Gmail accounts for 26% of all email opens and that’s a lot of Inbox space for marketers to consider.
With Gmail’s new makeover, there’s a lot that’s going to change for marketers and businesses and it only makes sense to know how your email marketing is going to be affected.
As we see it, here are a few changes that you have to consider, things you have to do and a little help to plan your email marketing to navigate Gmail better:
Gmail gets smarter
The new Gmail will come equipped with snooze functions, a layer of “intelligence” to help users manage their inboxes, instant access to Google’s tools (such as tasks, keep, and calendar), smart reply integrations; more power to users with managing notifications…and so much more.
In effect, Gmail is getting smarter and consumers are getting bombarded with more and more emails from merchants and brands.
What does that tell you? Be really good with your email marketing or risk getting drowned in the sea of emails that customers will choose to avoid. Or maybe you’ll just be unsubscribed.
Email delivery plays a large part in your marketing efforts, and your email won’t be delivered if it seems like it’s not coming from a trusted source. Email authentication helps ISPs verify the identity of the senders so as to ensure that you are always marketed as a trusted sender.
The smarter spammers get about phishing, spamming, and hacking, the more the need for email authentication.
Gmail, even when it launched about a decade ago, raised stakes on email authentication. Kyle Henrick of Marketing land writes:
To reduce the risk of non-delivery to Gmail users, marketers will need to pay close attention to authentication protocols. Specifically, it’s important to know that the forms of email authentication Google recognizes include Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), Domain Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) and Transport Layer Security Encryption (TLS).
The promotion tab
The promotion tab within Gmail has long been the average marketer’s nightmare. Countless days and nights have been spent agonizing over the Promotion Tab and how not to end up there. While this was Google’s way to ensure that users’ Inbox is kept-clutter free, for marketers, it’s a nightmare.
Kevin Lynch of Insfusionsoft suggests “asking” users to “whitelist” your email address. Beyond that, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Don’t use images within your emails. They are the first things Gmail is looking for when it’s trying to decide which tab the email should be assigned to.
- Don’t overdo links within an email. Keep it to a maximum of two links, while one link is recommended.
- Make the email look like it’s coming from “you,” a person and not a brand or a company.
- Avoid HTML-based emails.
- Don’t use links to social media (again, more links will trigger Gmail’s guard).
Now that Gmail is getting more intelligent, following the tips above makes sense for you today.
Unsubscribing is now recommended
Gmail’s motive is to ensure that Gmail users have a pleasant experience while using Gmail. Google wants to make it really easy to track shipments, stay on top of your travel plans, allow you to book tickets for events (or for travel) from within Gmail, and make it easy for you to stay on top of tasks, meetings, and more.
Your goal, however, is to nurture your leads, to provide value to them, and to eventually sell. Your mainstay for achieving this has always been email newsletters and messages but the new Gmail’s avatar is going to make it “easy” for subscribers to “unsubscribe”
Goomojis are gone
Gmail is taking away support for Google’s emojis (also called as Goomojis). If you – as a business or as a marketer – enjoyed using emojis into your email subject lines and email body copy, you’ll be in for a rude shock, at worst, and you’ll provide an inconsistent emoji experience, at best, since Gmail will now use the native emojis on Users’ respective operating systems (OS or Windows).
If and when you use emojis now – the emojis will show up all weird. Sure, you can still use emojis – but what’s the ROI given that it’s not going to be what you expected it to be?
Get better at providing value
Want a singular way to ensure that you don’t have to worry about in which tab of Gmail your email lands, or whether or not your emails stand the risk of being unsubscribed?
It’s this: provide value in your emails.
Be sure to send out value in “drips” so that your subscribers can’t stay away from your emails. Your messages have so much value that your subscribers would have happily paid for each of those emails (but it’s just that they are free).
The more valuable your emails are, the higher the likelihood that your emails are not forgotten. Your subscribers will look forward to receiving emails from you.
Aim to teach, educate, and inspire.
How do you think your email marketing efforts are going to be affected by Gmail’s new changes?
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