Getting your distributors and prospects to open your latest email message just got harder.
Google, which manages half a billion email accounts, has just launched “Gmail Tabs” which automatically organizes the inbox in up to five separate categories, making the user’s Inbox cleaner and, unfortunately for marketers, pushing mass emails into what amounts to an entirely different Inbox — relegating your message to a heap of promotional emails. Oh no!
The categories for Gmail now include “Primary” for the most important email (this is the one you want to get to), “Social” for all those social notifications, “Promotions” for sales messages and coupons, etc., “Updates” for confirmations and other auto-generated emails, and “Forums” for messages from online groups and discussion forums.
Our opinion? This will most certainly affect your open rate for email and forces direct sellers to become even better at being heard above all the noise. Since your recipient no longer has to consider whether your message is important, they become much more passive. Indeed, many may just skip the non-primary tabs completely, making them essentially inaccessible.
On the bright side, a new opportunity arises for those who can adapt and be more creative. If you can create a better subject header, better copy and more focused communications, perhaps your message can be noticed above the clutter in the new tabs, thereby helping you stand out.
Here are a few tips:
Alert Your Field
Ask your field and customers to “Star” your emails and moving them to the “Primary” tab. Gmail will take note and voila, you’re in the Inbox with a lot less clutter. Sending a friendly reminder about the change and offering quick tips to make your emails readable, your field will appreciate the heads-up.
Make Sure Your Subject Line Works!
The Subject is the most important part of your email – if it doesn’t grab attention it will be passed over. A third of recipients will open your email based on the header alone, so a brief, enticing subject line will increase your chances of a higher open rate. But note, attention grabbing does not mean SHOUTING, or using !!!!’s. You must intrigue the recipient enough to get them to open the rest of your message.
Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly
Today nearly 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Direct sellers are a particularly a mobile lot so if your email is opened on the phone, there is a good chance it will show up in linear fashion as usual and not get relegated to a tab. This means all your campaigns must be designed for mobile users.
Pay Attention to Time Sensitive Announcements
We expect users to change their habits from “sort & select” to “postpone” — reviewing lesser tabs at a later time. Thus, your time sensitive deals and announcements may be missed. Be sure to figure this into your email calendar and communication strategy.
Get Into Your Data
Email marketing is almost completely trackable and provides insights into exactly what your success is and what your recipients are interested in. You must monitor your data and adjust as necessary, continually optimizing your campaign
Email is an extremely valuable communication channel for direct sellers. Protect it and cherish it, and make the effort to deliver valuable, relevant content, and your field will look forward to your emails. Otherwise, your messages may end up on the trash heap forever.
Did you know we manage corporate email marketing for several major direct sellers? Contact us today and finally relax about email!