The Gmail inbox controversy continues.

Back in early June, I blogged about a change in the Gmail inbox that you are probably all very aware of by now – the separation of your inbox into three categories:  primary, social, and promotions.

The NY Times just caught up with the story, and has revealed that we’re not the only ones that are upset.  Big and small retail all over the world wide web is up in arms, and justifiable so.  (Read the article here.)

While according to reports from email service providers, there has only been a 1% decrease in open rates.  However, the article points out an even more serious effect this email segregation has had on online sales.  While people may be still opening  promotional emails, they are also doing it much, much later than they used to.  I know this from first hand experience myself.  Promotional Email now means Non-Important Email to me.  So I don’t click that tab until I have nothing better to do, when I used to do it right away.

And the article states that I’m not the only one.

But for an industry like ours . . . which fights for the same customers, there’s another monster issue with the lumping together of promotional emails.

Because now . . . your show’s discount email is going to be right next to all the other show discount emails in that promotional folder that your customer only checks once a day . . . maybe.  In the new Gmail format, why sure, open rates may stay the same, but we’re all going to face a different competitive environment as the promotional email tab acts like a discount bin at a record store.

And then there’s the theory that whenever a customer is faced with too much choice, they choose nothing.

Let’s hope The Times and Big Retail continue to complain about how Google delivers messaging, because even with all the social networking and other alternative communication methods we’ve derived in the last ten years, nothing, nothing trumps email.

In fact, I leave you with this tip that I learned from someone many, many years ago:

If you can have only one marketing goal each year . . . only one . . . make it to double the size of your email list.

And then tell your customers to make sure they drag your emails to their PRIMARY TAB.  (And that reminds me, if you’re an email subscriber to the blog, make sure to click it, and drag it out of Promotions and into Primary . . . just until I get Google to make a tab that says, PRODUCERS.)

How are you, as a consumer, interacting with the new Google tabs?  Let me (and everyone else) know below!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.