How Gmail's New Features Impact Email Marketing

May 23, 2018 | Email Marketing

Will your email marketing campaign thrive or dive with the new Gmail features?

New Gmail Features Impact

In stark contrast to Google search, which is updated an estimated 500 to 600 times each year, Gmail just got its first major overhaul in seven years. Seven years is almost half a century on the web, where tech ages in dog years, but the following new features are sure to keep the messaging platform relevant long into the future:

  • Snooze option for message notifications
  • Enhanced security
  • Confidential mode
  • New layouts
  • AI-powered smart reply options
  • Intelligent unsubscribe

The intelligent unsubscribe function, also referred to as a passive opt-out, is the feature most likely to have an impact on businesses. Based on a variety of factors, Google will now directly prompt users to unsubscribe from newsletters they aren't frequently opening. This presents a new challenge for digital marketers, but also an opportunity to re-focus on the use of best practices. The name of the game is engagement. It will be more important than ever to make sure you craft emails that demand to be read.

Here are a few strategies for optimizing email marketing campaigns now that it will be easier than ever for customers to opt out.

Quiet: Test in Progress

The passive unsubscribe won't be triggered if a recipient is opening your emails. This means you should be A/B testing every possible variable to boost your open rate. Do straight-forward subject lines work better for your audience or does a more playful tone work? What time of day are your customers online? Do different segments of your audience have different preferences for how they receive information? Testing and then documenting the results will increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Answering the Call

Gmail's new system rewards engagement, so you need to focus on making your customers act! Instead of relying on the old stand-bys, like "buy now," use your creativity to write a call-to-action that relates to your overall brand message. It's always a good idea to think about how your product or service addresses a customer's pain points. Frame your call-to-action as the solution to a problem.

Timing is Everything

Early indications are that if a user hasn't opened any e-newsletters from a specific sender in the last 30 days, then Gmail will automatically push an unsubscribe option. If a customer has gone 28 days without opening your last email, it's a perfect time to present them with a deal they can't refuse. Just make sure your content is oozing with urgency!

Some marketers are concerned that the passive opt-out feature will hurt their ability to connect with customers. But for the businesses that are already making an effort to provide consistent and valuable content, the new Gmail will actually help. Customers will spend less time combing through less meaningful messages, and businesses can focus on selling to the people who really want their products.

If you think you need help from the pros in navigating the updated messaging platform, contact Informatics today. We're happy to talk to you about how to talk effectively with customers in any industry.