Once again, Google is flexing its muscle in the face of the online marketing world—this time, in the form of its latest Gmail update.Earlier this year, we saw Google shut down its in-house ad network, sending a laundry list of notable brands on frenzied searches for new homes. Then came the Penguin 2.0, the search algorithm update that forced a number of performance marketers to revisit and revamp their online advertising strategies and practices. Well, just as everybody seems to have become comfortable again (and operating within Google’s good graces), the Internet juggernaut has announced its plan to roll out a new layout for its Email client, Gmail, which will force Email marketers to rethink, and ultimately rework their methods, and possibly even kill Email marketing as we know it.
According to an article on lifehacker.com, the new Gmail layout will introduce a tabbed interface that will “intuitively” separate your Email messages into relevant, and clearly delineated, sections of your inbox based on your personal preferences and filter settings. Now, instead of having the standard Inbox and Spam folder format, Gmail users’ inboxes will be divided into “Primary,” “Social,” “Promotions,” “Updates,” and “Forums,” while leaving the Spam folder intact. While this new layout might sound great in terms of helping you organize your inbox, it does have some potentially threatening implications for Email marketers.
The scariest part about this update is that recipients may no longer even lay eyes on Email ads, as they will land in users’ “Promotions” folder—which is essentially a second spam folder—rather than their “Primary” inbox. In fact, for many users, a peek into the “Promotions” folder is probably highly unlikely, unless to empty it. However, on the bright side, having a special “Promotions” folder means that Email marketers’ messages won’t be banished to the spam folder, which does increase the likelihood that they are at least viewed, and potentially even opened and clicked.
While the implementation of the new Gmail remains to be seen, we can only speculate how this new interface will affect Email marketing campaigns. Will it help users identify more relevant, targeted, and desired Email offers, or will it be a death sentence for the Email marketing industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
For more information about the upcoming Gmail update, visit http://lifehacker.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-gmails-new-super-co-511765933.
Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.