In June, we told you about the potential effects of the new tab system Google put in place to help Gmail users manage their inboxes. At the time, many in the digital advocacy community were worried that the new email management system would relegate email messages sent from campaigns to forgotten tabs in users’ inboxes. This is the result of advocacy emails containing unsubscribe links within the content.
Six months later, it’s still too early to tell, but results seem to imply that the change has had little effect on open rates in the last few months. In the article ‘Gmail Tabs Not Slimming Email Just Yet,’ author Patrick Sullivan writes that the email service provider, MailChimp, “analyzed approximately 1.5 billion emails from three weeks before tabs rolled out and three weeks after. It found that open rates dropped from about 13 percent pre-tabs to just more than 12 percent post-tabs.”
Also of note, a research study from Litmus, an email testing firm, showed that 66 percent of Gmail users read their emails on a mobile device. According to the report, “though Gmail has an iOS app for iPhones and iPads, the most popular option, Apple’s default mobile mail, is used by 34 percent of Gmail users, and tabs are not supported by the default mail.”
While these results seems promising for the digital advocacy world, ultimately, more comprehensive data is still required to definitively say whether this has had a real effect on campaigns. Answer is- not much.