Since Gmail rolled out their new inbox tabs, there has been lots of buzz in the market concerning their impact on marketing campaigns. It’s been about 3 months since Gmail announced their new inbox tabs so we decided to look at the total number of email opens per email sent to the gmail.com domain to see if there has been any change in the weeks leading up to and after the change. The short answer is there has been no significant impact to date.
One of the interesting benefits to Gmail tabs is that when a user is looking at a particular tab, they are consciously aware of the type of email they are going to read. While there have been concerns about drops in opens, by looking at opens per send we noticed a slight increase in some weeks. One theory is that while fewer people might see your emails, the people that do may be reading them more than once, because they have consciously gone to the appropriate tab and are mentally prepared to review and absorb a message that may be of a commercial nature, indicating more qualified interest.
One thing everybody agrees on is that only time will tell what the true impact of Gmail Tabs is for marketers. It will also be interesting to see if this same trend applies more generally for organizations using Gmail as their mail service with their own domain.