In May of 2013, Google introduced their sorting tabs which automatically sort email into one of 3 fields—Primary, Social, and Promotions. While the tabs allow users to keep their email more organized and reduces the risk of important emails getting lost in the mix, the change left many email marketers wondering how it would affect their opt-in email marketing campaigns.
Opt-in email marketing campaigns are the lifeblood of online marketing, making the introduction of the Promotions tab a game changer of sorts.
While Gmail users can reassign emails to route to different tabs, the system places all social media in one area instead of letting the multiple daily updates dominate a user’s inbox. The emails that end up in the Promotions tab are messages that seem to be advertising or promotional in nature.
Some online marketers have been tracking the difference in their open rates since the change in May and some are finding they have decreased by 10-20 percent. However, some leading email marketing platforms have only reported a drop of 1.5% since the introduction of these tabs.
While some online marketers are not thrilled about the change, a study performed in November 2013 by Return Path found that the change in open rates for all tabs has only shown a mild decline in average users. And for users that traditionally have high open rates, they actually increased.