Gmail Tabs: Effects On Email Marketing Engagement

Filed in News by on August 15, 2013 0 Comments
Gmail LogoWhile there has been much concern about Gmail's new tab feature and its possible effects on marketers, we have yet to see any real numbers detailing the outcomes. Until now. Email intelligence firm Return Path analyzed industry open and read rates for marketing communications and the results showed very little change since the feature rollout. For the purposes of this study, users were split into groups based on email engagement before Gmail tabs. Highly engaged users account for about 11 percent of all recipients, the medium group accounts for 88 percent, and the low group accounts for about 1 percent. The highly engaged group improved their read rate since the tabs rolled out by over 1 percent, while the medium and low groups both showed decreases to varying degrees. The medium group decreased by less than 1 percent while the low engagement group decreased by almost 2 percent.
Email Engagement After Google Tabs

Image courtesy of Return Path.

So, what can we take away from the study? First of all, a cursory look at the numbers does not seem to warrant the amount of panic that many marketers have been feeling about the tabs. The vast majority of recipients in the study showed no dramatic decrease in engagement. In addition, the numbers indicate tabs help users accomplish what they want to accomplish. Those that are more interested in marketing emails actually increased their engagement after tabs sorted and stored the messages out of their primary inbox. Meanwhile, the low engagement group showed the largest decrease in engagement, which is to be expected as they were not likely searching for marketing messages in the first place. However, it will be worth keeping an eye on the medium engagement group which accounts for almost nine out of every ten recipients. A slight decrease in engagement shouldn't be a cause for panic, but marketers will want to be sure that does not turn into a long-term trend.
Have you noticed a difference in user engagement since Gmail Tabs rolled out? Let us know in the comments.

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Evan is the Ideahaus Community Staff Writer.

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