Email Marketing

Google launched a new Gmail layout which has been decreasing open rates since its announcement. The ‘new’ Gmail layout was announced by Google nearly 6 months ago. So what does this mean for your email marketing open rates?

There is no way to sugar coat this – They will more than likely suffer.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, we can start from the beginning. The new Gmail layout looks a little something like this:

new gmail layout

The idea is to separate your personal emails from your notifications and promotional emails. The aim of the Primary email section is to keep your most personal emails to your friends, family and others all in one place – without any notification emails or those of a promotional nature.

This layout is designed to remove your not-so-personal emails from immediate sight. But luckily there are some handy reminders of what and who you have waiting behind the scenes. Take a look at my ashamedly not looked after personal Gmail inbox, for example.

New Gmail Layout plus notifications

At least I am being reminded of emails that are being shifted from my Primary box. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that the open rates of emails in these separate tabs will suffer.

So is this why my email rates are dropping?

At Hallam, we send out a weekly Newsletter and were intrigued by these changes to the Gmail inbox and how this may affect us. We monitor our open rates on a weekly basis and had noticed a slight change. Before Google announced the roll out of the new Gmail inbox layout we were seeing a steady increase in open rates.

Here is a graph showing the drop of open rates we experienced from the date Google announced the new inbox layout had begun to roll out.

znewsletter graph


So far our open rates have clearly suffered, with a significant drop in open rates. Fortunately there is something you can do about it.

How can I stop Gmail from putting my emails in the Promotions Tab?

Unfortunately, there is no easy (legal) way or trick to make this happen. Legally you are required to add an unsubscribe button to the end of your promotional emails or newsletters. This is what will land you in the promotions folder.

Other than making your emails and the content of your emails better in terms of value for your readers and trying to increase your open rate in a more traditional sense – better subject lines and more useful and relevant content. You will need to ask your loyal readers to manually move you from their promotions inbox to their main one.

This is easy, and here are the step by step instructions for doing so (just in case you wanted to move your favourite Digital Marketing Newsletter to your Primary tab):
First, you need to go into the elusive Promotions Tab.

promotions tab


Second, right click on the emails you wish to receive in your Primary tab, select ‘Move to tab’ followed by Primary.

moving from promotions to primary
This should keep these emails appearing into your Primary inbox.


As for increasing your open rates over all, this is something you should test, research and work on. For more tips and ideas why not take a look at our suggested posts below.

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