Everyone has their own unique system for organizing their inbox. Some people prefer folders, tabs, rules and more while others let everything gather into one area. These particularities have a huge impact on the effectiveness of email marketing. If your monthly newsletter gets hidden deep in a folder or even worse, sent straight to spam, even the best content will be rendered powerless. Google recently created a new look for its Gmail that includes multiple tabs to help better organize your inbox automatically. It’s designed to capture all social media alerts in one area, all newsletters and promotions in another area and help de-clutter your inbox. The only issue is what Google flags as “clutter” is often your email marketing piece! Here are several strategies to help prevent your email messages from being pushed out of sight and out of mind.
Be thoughtful about your subject line.
Clear and concise is the name of the game here. Emails with short (and compelling) subject lines tend to have higher open rates. And getting your consumers to simply open your message is the first major battle. Avoid using things such as caps lock, multiple exclamation points or odd characters that may set off Google’s spam alert and get it sent directly to the virtual trash can. Readers should know from the subject line what they can expect to read or receive and why this is a benefit. If your email marketing messages still get sent to Gmail’s “Promotion” folder, then the subject line must be that much more compelling to grab the reader’s attention at a glance.
Make them mobile friendly.
Nearly half of all emails are now read by phone so there’s a good chance that your email will also be viewed on the tiny browser of a mobile device. Be sure that your email marketing translates well on all screens and is as easy to read and click through as it is on a computer. Especially for items like newsletters or e-blasts, many people choose to read these while they’re standing in line, waiting in the doctor’s office or in riding in the car. With a mobile friendly newsletter, your message will be a convenient entertainment for your readers during the moments they have to really pay attention to what you’re saying.
Consider your timing.
Now with all promotional emails nicely organized under one tab, your readers will choose a time of day most convenient to them to browse through the messages in the area. It will likely be a time of day when workload is at its lowest or during non-work hours such as early in the morning or late at night. You have the power to schedule your email marketing accordingly. Try sending your emails at different times and monitor the open rates. It will take some trial and error, but adjusting your timing to better suit your audience will help increase your impact.
Know your competition.
Before Gmail’s tabs, your email was competing against every other type of message that could come into someone’s inbox – work, personal, other promotions, etc. Knowing that your emails will likely fall under the promotions tab narrows down your competition. You are still competing for your reader’s time. But rather than competing against far more pressing and important communications, you’re only competing against other promotions. In order to stand out, think unique. You want your message to capture the reader’s interest and offer them an immediate benefit. Choose topics that are new, innovative and unlike what your competition is sending.
Alert your audience.
An obvious but underutilized strategy is directly informing your audience of Gmail’s changes and suggesting a way they can better organize your communication. For example, your next email might include a short blurb in the introduction that offers helpful information on how to better utilize Gmail’s tabs and also insert a reminder to add you to their address book so they don’t risk missing any future communications. Combining helpful advice with a small ask will increase your chances of getting what you want. It will also build credibility and trust with your audience.
With ever-changing technology, it can be overwhelming to on pulse with all of the new features and how they will impact your email marketing. But keep in mind that the basics still hold true. A compelling subject line, quality content and building a genuine relationship with your audience will help get your message heard.