‘Welcome, your favorite email has a fresh new look.’
At the end of last month, after many internet rumors, Google officially announced its major Gmail update that brought with it features like self-destructing emails (yes, emails that will literally destroy themselves after a decided period of time), suggested email responses for users (also known as ‘Smart Reply’), the ability to put messages on ‘snooze’ before they’ve even been read, nudging reminders for unopened mail… and suggested unsubscribes.
While the UI of Gmail doesn’t actually appear much different, and some of the announced functionality already existed in some shape or form, the update does change things a bit for the Gmail inbox by bringing new security and intelligence features.
So, what do the recent changes mean for email marketers, if anything at all? Well the good news is, not much will be affected, but there are some things to look out for.
The ‘Snooze’ Feature – This new feature means users can actually tell an email to ‘come back later’ if they aren’t ready to take an action.
In a way, this feature benefits marketers as recipients have the option to choose a more convenient moment to devote time to an email instead of bypassing it or deleting it – for example, registering for an event invite, or being reminded to read the latest research on financial email marketing. However, this may also skew some data on open rates if your emails are going to those that use Gmail, as they would technically remain unopened by the recipient who chose to acknowledge them when they were originally sent, but snooze them for a later point in time.
Email Nudging – If Google notices a few messages sitting in a user’s Gmail inbox after a set timeframe, Gmail will now resurface the email asking the user if they’d like to reply. For marketer’s, this means a second chance at getting your unopened emails noticed without sending a reminder yourself.
Unsubscribe Suggestions – Gmail will suggest unsubscribing from certain emails via a pop-up message based on a recipient’s engagement with the emails (i.e. if a user hasn’t opened emails from the sender in over a month).
For an email marketer, this might be a little scary, but it is meant to help the user easily find the ‘unsubscribe’ option instead of the recipient marking your email as ‘spam’.
Note that frequency of emails sent is also taken into consideration, so if as a marketer you aren’t completely overwhelming your contacts, you shouldn’t be too worried. It is also worth mentioning that this feature isn’t technically as new as it sounds as it has existed before in Gmail’s app – ‘Inbox by Gmail.’
As for tips on how to get your recipients to regularly engage with your emails and avoid the unsubscribe pop-ups – keep your emails simple, scannable, responsive, and clear. Check out our research on what makes Financial Advisors read marketing emails.
How to Try it Out
The update is currently in the process of being rolled out via an Early Adopter Program (EAP) and is available for Businesses to start utilizing via their admin console. If a personal Gmail account is being used, users can try out the new updates by going to the cog wheel in the top right corner of their Gmail account and selecting ‘Try the new Gmail.’ The good news is, users can easily switch back to the classic experience if they aren’t a fan.