Gmail's Promotions lifts open rates up to 4%

Gmail's Promotions lifts open rates up to 4%
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Changes to Gmail’s email filtering and the introduction of the divisive ‘Promotions’ tab has had a positive impact on open rates.

In August to September one vertical’s open rates in Gmail were up by more than 3% according to Responsys.

The experience of Responsys’ customers is proof that the changes are “certainly not bad news” according to Asia Pacific vice president Paul Cross.

“We are not seeing any statistical differences in the performance of promotional campaigns into Gmail and if anything we have seen lifts by about 4%,” Cross told B&T.

While some marketers are up in arms over the changes Cross welcomed the updates.

Brands that constantly pump out time sensitive material may be impacted but for the majority Cross said the changes are having a positive impact on inbox behaviour.

“Some Gmail users may be shifting their behaviour and then looking at their promotional emails in a batch rather than piecemeal and what we are seeing from some of the open rate trends is an increase in engagement,” he explained.

“Because they are choosing to get involved in those messages at the right time rather than it being an interruption to other types of work that they are doing.”

The shift in behaviour sees consumers address their promotions tab during their ‘lean back moments’.

Therefore, to be successful, brands need to ensure they are not asking for an action that benefits the brand and instead one that benefits the consumer.

“This innovation really reinforces the relevancy message around this type of marketing that just pushing out endless content to consumers is not a path to success,” Cross added.

“It is about treating them as individuals in every touch point that you have and email is such a critically important touch point.”

Vertical open rate data from Responsys’ customers:

  • Consumer packaged goods + 3.81%
  • B2B + 2.2%
  • B2C + 1.9%
  • Healthcare + 1.15%
  • Internet Svcs + .83%
  • Financial – .76%
  • Retail + .74%
  • Publishing + .47%
  • Technology – .18%
  • Travel + .18%

The new Gmail now features the Inbox with personal emails, a Social tab with messages from social networks, the Promotions section with marketing material, Updates featuring notifications such as bank statements and Forums with message board notifications.

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