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What's new in the revamped Gmail inbox?

If you're reading this in a free email client, chances are you're doing it in Gmail. In 2012 Google announced that its Gmail service had reached the cape of 425 million monthly active users, surpassing Hotmail for the first time. Up to this date, it still is the largest email service in the world.

To safeguard that position, Gmail is constantly optimizing its user experience. The recent makeover of the Gmail inbox holds some noteworthy changes for us email marketers…

As you probably know, Gmail has recently updated the iOS, Android and desktop versions of its email platform. From now on, emails are divided into tabs, which helps users sort their emails in a clearer, less cluttered way. These new customizable tabs put the user back in control so that they can see what's new at a glance and decide which emails they want to read and when they want to read them. Moreover, the new inbox organizes email into five optional tabs: primary, social, promotions, updates and forums. These categories enable users to read messages of the same type all at once, and help them keep track of their mails.

These important interface changes may hold a strong challenge for email marketers. Gone are the days when your email campaign automatically landed in the general inbox.

 

As soon as you've switched to the new Gmail layout, you will see a new set of tabs at the top of the email screen marked with the keywords ‘Primary', ‘Social', ‘Promotions', ‘Updates', and ‘Forums'.

Let us give you a brief overview of what's on offer behind each tab…

Primary

This tab groups messages from your friends, family and colleagues. In short: anyone you
communicate with regularly.

Social

Incoming messages from social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and any other social
network you take part in.

Promotions

Behind this tab you'll find messages from shopping sites like Amazon, Shoptiques or Zalando. If you're an email marketer, this is the category your emails will most likely end up in.?

Updates

This is where to look for bills, invoices and order updates. So if you've been shopping online, bought a pair of shiny pink Louboutins and wonder when the parcel will be in your mailbox, this is where you'll find the mail with the order tracking link.

Forums

If you're a frequent visitor of online forums, add this optional tab to your tab bar. It will may come in handy to keep track of forum updates and any other forum-related communication.

How these significant updates will affect email marketing is yet unclear. But it's wise to anticipate on this new filing system at the earliest occasion. Be aware that your email campaigns will most probably land in the Promotions tab. Seminar and workshop invitations on the other hand may be cataloged under the Updates tab. As the system is still relatively young, some emails may end up being categorized under the wrong tab. But if a message needs to be filed under a different tab, all you have to do is drag and drop it into the tab you choose. We can see this evolve into a ‘smart' cataloguing system that categorizes your emails based on user behavior. At this moment, it may be a challenge for us e-marketers, but an interesting one to say the least.

Haven't activated your new Gmail inbox yet? Just log into your account, click the gear icon and choose “Configure Inbox”. Then follow the intuitive setup and enjoy being freed from the shackles of email clutter.

Conclusion

The new Gmail inbox interface holds advantages and challenges for email marketers. If you haven't done so already, active your Gmail inbox today and learn to get the most out of it.
Posted on
Jul 4, 2013