Google made a major change to GMail last week and it will create a huge issue for email newsletters. Google introduced automatic category tabs, three of them to be exact: “Primary,” “Social” and “Promotions.” This means that now all of your incoming emails will be organized into these three folders.
GMail’s automatic labeling tends to label content-rich emails as “Promotional.” So now, email newsletters that people signed up for, and have an actual interest in reading, get organized in the same tab as spammy promotional emails. This makes it very hard for people to find your email newsletter—the newsletter they chose to sign up for—amongst the cluttered spam. Not only does it make your emails hard to find, but it also negatively affects your brand image.
What to Do
As of now, there is no way to fix this issue from the publisher’s side, but receivers can alter their inbox to fix this behavior for each individual newsletter. All the receiver has to do is drag the email newsletter into the “Primary” folder. A dialogue box should appear, asking if you would like all future incoming messages from that emailer to be stored in Primary. The receiver just has to click “yes,” and their newsletters will show up in their inbox without the company of spam.
There isn’t an easy fix from the publisher’s side, but perhaps Google will repair this problem. But, for now, it is important that you, as a publisher, utilize other avenues of communication in order to reach your audience. If you’re not seeing the typical open rates on your emails, you must reach out to your readers through other means, such as social media.