Google’s change to the layout of the Gmail inbox is proving problematic for content marketers who must get customers’ eyes on their emails. If you believe the guys over at MailChimp , Google’s attempt to help users overcome information overload has stymied open rates in the weeks since the change was announced in May 2013.
So what’s the solution for businesses that want their content emails not only opened, but read? Find exceptional web content and blog writers for hire who can craft attention-getting email subject lines.
What Did Google Do Now?
In a nutshell, Gmail now segments emails into one of three default categories. The “Primary” tab includes emails Google thinks are most important to users. The “Social” tab contains updates from Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and other such platforms. It’s the “Promotions” tab that’s proving troublesome for content marketers. Content Google deems “advertising” gets lumped here. Two other tabs – “Forums” and “Updates” are available, but users have to manually set these up.
Like the mysterious, ever-changing algorithm that sorts search engine results, no one really knows for certain how Google determines which emails get assigned to which tab. However, it seems that even if a user has “opted in” to an email list, unsolicited emails from businesses get placed in the Promotions tab where they’re left to die a slow death.
That’s because users have to manually click on the Promotions tab to view newly delivered emails. While it’s still early in process, it remains to be seen if users will actually click over to the other tabs in a timely manner. And that’s an important consideration for content marketers, since emails opened one hour after being sent have the most impact.
So What’s the Solution?
While it’s fairly easy to reset Gmail’s inbox to the old configuration – the one that allow users to see all incoming emails in one continuous feed – users may not do so. Therefore, content marketers have to find ways to entice readers to open and read their emails.
The email’s subject line is really the only way a marketer can influence the likelihood of a message being read. And there’s definitely an art to writing a subject line that gets traction, a skill that’s all the more important with Gmail’s latest changes.
Subject lines simply can’t appear to be overt advertising—otherwise users’ eyes may skim right past it during a brief glance at the Promotions tab. That’s not just an opinion. Research proves that users are more likely to open an email with information they find relevant. They’ll callously discard emails that don’t fit that description.
So before you get frustrated with Gmail’s tabs and it’s impact on your content marketing efforts, let a skilled writer pen your emails, especially the subject lines. Doing so will result in positive open rates and overcome Google’s attempt to manage user’s flow of information.
Chelsea A is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.