Google Changes To Gmail Set To Affect Local Retailers
Several retailers and vendors would not go on record for fear of upsetting Google which they rely on for SEO rankings and email marketing activities.
One local retailer said email marketing has led to significant increases in sales for them; “we now send out over 250,000 emails a week and Gmail is a key email exchange for us, this could affect sales”.
The new Gmail feature separates e-mail out of a primary in-box and into their own folders.
The assortment of folders which are designed for different types of messages, including a main in-box and ones for social networking alerts, e-commerce promotions, updates from businesses like banks and mailing-list messages.
Google claims it wants to fix e-mail overload not stop retailer and vendor messages getting through to the master inbox.
Speaking to the New York Times, Ada Polla, chief executive of Alchimie Forever, a skin care brand said “I don’t like it,”
“My guess would be that you might log on to your Gmail 20 times a day, and look at promotions once a week.” she added.
Retailers, who have a love-hate relationship with Google, say this is the latest tussle in an increasingly contentious relationship. Google, they say, has effectively classified their messages as junk mail by shunting them to an in-box ghetto.
Another change, which could affect retail marketers in Australia is that emails hitting the Gmail server(s) are often delayed.
Whilst shoppers typically click on promotions within hours of receiving an e-mail, unlike on other services such as Yahoo and Outlook, Gmail users are waiting more than 24 hours, some email marketers claim.
Retailers also say the changes don’t apply to every business; Google’s own marketing messages from Google Analytics and AdWords have been appearing in the primary in-box – belying the company’s argument that the promotions folder is vibrant.
Alex Gawley, a Gmail product manager, said that there was “no special treatment” for Google’s own promotional e-mails, and that the algorithm was still learning how e-mails should be categorized.
“You’ll see it get more and more accurate and you’ll probably see those types of e-mails moving to the place where people expect them to be,” he said.