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BizReport : Email Marketing : September 12, 2013

Gmail's tabbed format a hit with young Millennials

Discussion surrounding the impact of Gmail's tabbed format continues, and new research reveals that young Millennials in particular have embraced the format and changed their behavior accordingly.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this year, email intelligence firm Return Path 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%.

However, 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%. Return Path believes 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.

strongview-logo.pngNew research from marketing software provider Strongview (formerly StrongMail) reveals that one demographic in particular has thoroughly embraced Gmail's new tabbed format - young Millennials - and they are changing their behavior accordingly.

Half of this group of 18-24 year olds say that Gmail's tabbed format makes it easier to manage their email (versus 33% across all age groups), and the highest percentage (12.5%) of those that check the Promotion tab more than three times each day fall into this age bracket. Across all age groups most Gmail users (46.4%) check the Promotion tab less than once a week (50% among young Millennials) and 4.4% never check it.

"Youth typically lead the general population in adapting to changes in technology," says Shawn Myers, VP of Marketing at StrongView. "As the younger demographic changes how they interact with incoming messages, they provide insight into how most consumers will eventually interact with marketing content going forward."

Other key findings from StrongView's research include:

- 100% of young Millennials say they have not lost any emails from their favorite brands since the switch to the tabbed format;

- 38.8% of young Millennials say they interact less with marketing emails since the switch to the tabbed format;

- PCs continue to be the most popular device on which to access Gmail among young Millennials (58.6%), followed by smartphones (34.6%) and tablets (11.3%).

"Marketers need to take these changes into consideration when planning their campaigns," says Myers, "not just for Gmail users, but also for all consumers as their behaviors change across email platforms and other media."

Tags: email marketing, Gmail, marketing, Millennial demographic, research

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