Mr. Lefkofsky said in an interview Thursday that Google Inc.’s change to its popular Gmail service putting promotional email in separate folders had dented the effectiveness of some coupon mailings.
Now, I’m not a stock analyst, but email is near and dear to my heart, so when it starts moving markets, my curiosity gets piqued. Groupon may indeed have SIX BILLION reasons to blame its email decline on Google. But let’s take a look at how Gmail Tabs are actually affecting YOUR brand’s email.
What percentage of your email base is using Gmail?
If you are a brand or an ecommerce company, these days 30%-40% of your base is probably using Gmail.
Has there been a documented drop in email open rates since the Gmail Tabs rollout?
Yes, indeed – a few industry players like MailChimp have done studies that show a “small but definite” drop in open rates and have made recommendations on how to encourage your customers to move your promotional emails to the Primary tab.
At the same time, there’s another, much bigger trend on the rise this year – Mobile Email. Based on a recent report from Movable Ink, 61% of email opens are already happening on a smartphone or tablet for brand emails. According to Litmus research, the number is even higher:
A whopping 66% of Gmail opens occur on mobile devices,
The #1 email client for Gmail users is the iPhone’s built-in mail program, with 34% of all Gmail opens
Note the dominance of the iPhone Mail app and the conspicuous absence of Gmail Tabs from it.
Some mobile tips for ecommerce retailers:
Clearly, what will affect the performance of your email campaigns the most going forward (especially for Gmail) is whether your email is optimized for mobile. So here are some tips on what you can do to improve your mobile email performance:
So if your email performance is declining, Gmail Tabs are probably not the big culprit. The rapid changes in how consumers are reading email are causing a significant shift in what is effective. Make sure your email channel stays ahead of the changes. And, Groupon – how about some bigger buttons for mobile email?