Google has begun to roll out a new feature for Gmail called “priority inbox,” which is a solution designed to help users sort email from those they interact with the most. As an email marketer, you’re likely asking “how does this effect marketing messages and what do I need to do different?”
The answer in its simplest form is nothing, as long as you continue to follow the best practices associated with email marketing. “Priority inbox” is yet another algorithm Google has baked into Gmail, much like its spam protection algorithms, which uses information such as keywords, the people you email the most and your email habits to select the most “important” emails. These emails are then brought to the top of your inbox and marked as important so you deal with them first.
The algorithm is also adaptive, meaning users can manually mark messages “important” or “unimportant” to teach the system what types of email and which senders you feel are most valuable. While this seems like a blow for email marketers, it’s actually an opportunity for your messages to stand out from the rest. Ensuring your messages are as relevant and engaging as possible will make sure your recipients continue to interact with your brand, thus giving you “priority” as Gmail defines.
Email marketers who work hard to optimize their campaigns in terms of sending patterns and content should never have to worry about the introduction of new filtering algorithms or inbox enhancements like Google has just announced. In the end, it comes down to best practices and making sure the emails you send are the best they can be for your target audience. As long as you make sure each and every recipient truly wants to engage with your brand via email, filtering of any kind will become a non-issue.