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Yay or Nay to Gmail’s Tabbed Layout?

November 28, 2013

You might wonder what Gmail has to do with insurance marketing. If you track email marketing efforts, filtering is important for you.

The recent changes to gmail’s look, which include a variety of things, like new tabbing, has created a great deal of consternation. People have been logging in to find a whole new filtering system in place. Nice. Or is it? The system now sorts your email into three categories, promotions, social and primary, with the option to add forums and updates.

Supposedly, this lets users scan their inbox to see what’s there and deal with it when they can. In some respects, this is good, as you would, ideally, see those emails you need to deal with immediately, while other ones can wait for later. Call it a time saver if you will. Or is it?

Seems, according to a recent survey, that about a month after the new filter system went into effect, there was a drop of up to a full percentage point in open rates, a warning signal, but likely to be expected. People don’t like dealing with new things that have been forced on them. What will the long-term affects be? No one knows, until later.

Insurance agencies that track email marketing campaigns already know that customers filter their emails. They also know that not everyone reads everything in their inbox. Instead, they strive to avoid filters by offering something the recipient wants to read. Supposedly, those already reading your email marketing efforts will still find and read what you have sent. But, will they? And there in lies the dilemma.

The uproar centers around marketers feeling Google is cheating them out of readers after they worked hard to get them in the first place. It’s true, marketing insurance in an online newsletter can be tough and if you have an established mailing list that is fairly active, this change may clip your wings. They feel if it is not delivered to your primary inbox, that once delivered in another tab, people won’t read the messages, using the system as a spam filter instead.

It’s up in the air for insurance marketers, but one thing to keep in mind is instead of instantly reacting negatively to the change, take the time to assess it first. It may not affect your insurance marketing plans the way you think it may. Monitor the situation before making any changes and remember that people still want to read quality content (yes, content is still king) that is relevant to them and that users can move items from one tab to another.

Since users may move items from one tab to another, they are also asked if they wish to keep getting emails from the same person in the new location. You may not have an issue to worry about. If all else fails, talk to a qualified search engine optimization company with insurance experience. They know the ropes.