Tags: Gmail

Overcoming Our Fears of the Gmail Promotions Tab

Overcoming Our Fears of the Gmail Promotions Tab

Beyond • January 24, 2018

Whether it’s facing our fears or achieving our New Year’s Resolutions, there is strength in numbers. Don’t just trust us. The data backs it up. Consider one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions year after year: getting healthy/losing weight. Studies have shown that having a gym buddy can drastically improve your results. A survey conducted by the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University tracked married couples who joined a health club together. Those that worked out separately had a 43% dropout rate over the course of one year. The couples who went together, even if they weren’t focused on the same exercises, had only a 6.3% dropout rate. That’s why we committed to facing our fears, while also encouraging our readers to conquer theirs. It’s the whole purpose of our theme for the blog this month. We’re all in it together, so there’s a greater chance of success. The Buddy System We reached out to some of our favorite marketers using Benchmark to ask them about their fears with email marketing. In exchange for being a bit vulnerable and admitting to some of their fears, we told them we’d give them some advice on how to overcome them. Since the chances are less than slim that they’re the only ones facing that fear, we’ll help many of our readers along the way. See? The buddy system! Facing Fears Luis Gil has used Benchmark for nearly three years to promote his life coaching business Inspira y Avanza. Despite seeing open rates and click-through rates that meet or exceed industry standards, there are still fears to which Luis holds on. We reached out to several of our favorite marketers using Benchmark. Luis was one of the brave ones willing to open up about his fear: Benchmark: Did you have any fears when you began email marketing about getting started or that potentially delayed you getting started? Luis Gil: My main fear was that the emails didn’t arrive in the main folder of the contact. Many of them went to “promotions” or “trash.” Should You Fear the Promotions tab? The simple answer is no … and yes. Ok. Maybe it isn’t so simple. Let’s break it down. When Gmail first introduced the Promotions tab, Return Path determined the tabs users enabled. At the time, 77% were using the Social tab, 46% took advantage of the Promotions tab and 46% had the Updates tab. That means that for more than half of your subscribers who are using Gmail, it’s a nonissue. However, we never want the list of people who want to receive emails from us halved. So, let’s look at the pros and the cons of the Promotions Tab. Putting the Pro in the Promotion Tab When you boil it down, all the Promotions tab does is help your subscribers organize their inbox. In fact, according to a ReturnPath study of three million Gmail users, the Promotions tab increased deliverability, open rates and even reduced spam complaints. Not only that, but the Promotions tab trained subscribers on how to shop in the inbox. To explain that concept, let’s think outside of the inbox for a second. Even if you’re a Millenial, you probably remember receiving catalogs in the mail. You may browse through a catalog, just to look at the pictures. However, when you’re ready to shop those catalogs are the first place you’d look. The Promotions tab is the new stack of catalogs. Today’s inbox is crowded. It’s easy to get lost in all the noise. In the Primary tab, you’re also competing with emails from friends and family or even work. However, when your subscribers click over to the Promotions tab, they’re there looking for something. Readers with a purpose are more likely to engage with your email campaigns. Let’s also not forget that as many as 75% of your subscribers are opening your emails on mobile. The Gmail app doesn’t even have tabs to begin with. So What are the Cons of the Promotions Tab? It’s mostly optics that make the Promotions tab feel like a con. The data proves it to be the opposite. So what’s the real con of the Promotions tab? It puts the burden on email marketers to create great content. It holds us all accountable to do our jobs better. Subscribers will seek out great content, no matter the tab. If that sounds intimidating to you, perhaps you’re missing the point of email marketing. The reason email marketing boasts such a high ROI is that it provides so many opportunities to do customer-centric marketing. You’re delivering value directly to your subscribers where they want to receive it. Your sales will increase thanks to email marketing, but only if you’re finding a way to foster quality, ongoing customer engagement. That is done by services your subscribers’ needs and not your own. Your positive outcomes will be a natural byproduct of good, customer-centric marketing. Still not sold? ReturnPath also discovered that campaigns to get your subscribers to move your emails into their primary tab proved largely fruitless. They studied those “move me” campaigns and found that only 61 of the 65,507 emails sent landed in the Primary tab. That’s less than 0.1%. Asking your subscribers to whitelist your emails or to move them to their Primary tab simply does not work. For more information on ensuring your emails are hitting the inbox, regardless of which tab, and not the spam folder check out our latest guide The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox.


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How to Move Your Emails From Gmail’s Promotions tab to Primary

How to Move Your Emails From Gmail’s Promotions tab to Primary

Beyond • September 17, 2017

Last year, in an attempt to make your email life easier, Gmail introduced the tabbed inbox. Its goal being to make sure you only see important emails in your Primary tab. Not very long after, marketers started complaining about decreased email open rates. Are you one of those worried your email campaigns are not performing as well? Then read on and discover how to successfully land your emails in the primary tab of Gmail’s inbox. There are several methods that have been tested, such as changing header format, using no more than one link or not including images, but none proved to be a a solution. One workaround is to tell your subscribers to do it manually in their Gmail account. How do you do that? It’s possible your email request to do so fails to reach the primary tab as well. Then, the best way out is to educate your customers on how to do this through your blog or through personal engagement. There are three ways to do it manually: Drag & Drop Method This is done by dragging the email from Promotion tab to Primary. It will then ask whether you want to make this change for future messages too. Click on yes to ensure that all message from that email address will make it to your primary tab. Right-Click Method (Control + Click on Mac) The second option is to right-click (Control + click on Mac) on the email you want to move and select the option Move to Tab and then select Primary. The same message shows up again, asking whether you want to make the change permanent. Be sure to click yes. Create a Filter Search for an address in the search box and click on the down arrow at the right corner of the search bar. Click on Create Filter with this search option. From this window you can select which tab you want your emails in. Using this advanced method, you can get your message in the tab you select. A few other suggestions: Address your reader by name. Keep the balance of HTML and text similar, increase interaction. Don\'t include more than one link in an email. Avoid RSS campaigns, as it gives a hint that it\'s not sent by a real person. You will also notice that the brands with which you are interacting always make it to your primary tab. ESPs can only make sure that your email doesn\'t go to spam by taking care of your email infrastructure, while the best way to reach the Primary tab is to make your subscribers set them manually. This move also ensures that they value your brand and are happy doing business with you.


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Gmail Gets A Game-Changing Interactive Design Update

Gmail Gets A Game-Changing Interactive Design Update

Beyond • November 3, 2016

Last month, Gmail rolled out new email features that include font, styling and CSS accessibility, complete with a support team to help integrate users. It sounds like a lot of tech speak, but the thing to really understand is that Gmail has upgraded its email system to that system is more interactive. Let me explain - and let’s do that by stepping back in time. When social media hit its pinnacle, people thought email was dead. It wasn’t. As social media platforms sky-rocket it triggered a disconnected user pulled between way too many platforms that were all competing for attention. You’ll say that Facebook and Twitter still dominate along with Instagram, but let’s look at that super quickly. Facebook is facing controversy (even insurgency from within ranks) for increasingly censoring content and profiles. Twitter just went through a series of global hacks last week alone that limited user access and Instagram is just a pretty place for pictures with no possibility of serious content. That left email, which rose to the surface again in both importance and viability. The same thing is happening again with smartphone apps. There are simply too many mobile apps running the same course social media platforms did. There can be only one - it seems - and email is it again. In fact, email through mobile is the preferred method of digital communication even over desktop email portals. Medium’s Dave Bailey calls email the enduring “dark horse,” namely because in the face of shifting methods of tech use, email still dominates. Namely, you own your email (which can’t be said for social media platforms or mobile apps). Bailey also comments on emails increased interactive capabilities by first pointing out the myth. MYTH: “Since emails have no JavaScript, the programming language behind most web interactions, we tend to think of emails as a ‘read-only,’ one-way channel; good for sharing calls to action that get people back to your website.” REALITY: “What most people don’t realize is that CSS3 does allow for basic interactions, like switching tabs, without any JavaScript at all. Mark Robbins of RebelMail describes a technique called ‘Punch Card Coding’ that uses CSS alone to allow users to click buttons that change what they see on screen, essentially by having every permutation as a different ‘tab’.” If it still sounds completely foreign, check out the example Bailey shared about how the screen data and imaging can change in real-time without your users have to click a button and re-routed to another page. If you consider that there are one billion Gmail users as of February 2016 - and 90.7 million of them use the Gmail app - you’re looking at a completely game-changing way to sell.


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Why Are My Emails Going Into The Promotions Tab?

Why Are My Emails Going Into The Promotions Tab?

Practical Marketer • July 28, 2016

Since Gmail’s smart labels or smart filters were released to its users in 2013, a big question for email marketers has been, “what makes my email go into the promotions tab?” Google being as complex as they are, it’s an algorithm that determines where your emails are sent. There are a variety of factors that determine to which tab your emails are sent. Since Google does not publicly release this information, we can only make observations based on the emails sent and received with each tab. Focusing on the Promotions tab, the emails received there are surprisingly very accurate in terms of being promotional emails. Google’s algorithm is adjusted based on personal preferences and the email recipient’s actions. A subject line like, “$10 Off Your First Item,” is a dead giveaway. Why isn’t this in my spam folder though? I do have a membership to this website, which goes to show how extensive and complex the algorithm is. Your domain and sending reputation undoubtedly are a part of what Google looks at. Google, being one of the biggest online search indexes, might have some sense of who you are based on your domain online. Everyone knows who Amazon and Uber are, but just because your name is big does not mean you’ll get the coveted Primary tab. Amazon mainly sends transactional emails, so those go into my primary tab no problem. Unless I subscribe to their newsletters, those go to the Promotions tab. Uber sends me 50% deals (thank you), but those I’ll only see in my Promotions tab. There are some things we can change, others we can’t. A way to describe the algorithm is that it’s like a very shallow person that puts the emails it doesn’t like, promotional emails, into a special tab, so it can kinda get ignored. Although you can’t change Google’s algorithm, you probably don’t want to change your domain. So what can you do? Well, because the algorithm is complex we can try to influence Google to consider it as a primary email. Here are some tips: Personalization. Using the subscriber\'s name can prove to be influential. However, don’t make it sound too spammy! Images. Promotional emails usually have lots of pictures for their items. Try to reduce images and increase text. Hyperlinks. This is the same concept as images above. Lots of promotional emails have links leading to products. Reducing the number of hyperlinks going to websites can influence the algorithm.


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Office Survival: Unsend Email

Office Survival: Unsend Email

Beyond • April 7, 2014

Back in college, you wish you could take back that drunken text you sent to your ex after a night of too much partying. Now in the corporate working world, you wish you could take back that email you accidentally sent to your boss about your weekend of too much partying, and other fun stuff. Such a tragic moment when you press Send and your heart stops, wondering what compelled you to do that and counting the seconds until your boss shouts your name and demands to see you in his office. Gmail, one of the most popular email services used by businesses, hears our plea for help and has offered a nifty hidden secret that allows us to unsend our regrettable emails! Go to the right-hand corner and click on the Cog icon (It’s that circular, mechanical-looking thing with petals). Scroll down and click on Settings. On the top row, click on Labs. Scroll down towards the button until you see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Undo Send. Click Enable and then Save Changes at the button of the page. Now, whenever you have composed an angry venting email, or a TMI email to a co-worker and you accidentally press send, you have 10 seconds to press the Undo button at the very top of your inbox….the button sent from the Gmail gods that will save you your job!! After you click on Unsend, which I have very subtly highlighted for you, your email will appear in the drafting stage again, so you can fix some typos, change the recipients, or just delete that entire NSFW email that you shouldn’t even be composing at work, genius! You’re welcome.


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Gmail’s New Priority Inbox: It’s Not the End of Email Marketing

Gmail’s New Priority Inbox: It’s Not the End of Email Marketing

Beyond • September 8, 2010

As email marketers, you already have had a tough enough slog getting your messages into your prospects\' Gmail inboxes. You may not be thrilled to learn that Google has thrown another monkey wrench in the works. Google\'s new Priority Inbox has essentially quadrupled the number of Gmail inboxes and proportionately increased the difficulty of getting your opt-in email into the right one! However, there are some ways that will enable you to successfully run the Google Gmail gauntlet. Priority Inbox Has 3 Sections: You Don\'t Want to Be in the Bottom One Google Gmail\'s new Priority Inbox was recently released, albeit only in Beta mode. In the side nav bar of the Gmail window, it shows as an additional entry above the conventional inbox. All of the incoming mail that makes it through the existing filters still ends up in the basic inbox, but the Priority Inbox takes all that mail and prioritizes it according to its own filter options: These filter options allow Gmail users to split up their Priority Inbox into three departments: Important & unread Starred Everything else When an email arrives into a Gmail holder\'s account, the Google system flags up any messages that its algorithms conclude to be important. Some of the factors the system uses include the keywords in the message, the types of messages that the user habitually opens, and addresses that the user sends to on a regular basis. The users have input into the system as well, as they are able to mark conversations as Not important or Important. These selections are applied by the Google algorithm in its determination of flagging up or flagging down the specific message. Is Everything Else Just a Secondary Spam Destination? Google has gotten a lot of mileage out of their \"do no evil\" stand, but the questions remain as to whether the Gmail Priority Inbox algorithm is as equably Apollonian as the search juggernaut would like it to be perceived. Is the Everything else section truly a \"review it later folder\" or is it a secondary spam destination? Is Google Truly Doing No Evil with this Innovation? It seems that Priority Inbox is riding the fence between email and Facebook by isolating the recipient from messages from outside their \"closed social clique\": Messages from your boss, your spouse, and your auntie get the greenlight express into the Important department, but everyone/thing else is left standing on the platform. An equally worrisome development might be the determination of the algorithm itself. Would messages sent by Google Apps users, for example, be prioritized over an identical message from a non-Google customer? How to Win the New Star Wars The million-dollar question email marketers have to answer now is how to get their campaign messages into the right inbox. These tips should help: Add a \"Star Me\" phrase to preheaders or subject lines destined for Gmail users. Structure your emails to solicit replies (surveys, feedback, etc.) because the Google algorithm favors bilateral communications. Set up your signups to generate a \"make sure you star us\" box when your recipients enter a Gmail address. Micro-segregate your list for ultimate relevance, engagement and applicability. Provide incentives, incentives, incentives, and when you\'re done, provide more incentives (no, it\'s not cheating). Place this paraphrased Clinton campaign poster over your desk: \"It\'s the relationship, stupid!\" Go the extra mile to \"awesome-ize\" your emails... make your user want to star it. If Gmail\'s Priority Inbox \"personal SERP\" system is going to receive a thumbs-up from its users, you can bet that most other major email systems will be introducing their own versions. Thus it is highly advisable that email marketers begin getting ready now for this \"next wave\" of inbox challenges. Related Reading :  How Google May Affect Email Marketing


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