Gmail, as you are probably aware, has made some big changes in how your inbox functions. If you haven’t received numerous e-mails about this over the past several weeks, I’d be very surprised. So, what is everyone upset about? Well, I think what’s most disturbing to people about the changes is embedded in our opening sentence:
Gmail has made changes to your inbox.
The idea that an external entity would revise the way that we organize our e-mail is, understandably upsetting. Not only that, but for many it has overturned long-established work and organizational habits.
Gmail Changes and You: What to Do
The changes to Gmail offer challenges on two fronts for many of us.
- We need to change how we deal with our incoming e-mail; and
- If we are involved with any kind of on-line business, we also need to think about how we send e-mails.
I recently read a post on copyblogger by Sonia Simone titled “7 Ways to Survive Gmail’s New Promotions Tab” that offered helpful information for marketers (i.e. for your out-going e-mails). Doing what you can to make sure that your e-mails are actually seen by people is a time (and money) issue because it means that the time you spent composing them was well-used.
So any time that you invest up front to optimize engagement and deliverability is going to be worth your while down the road. The pay-off may not be immediate, but establishing systems and practices that will work well with the new Gmail tabbed interface (while not adversely affecting other e-mail venues) is a good thing.
Gmail and You: Where Do Your E-mails Land?
It all comes back to content. There are really no tricks or shortcuts when it comes to engaging with your audience and having them look for your e-mails. If what you send them is useful to them, people will make sure they find your e-mails, no matter where they land first. So my advice to you, first and foremost, is to make sure that you are offering your readers what they need and want. Find time to produce solid, focused content and whether Gmail puts your e-mail on the Promotions tab or the Updates tab or the main tab, your readers will look for your material. So that’s the most important thing for you to focus on.
Other actions you can take include informing your readers of the change and how they can manage it. If you are going to send an e-mail like that to your mailing list, I strongly suggest that you first create a segmented list of Gmail users in your tribe – so that you send this information only to those who can use it! (No one likes receiving extra e-mails, and you risk losing readers if you don’t target your e-mails in this way.) Most shopping carts and e-mail providers offer this functionality and it’s well-worth the time it takes to use it!
So, how have you experienced these Gmail changes in your on-line life? Have you seen a decrease in your e-mail opens? And if you have seen a drop, how have you responded?
If nothing else, the changes keep us nimble, don’t they? 😉
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with Gmail or copyblogger and have not received any compensation for sharing this content.