimp however, found the open rates were largely unaffected. The bottom line is as long as your emails are optimized and relevant to the user the Tabbed Inbox shouldn’t negatively affect you.
Caching of Images
While Gmails caching of images better protects users from viruses and malware, it can make it tougher for marketers to track true open rates. According to MailChimp, the change could prevent them from seeing multiple opens from users but will not stop them from tracking unique opens. It is now more important however, to make sure your emails are “image-off” optimized.
Automatic Image Enablement
Gmail users can now see images automatically. They have previously been blocked by default. According to Google, their caching and transcoding of images prior to delivering them to readers means three things:
- Senders can’t use image loading to acquire readers IP addresses or locations.
- Senders are not able to set or read cookies in the reader’s browser.
- Gmail pre-checks images for viruses and malware.
This is good news for those who spend time creating beautiful emails that may not have been viewed.
Mashable states the Gmail interface now makes it easier for users to unsubscribe from mailing lists with a simple click. This should not be a problem for marketers who have good lists and who send pertinent and valuable information. It does mean that senders will likely see more unsubscribes.
Promotions Tab View
The new Promotions Tab Grid View uses graphics to display promotional emails. Litmus says Gmail is “taking a page out of the Pinterest playbook” with the feature. Gmail however is also including GoogleAds. This means that promotional emails are not only competing with other emails, but with those advertising with Google.
These changes are intended to create a better user experience, and those using email to market their products and services should embrace them.