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Epsilon Report: Data Finds Gmail Tabs Resulting in Lower Click and Conversion Rates

December 9, 2013
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Epsilon, a global leader in creating customer connections that build brand and business equity, today released "Gmail Tabs: An In-Depth Analysis." The study analyzed seven months of aggregated email data and found that Gmail's tabbed inbox, which rolled out in May of this year, is negatively impacting how consumers engage with brands in the Gmail inbox.

In this evaluation, Epsilon accounted for seasonality to determine the effects of the tabbed inbox. Given the seasonal downturns that occur in the July to September timeframe, the study also looked at email performance at Yahoo! and Microsoft to determine if the drops in Gmail were simply the result of a seasonal decline.

"Initially many marketers looked at Gmail open rates, which haven't been drastically affected, and assumed the tabbed inbox wasn't having much of an impact. However, when you look at click rates it's clear that the answer isn't that simple," said Quinn Jalli, senior vice president of Digital Marketing Services at Epsilon. "There has historically been a predictable difference between click performance in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!, with Gmail garnering the highest click rates. This gap is closing and click rates on Gmail have decreased, becoming more aligned with those of Yahoo!."

The study also looked at Gmail opens by device. In June and July 2013, approximately 60 percent of Gmail opens were on a smartphone or tablet. This rate increased to 66 percent in September and October, which may explain why open rates on Gmail did not decline as much as click rates.

"Mobile further complicates the matter. iPhones render all images by default, opening tracking pixels and creating the appearance of a higher open rate. Additionally, the native Gmail application on iPhone and Android devices does not sort email by tabs," explained Quinn. "Thus it's logical that if consumers are less likely to view marketing messages because of the tab feature on a desktop, that they would view more commercial emails on their smartphones where tabs are not a factor."

For more information, download the full report at www.epsilon.com/pr/Gmailstudy.

About Epsilon
Epsilon is the global leader in creating customer connections that build brand and business equity. For more information, visit www.epsilon.com, follow us on Twitter @EpsilonMktg or call (800) 309-0505.


 

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