The Email Marketing Apocalypse?

The new Gmail tabs layout has many email marketers questioning their future. While the change certainly raises some questions, this is certainly not the end of email marketing. On the one hand, losing the visibility of having promotional emails peppered in with emails you actually want to read may appear to be a major setback for email marketing campaigns; however, the promotions “Inbox” is certainly one step above the spam folder.

Recent Changes to Gmail

For those living under a rock (read: still using Yahoo or Aol email), Google has implemented a tab system within Gmail. There are currently 5 available tabs, (Primary, Promotions, Social, Updates, Forums). These tabs automatically sort incoming emails into one of these categories rather than filling your inbox with everything that comes your way.

Initial reaction from many has been that this is the end of email marketing. Quite to the contrary, I have found that I am regularly selecting this tab and scanning the promotions before deleting. Whereas a littered, over-stuffed Inbox bothers me more than it probably should, and in most cases I will very quickly select and delete all promotional emails without giving them a thought, much like requests from “friends” I have never heard of wanting to connect through social media.

Wait, I can drive a Ferrari for how much?

Now I am not much of a shopper, though I am a sucker for a bargain. So on occasion I will purchase a deal that allows me to jump out of an airplane for half price, or drive an exotic sports car at track speed. Having all of the promotional emails in one place allows me to quickly scan through looking for any deals that appeal to me. It is almost as if I am opening the promotions tab, and subconsciously giving each message a shot, albeit a brief one, at separating me from my hard-earned income.

While I do not often purchase the daily deal, when I select the promotions tab, I am willingly having a look at what is being offered. Email marketers will certainly have to make some adjustments in strategy, but that is no different from changes in Google’s algorithm affecting SEO strategies, or this year’s fiercely debated enhanced campaigns making changes to Adwords for PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

In marketing you are adaptable, or you will find yourself in a new profession pretty quickly. On a scale of smooth sailing to Mt. Everest, I would rate this change a speed bump.