Please, Will You Primary Me?

By now, many of us with Gmail accounts have gotten used to the new inbox tabs. Personally, it saves me some time filtering between what is really important to read and what can wait. With all the daily deals I have signed up for and all the more promotional emails I get, it was getting hard to sift through it all. Oh Google, thanks to you I feel so better organized and my stress levels reduced…you’re always putting us first, thinking of new updates that will make us need you even more.

But, from the professional marketer perspective, Google has thrown us a new curve ball. Brands never had to worry about separate tabs before, the promotional emails from them were mixed in there right next to the birth announcement from your best friend. But now, those promotional emails go to the “promotions” tab…which many Gmail users are not checking as often as those emails in the “primary” tab. Open rates are dwindling. So, what are brands doing to get their subscribers to “primary” them? Well, some have tried to be creative with their copy — making it sound less promotional in nature and changing up their email subject lines. And recently, I have started to see brands directly respond to the new tabs and politely ask us to “primary them” by designing emarketing campaigns that walk subscribers through how to move messages to the primary tab.

Take a look at a couple recent examples I got from Macy’s and Sirius XM.

Now, Google hasn’t hid how we as subscribers can choose which brands we “primary”…they have been pretty open about how we can form this relationship. Here is a post from Google that explains the new tabs and category labels and here is another post that clearly shows us how to create our own tabs and provides tips for emarketers as well.

Google is always changing things up and keeping us marketers on our toes and while some marketers may be frustrated, I think we all need a little change once in a while to get us out of our same old way of doing things. These changes cause marketers/brands to have to think differently, find more creative ways to engage audiences and prove worth.

What are your thoughts on the new Gmail inbox tabs? Like or loathe? Think about it…until then, I will be sifting through my daily deals.