5 Ways To Get Email Actually Read in the New Gmail

Jessica Payne

450 million Gmail users are grappling with a newly revamped inbox. Since the roll out a few weeks back, many have taken to social media to voice their love or hate of new tabs, labeled Primary, Social and Promotions. By now, navigation should be somewhat routine, whether you like it or not. But what can marketers and PR professionals do to ensure their emails get read?

Here are five suggestions on how to get your emails back in front of customers:

  • Vet Contact Preferences. How many media or bloggers use Gmail as their primary email provider? Tons. Check in on your closest contacts first to ensure they are still receiving your (wanted) emails/news in their Primary inbox and that nothing has been automatically punted to Promotions. They’ll appreciate the heads up especially around important news. Vet your contact lists and speak with customer service reps if you use any sort of 3rd-party news/content distribution service. This includes press releases.
  • Incentivize users to move you back. You can’t make users adjust their settings. Try offering free, exclusive downloads or discounts as a reward for those who designate your email as Primary once again. Follow up with a surprise thank you and even bigger discount to spark positive word of mouth and drive more migration. Gap did exactly that (see image).
  • Get creative with the whole Primary vs. Promotion absurdity. Are you a retailer afraid you’ll lose half of your customer base? Make the migration fun, saying something like: “Thanks for signing up to our newsletter, brave one! However, one last mission awaits…” Challenge them to move you back to Primary while making it a fun, engaging customer experience at the same time.
  • Cross-Channel Communication. Leverage digital, in-store and offline channels to remind loyal customers to check their email settings as they may be inadvertently missing out on news and promotions they seek. Gap has already started emailing its loyal customers with a very no-nonsense reminder. Customers are moving beyond email, you should as well.
  • Study the numbers and behavior. Only time will tell for just how significant the Gmail re-org will affect email, so sayeth marketers. Do you use Gmail? Put yourself in the shoes of your contacts and customers. Pay attention to your own behavior – what you like vs what you hate. How often are you deleting and regularly checking all three tabs? Opportunities to enhance this experience will present themselves.

How are you finding the Gmail inbox? Leave a comment below or tweet @jpaynebu

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