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Will Gmail's new tabbed interface affect Email Open rates on Newsletters ?

Recently Gmail has introduced a New 'Tabbed' interface that intelligently categorizes your emails into Tabs. The feature is pretty intelligent & categorises conversations pretty accurately. This really helps in getting your inbox uncluttered so you can focus on whats important..

Selection 015

The feature lets you choose which tabs you wish to enable from a menu of

  • Primary
  • Social
  • Promotions
  • Updates and
  • Forums

Selection 016While as an end user i am very happy with this new feature & love whats it doing to my productivity, I am concerned about its Impact on Newsletter open Rates

Impact on Newsletter Opens

As you well know, the open & click rates matter a lot in calculating the ROI & impact of your Newsletter. With the Newsletters moving to a tab of their own , the open rates are sure to get affected. In the thought process of designing newsletters, we give a lot of attention to the Subject line. It has to be able to catch Eyeball & make the user want to open it. Now the Subject line wont be seen at all at first.

As i see it, the tabs show the 'From Names' of the first 3 emails in that category. So you have to make the most of it. Make sure your From Name is set correctly & the user can identify with that. Now general Branding in all avenues will become very important if you want the user to open that tab & actually get to see your Subject line. You will have to setup a startegy that Identifies your Brand name with Quality Newsletter Content, Promotions & whatever else needed to make people want to open your Newsletters.

Another way might be to trick Google into thinking that your Newsletter is not a Promotion but something that needs to go into the Primary Tab. I havent really researched enough to know exactly how Google is handling to Logic to categorize.. But either way, i doubt that strategy would work in the long term. Google's algorithms are self learning & its bound to catch up with your workarounds.

What will be the Impact on J!MailAlert Digests ?

We havent really experimented with sending out JMA Digests & checking where they end up.. I suspect they will end up in the Updates tab if you have it enabled.

Have you experimented with this new feature ? Whats you take on this ? Join the Discussion & let us know your thoughts !

Update ! MailChimp Team's response to our Query on this

@MailChimp Any thoughts ? Gmail's new tabbed interface. What do you think will its impact be on Newsletters ?


Hi there, our delivery team has researched the early impact of the new Gmail tabbed inbox on the open rate of MailChimp campaigns, and you can check out their findings in the following blog post:

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