Email intelligence firm Return Path has released a new report looking at the early effects Gmail's new tabbed experience has had on marketers. The company finds that users who are "routinely engaged" with marketing email are reading a slightly higher percentage of their marketing email now - an increase of 2.11%.
The study also finds that read rates have dropped to around 10% for Gmail users who have had a "medium engagement" level with marketing email (which makes up 88% of all Gmail users, according to the firm). Those with the lowest engagement level read far fewer marketing messages dropping from 2% to 0.4%.
The new interface was rolled out on July 22nd, and the data was collected a week later.
Here's a look at how the rollout impacted specific industries:
The report also notes that mobile usage could be minimizing the effects of the changes.
"Clearly it’s too early to make a meaningful pronouncement about Gmail’s Tabs’ true effect on user behavior or email marketing’s effectiveness," Return Path says in the report. "Although the early indications suggest that most marketers can stop worrying about Gmail crippling their email response rates, there are two opposing forces that may decide how subscribers ultimately react to these changes: novelty and habit."
"For many users this was the first time Tabs were part of the Gmail experience, and some may have searched through their messages to see which brands were rerouted," the firm adds. "They may not be as curious a week or a month later. On the other hand users that want to see at least some of their commercial email on a regular basis must now take an additional step to find it. That’s a habitual activity that develops over time, and as these users start to check the Promotions Tab as part of their regular email review, read rates may climb."
You can find the entire report here.