Lauren Kaye

Google’s SEO guidelines aren’t its only gateway to web users: The company’s Gmail revamps show its commitment to delivering the best online experience – even beyond search. Google recently found a way to integrate the same standard it applies to SERPs into email services. With new Gmail inbox tabs, Google automatically sorts incoming messages into three categories: Primary, Social and Promotions.

Do your messages still reach prospects?

The implications for marketers are huge. Consumer must take an additional step to view brand content that goes to the Promotion category, which is filtered out of their primary inboxes. However, a survey by StrongView in response the new inbox finds 46 percent of respondents are willing to make the concerted effort to check this tab at least once a week. Companies are having even more success with younger consumers, as a full 50 percent check brand messages weekly.

46 percent of respondents check the Promoted tab at least once a week.

Brafton reported 35 percent of consumers say they’re very interested in receiving emailed content from their favorite brands.

“The younger demographic … provide[s] insight into how most consumers will eventually interact with email marketing content going forward. Marketers need to take these changes into consideration when planning their campaigns, not just for Gmail users, but also for all consumers,” said Shawn Myers, Vice President of Marketing for StrongView.

Run a quality check from headers to footers

Even if the content brands have painstakingly created is destined for the Promotions folder, there are strategies that can keep their messages on the top of recipients’ to-read lists. According to Gmail Product Manager Alex Gawley, the key is quality content. Companies delivering messages that meet customers’ expectations will continue to see strong open rates.

Companies delivering messages that meet customers’ expectations will continue to see strong open rates.

Another way to rise above the competition? Craft headlines that grab recipients’ attention. Brafton previously reported that email messages with headlines like “Free delivery,” “daily” and “alert” outperform less-actionable subject lines.

The moral of the story is that brands can’t become complacent in any aspect of their content marketing. Every channel, from search and social to video and email require agile approaches to stay ahead of competitors and in front of target audiences.