Understanding Gmail Promotion Tab Open Rate

Email Marketing

Have you ever thought about your Gmail inbox delivery issue recently? Why your inbox delivery to Gmail Inbox is less, as a result, your email goes in spam? In recent time you may have experience low open rate for Gmail Ids. This may be frustrating to some small businessman and service provider who have business depending on email marketing services.  Of course low open rate will directly have an impact on the lesser audience who check your email newsletters; as a result, marketing leads will be generated low.

Four years ago, Gmail shocked the email world with their solution to inbox overload—Gmail tabs. According to Gmail, 95% of email today is not worth to be delivered in the inbox. Only 5% emails are well qualified to enter  inbox section, rest all are either promo or spam emails.

When they introduce TABs, at least 99% Gmail user welcome the new features, but in Email marketing world, it had created a big issue in Inbox delivery rate. Suddenly email open rate was reduced to at least 50% or more. But time since Gmail users have understood the TABs options and they have now identified if and how Gmail tabs work for them. We will see now how does TAB option works for Gmail users comparing the open rate and read rate.

As per the graph, you can see that promotional email has read rate of 19.2%, which means your 81% of email received in the promotional folder are deleted or unread in status.  It may be shocking for some to know what read rate for promotional email is higher than primary Inbox emails. It’s often assumed that personal emails are the emails users really want to read. But actually, they aren’t read much more than promotional emails! Read rate for Primary inbox is only 22%! Which I think will not make any big impact of open rate and performance of email marketing.

You may be confused about open rate and read rate, what difference is between them?  Read rate means Gmail or other internet service provider marking that email as “read” because the subscriber had done some acting in that email. It can be understood when a subscriber scroll or click or flag ant message, then ISPs will mark it as “read”. But if the subscriber has not done any activity in the email than the ISPs will mark as “open”.

So after having the comparison of the chart on reading rate of promotional and primary, we come to the conclusion that email marketing is not affected by the Gmail TAB options.  So why do I receive a low open rate? Now, this is because Gmail has detected your email as spam or junk. You should first check the parameters below before sending them out.

  • Data source and collection practice
  • Poor bounce management
  • Poor complaint feedback loop management
  • Content issues
  • Poor data management
  • Infrequent emailing
  • Lack of authentication (SPF, DKIM)

You can also consider below points.

  • Where did your data come from? From organic sign-ups, competitions, purchases?
  • How was an expectation set in terms of how the address would be used and what would be sent?
  • Has any old data been reintroduced?
  • Has data always been well managed?
  • Has unsubscribed data been accidentally re-introduced?
  • Has the unsubscribed process stopped working?
  • Has purchased data been used at any point?
  • Are hard and soft bounces being removed?

So, at last, we come to the conclusion that promotional Tab or primary Tab does not affect our open or read rate but it is actually what content have you introduce to your subscriber? How they find your email with interest to read the content or just open or close it without any activity in it. So effective planning will help you to reach your goal through email channel.

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