Marketing isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of concerted effort to deliver a message to your audience exactly the way you want to. Between crafting attention-grabbing copy, finding the right method for delivery (email, website ads, or direct mail, for example) and using the perfect image that speaks to your brand, marketing can be a lot of hard work.
The top priority to anyone who’s in marketing is to make sure that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Like a strategic email to a customer going into a spam folder, for instance. That is the type of thing that will give any good marketer nightmares.
And just when marketers thought the coast was clear, here comes Gmail to burst the proverbial bubble.
Over the last few weeks, Gmail has rolled out a unique update to their user interface that has some email marketers running for the hills in fear for their livelihoods.
What Did Gmail Change?
Instead of just delivering messages as usual to your inbox, Gmail is now divvying them up into three different tabs: primary, social and promotions. The good news is you can add more tabs or delete all of them to get the original functionality back, but the bad news for marketers is that if you don’t return your inbox to its original settings, e-commerce communications like sales messages or order status emails might get lost in the shuffle.
Not only does that mean you may miss the opportunity to promote sales to key customers, it also means your established customers may end up less satisfied with your business overall because they are missing your customer service emails.
Because this Gmail update is still so new, no one is certain whether or not people will actually end up reading the emails that get sent to these new categories. They may, but they may not, and a 50-50 shot is not the most reassuring feeling in this economy.
The best thing you can do as a marketer to overcome these new bumps in the road is to become more knowledgeable about the new Gmail tabs, and adjust your approach accordingly.
Turn up the Heat on Your Marketing
Good marketing is clearly more advantageous than poorly put together sales messages, so don’t fret just yet about the new Gmail tabs. Instead, spend more time on making your marketing emails the absolute best they can possibly be. It’s still the same game in many ways, and you’re still competing against other marketing emails, so work on making your emails more engaging so that customers are encouraged even more so to read them.
In some ways, the new Gmail tabs might present a better opportunity for your marketing emails to be seen and opened by your customers. Whereas, before your email had to compete with emails from family, friends, and work, now, your email need only be good enough to beat out other marketing emails.
Just make sure you keep those emails engaging. Engaging marketing emails share three key traits: they’re honest, relevant, and conversational. Reading your email should be as easy for your customer as chatting on the phone with a good friend.
Think about diversifying your efforts. Omni-channel marketing may be the latest buzzword you’ve heard, but it’s not just a trend. It’s the next step in marketing and promotions in 2013. Maybe it’s time you take a look at launching that new Twitter or Facebook page you’ve been putting off, instead of continuing to put all your eggs in the email marketing basket.
The biggest thing to remember is to be strategic. No successful marketing campaign has ever been launched without taking the time to test nuances, measure their effect, and adjust based on the answers.
It may not be an immediate solution, but good solutions are rarely found quickly.
Take the time to figure out what approach will work best for your business, and you may end up thanking Gmail in the end for inspiring you to improve your marketing efforts overall.