What Google’s Gmail Update Means For Your B2B Email Deliverability

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Email Marketing

The new look Gmail was rolled out two weeks ago essentially making the static email inbox more interactive for users, but that could spell trouble for your B2B email deliverability.

After months of speculation, the big redesign was released April 25 complete with new features, functionality, integrations, and a sleek new look.

The new version is available and (so far) the reviews are favorable. One of the biggest changes will be the new integration across Gmail, which include much-used services such as Calendar, Tasks, etc.

It will eliminate the need for multiple tabs, allows you to view and open attachments without scrolling through miles-long email chains, and helps keep your inbox more organized.

A cool new feature being rolled out now is the “snooze” button. Think of it like your alarm clock in the morning – You get that one annoying email that keeps being replied to, or forwarded, and you can’t seem to dodge it. This feature allows you to pause the notification on a particular email for a given amount of time.

That way you do not have to continually get the bad jokes from the co-worker who hit “reply-all.” You’ll get a “nudge” (notification) from Gmail every so often asking if you want to reply, follow up, etc. This is helpful for those emails that clutter the inbox but aren’t of critical importance.

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Check out our additional related content:

Act-On’s Best Practices in Email Deliverability

Gmail has also taken steps to help with privacy and security. They will flag and send a warning for suspicious emails sent from your contacts.

For further security, take advantage of the “confidential” mode. Once this mode is rolled out (should be fully ready in a few weeks) it will remove the options to forward, copy, or print sensitive information from emails – you can even set an expiration date.

These updates should make Gmail even more user friendly than it is already. In my own testing, I have found the updated UI makes for a sleeker, modern look (with collapsing menus, updated typeface, etc.) and having the one-click responses and applications options is huge for email efficiency.

What it means for B2B Email Deliverability

So how will these changes affect email deliverability from companies to customers? Well as the changes still new and being rolled out, the exact ramifications are yet to be seen. But what’s good for Gmail users is usually not so good for marketers trying to reach them. And Microsoft, Apple and other email vendors and ISPs will likely adopt or recreate some of the features introduced in the Gmail update.

Gmail has always put a top priority on engagement, with the new feature additions, your content, reputation, and targeting needs to be as polished as possible. About 50 percent to 70 percent of messages in Gmail’s inboxes are spam, according to the company.

In the past, users could opt out using email links or the spam button in Gmail. Google’s adoption of AI and machine learning is reflected in the Gmail update with a new feature that prompts recipients to unsubscribed from emails they are not engaging with recently (typically, around 30 days).

If you are a sender who has a large unengaged base – this could cause problems. Think twice before continuing to send to a large unengaged recipient base.

Email Deliverability Best Practices

However, this and the other new features will also help marketers by forcing us to step up our game. Better experience usually leads to increased engagement. Follow email deliverability best practices such as list hygiene to weed out non-active recipients and those who genuinely aren’t interested in our offers.

Speaking of offers, A/B test of just about everything in your email from subject lines and sender addresses, to calls to action. Make sure your segmenting your lists instead of sending to just one master list. And begin considering adaptive marketing tools, such as segmentation, scoring and sending, that automagically determine who should be getting your offers, what channel they should be receiving them on (email or social) and when they should be receiving them based on that individual’s preferences.

To continue to navigate the ever-changing email world, it’s important to ensure your data is up to date, your content is relevant, and your practices are locked down.

If you are using less-than-stellar practices, now is the time to step back and re-evaluate how you are sending emails to your recipients.