Is the New Gmail Email Marketing Hell?

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Custom content creators whose online marketing plans include email marketing and digital newsletters rolled their eyes back in late May when Google announced new inbox tabs for Gmail. This organized inbox now features tabs for primary messages, social media-generated email alerts and promotions. Many worried the “promotions” tab was nothing more than a fancy-titled junk mailbox. We wondered if our fears about Google inbox limbo were true or if they actually ended  up being pretty helpful for email marketing.

Dela Quist of The Guardian believes we have nothing to be afraid of, given Google’s brilliant marketing moxie.

“Google gives people an email platform for free for a good reason — to tie people into its range of online products. This gives them access to valuable consumer data for its search and advertising business. It’s important to remember that Google wouldn’t make these changes if it thought it would damage its core business and if it didn’t think there are going to be additional business benefits,” Quist writes.

Quist also notes that the new inbox is simply replacing traditional banner ads and allowing marketers to get inside of Gmail inboxes instead.

But not everybody agrees that this is a good thing. Gap reportedly asked subscribers to move its messages into their primary inboxes. We happen to agree with AdAge’s Tim Peterson, who thinks these new inboxes could challenge brands to get more creative and less spammy when it comes to email marketing content.

“Message with relevance and maybe they’ll mark you with a ‘priority’ label or even let you into their primary inbox,” he writes. 

Amen, Tim. Great email newsletters and interesting content will get in front of the right eyes — and read — regardless of what box it ends up in. We also think that the “promotions” inbox could eventually turn into a jackpot for companies that market directly to deal hunters (like former Groupon addicts).

Readers, give it to us straight. Are you a fan of the Gmail redesign or has it left you wishing for your old AOL inbox? Holler at us in the comments section!

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