Back in May, Gmail introduced a new way to sort our inboxes, automatically assigning messages to different tabs. The default setting sticks marketing emails into a “promotions” folder that you can ignore entirely if you want to. Seems like a great idea…unless you’re the person sending out those e-mails.
Over at Ad Age, they checked in with marketers to see how things are going. Early results are surprising. Response rates have actually gone up or stayed the same for most companies. Mega-marketer Epsilon notes that slightly fewer Gmail users are opening e-mails in the first place, but the same number of people are actually clicking through and buying stuff.
Maybe customers only peek in that folder when they’re in the mood to shop. We posted before Gmail’s change about how you can automate this concept by filtering all of your e-mails from stores into a special folder for coupons and sale announcements that you only look at when you need to go shopping.
It may depend on how engaged a customer is with a brand in the first place. Marketers know who is more or less likely to open and click on an e-mail, and those superfans read and clicked more brand messages after the change than they did before. It’s like those sale announcements from Old Navy just got buried in the inbox jumble before, but putting them in their own folder brought them to everyone’s attention. The people who were going to click through and shop anyway keep on clicking and shopping.