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Put it on My Tab: Email Marketing and the New Gmail Tabs

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So what do you think of the new Google Gmail tabs? If you have a Gmail account, you've already seen (and most likely formed your own opinion about) the tabs feature. Whether you like it, hate it or are somewhere in between, you need to consider the impact that Gmail tabs may have on your email marketing. You may think they would have a negative impact, but we think they will actually be beneficial. Read on.

The tabs feature, recently introduced, allows you to separate incoming emails into five tabs: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. You can choose which tabs you would like to use, then Google will filter different emails into the tabs you have selected, based on what type of emails they are.

Updates and Forums... perhaps not such a big deal. Social simply encompasses messages from Facebook and other social media sites. Primary catches any emails that do not fit into the other tab categories, such as regular emails from family, friends, your company and so on. So what about Promotions?

If you're sending out promotional emails to your subscribers, this tab will most likely be where your emails will end up. You may think that this will have a negative impact on your open rate. If people don't see my email right away when they log in to their account, how will I ever get their attention?

The idea of a Promotions tab, however, may actually have a few advantages for your email marketing. Having your emails stored in a separate tab means that, when someone clicks on that tab, they have far fewer emails to go through. When all emails are lumped in together, as in a more traditional inbox, your email is competing with emails from friends, from work, from other email marketers... With the Promotions tab, people see only your email and a few other marketing emails. If you have a great subject line and a great offer, your email will really stand out.

Also, people can click on the Promotions tab when they are ready to think about offers, deals and advertising. Often, people just delete a promotional email because they don't want to deal with it. The Promotions tab allows people to review emails from you when they are in the mood to purchase or at least to consider your offers.

So don't look at Gmail tabs as a barrier, look at them as an opportunity. Craft a knockout subject line and make your subscribers excited that they clicked the Promotions tab. From there, if your messages include great content and engage the reader, you may be the only email marketer that they move from "Promotions" into "Primary."

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