Will Email Marketing Be ‘Gmailed’ Out of Existence?
Google reorganized the Gmail inbox and the change has sparked fear and doom in the hearts of email marketers. The new Gmail inbox groups users’ mail into categories — primary, social, promotions, updates and forums — that appear as tabs. The new inbox was announced as a way for users to get an at-a-glance view at mail and decide when and what they want to read.
Has the company with an informal motto of "don't be evil" killed email marketing as we know it?
The primary inbox for years across internet service providers (ISPs) was a blend of all mail. Email marketing messages, business email and memes from your great aunt Flo happily coexisted in one email inbox. Gmail has upended that long standing tradition by automatically organizing mail into categories.
With more than 400 million active Gmail users, and that number growing every day, the change left many marketers feeling they had lost the inbox. The general consensus was that if mail was moved from the primary inbox, opens, clicks and engagement would go down.
This isn't the first time that email has been pronounced dead. It's also not the first time, of course, that dire predictions regarding the fate of email marketing have happily failed to come to fruition. Despite well-meant warnings to the contrary, neither spam nor the subsequent spam filters, the advent of social networking platforms, nor the development of RSS have heralded the death of email marketing. The same will be true of Gmail's new inbox.
Remember when …
Spam and the subsequent spam filters were going to kill email marketing. The development of RSS was going to send it to an early grave. Facebook was going to topple email from its seat of power and make it as extinct as the dinosaur.