When the Promotions tab first appeared, brands who’d got Gmail promo’d panicked. They called it “Junk 2” and “the 2nd junk folder”, they spent time with animations in emails showing people how move the emails into their primary folder, had landing pages with videos.
Loads of bandwidth was wasted on this! People still went to their promo folder when they were in Promo mode, eg: in the evening whilst in front of the telly.
Then Google added ads at the top of the promo tab, initially disguised as emails: The email industry went berserk! Sprouting the law of opt-in and permission to emails. Except Dela Quist of course who said they were clever and there is more to come – how right he was, as always.
Are they emails are they not emails? Google changed the colours a bit, added a little “ad” label and an ‘X’ button and we all got on with our lives.
Reports came in about open rate drops in Gmail, email marketers were depressed.
Then Google started to auto-load images, Yay! something to be happy about; then we found that the caching was stopping tracking for all repeat opens, device tracking and location logging.
What will they do to us next they cried! There was sooo much drama!!!
Introducing the new imProved, Pretty, Pinteresty: Promo Tab Grid View
Loads of films in the early 2000s suffered from appallingly bad endings where producers were so unable to restore the equilibrium to be better than or even equal to the start of the film, they’d kill off a main character to make you think that anyone could die so by then end you were just relieved that no-one else died rather than disappointed at the shoddy ending. eg: Transformers – Jazz, Serenity – Wash: Yes Spielberg I’m talking about you!
Some say this was Google’s plan all along. In order to maximise it’s impact they had to make the promotions tab look a bit crap first.
As announced on the Gmail Blog it’s currently only in a field trial, Gmail are giving users to ability to turn on a classic grid view of the content of their Promotions tab to give them a better experience of their marketing emails.
Even though the grid view is not a new thing, it seems to have been made famous or at least cool again by Pinterest, either way it’s the first time it’s been in an inbox (or is it?).
Although it will make it easier for Google to slip in adverts, this is definitely a good thing. Google have even released details of what to put in your emails in order to customise the hero image and of course the sender logo is taken from your Google+ page.
If you want to try and get involved in the early days of this, sign-up for the trial and hope for the best.
If you just want to get ready, check out the dev code to make sure you have everything read to add to your emails going forward.
What’s next? Brands telling their users how to move the emails from the Primary tab back to the Promo tab, maybe a G+ button on the emails to help the brand on G+ maybe to even help deliverability?
Time will tell!
Either way, I love the fact that someone is being innovative with an inbox. It is the recipient experience that matters and our job to facilitate that in the environments provided.
(image courtesy of the Gmail blog)