New Gmail tabbed format encourages users to read more marketing messages

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When the email intelligence firm analyzed the early effects of Gmail’s new tabbed format, in which emails are separated out under various tabs including ‘primary’, ‘social’, and ‘promotion’, they found that users who are “routinely engaged” with email marketing messages are actually reading more of them – up 2.11%.

Meanwhile, among “moderately engaged” Gmail users, which make up the bulk of the audience, read rates dipped slightly (-8.3%) to 9.81% from 10.55%. However, this decline can be explained, in part, by the decrease in marketing messages being sent to the spam folder so, in effect, these users have received more marketing messages since Gmail’s changes.

“Clearly it’s too early to make a meaningful pronouncement about Gmail’s Tabs’ true effect on user behavior or email marketing’s effectiveness,” comments Return Path in the report. “Although the early indications suggest that most marketers can stop worrying about Gmail crippling their email response rates, there are two opposing forces that may decide how subscribers ultimately react to these changes: novelty and habit.”

Return Path’s entire report findings can be read online.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.