You can understand why small business owners and other email marketers get worried about email opens. After all, if a person never opens your email, they never see your great offer. No open, no sale.
And you can definitely see why these same people freaked out when Gmail introduced a new tab format to its inbox. Essentially, promotional emails were placed in a completely different tab or archived immediately, perhaps not to be read until much later.
So, it’s no surprise that conclusions could be drawn when an email analytics firm like Litmus says it has seen an 18 percent decrease in Gmail opens in the last three months.
No Rush to Judgment
But wait. There are a few things to remember before making any assumptions.
First, only about 7.75 percent of this decrease happened since May 29 when the new tabs were introduced.
Second, only about 19 percent of Gmails are actually opened in a Gmail account. Other users may open Gmail in Outlook, Apple Mail or mobile devices which may or may not support tabs, said Litmus marketing director Justine Jordan.
Add to that the fact that Gmail opens have fluctuated a bit in the past, from as low as 2.9 percent to as high as 5 percent. Though the trend has generally been upward, this could simply be another fluctuation.
As low as those numbers sound, opens can still be an excellent opportunity to build a customer relationship or make a sale.
The Size of Your Gmail Customer Base
In the end, Jordan observes, remember that Gmail opens only represent about 4 percent of total email opens and less than 41 percent of those occur in an account that supports tabs.
So, while there are certainly steps you can take in your email marketing strategy to compensate for the new tab fo, you may want to ask yourself how many Gmail customers you really have on your list.