A recent study by Bluecore and NAPCO Research found that Gmail is the preferred email provider of choice for consumers of all ages. Although it’s important to understand which provides your customers are using for optimization purposes, Gmail in particular has a unique way in which users read and sort their messages.
Back in 2013, Gmail began separating email into tabs: Primary, Social, and Promotions. The rationale for the update was that separating emails into tabs would make it easier for users to process and organize their inboxes. With the change came predictions that users would dislike the tabs and switch back to the non-tabbed interface in droves.
Most Gmail users still use the “Promotions” tab
Instead, we found that 64% of Gmail users still use the “Promotions” tab today, with Millennials (70%) and Generation Z (73%) being the most active users.
If you use Gmail, do you use the “Promotions” tab to filter emails from retailers?
Most consumers check the promotions tab at least daily
Along with predictions about consumers’ response to the new tabbed interface came predictions about the death of promotional emails. Articles with titles like “How To Survive the Gmail Tabs Marketing Apocalypse” described a coming disaster for marketers, painting a picture of the Promotions tab becoming a vast, barren email wasteland, leaving marketers to scavenge for scraps in other channels.
In reality, several years after the change, consumers check the Gmail Promotions tab frequently: 47% of all survey respondents do so at least daily, while 53% of Millennials check it at least once per day.
How often do you check the Gmail “Promotions” tab?
This suggests the Gmail Promotions tab may actually be a good thing for retailers’ most engaged audiences. When promotional emails come into a central mailbox, users are inclined to skip over them in the course of daily mailbox management.
By engaging frequently with the Gmail Promotions tab, consumers are intentionally interacting with promotional content. Rather than skimming past it in a central mailbox, they are more inclined to fully consume and engage with it. In short, they’re proactively looking for – and controlling when they see – retailer news, promotions and discounts in this tab.