If you’re a GMail user you’ve likely already heard of or may be using Priority Inbox.
Priority Inbox is a new-ish feature on from GMail that automatically sorts users’ inboxes into ‘Important’ mail and ‘Everything Else.’ I know, the feature has been around for a while but it seems to have stuck so I think it’s worthwhile to explore how it can affect e-mail marketing.
The abridged version of how Priority Inbox works is that it tracks users’ interactions with messages to determine which messages are important and which aren’t. In other words, if I consistently open new mail from companyx.com and click on one of the links, Priority Inbox will assume that I consider mail from companyx important. GMail has some more in-depth explanation but it’s safe to say that messages that users interact with are ‘important.’
I’ve heard some moaning and groaning about how the ‘Everything Else’ classification is just Spam Jr. and that it kills the potency of a campaign. My response? Deal with it. Yes, it’s possible that open rates may suffer a bit by pre-classification of a message but this is really an opportunity to enhance your results by focusing on the relevancy of your campaigns. We’ve talked about the importance of sending relevant campaigns before; this is extra incentive to do it. If Priority Inbox measures historical user involvement and targeted campaigns lead to more involvement then sending targeted campaigns will lead to classification of messages as ‘important.’
It’s time to dig in to your subscriber demographics and find a measurement that you can use to divide and target your subscribers. For example, if my company sells gears, springs and pulleys, rather than send a blanket email to all subscribers I’d get much more mileage out of smaller targeted campaigns that only sent information about gears to those customers who have previously bought gears. Subscribers who get a message that they perceive as relevant to them are much more likely to interact with the message. Include links to your other products as a sub-section of your message but if a customer only buys gears, the focus of the message should be gears.
ReachMail can help! Use the demographic filter tool to create mail filters that can be used to target specific subscribers based on one or more demographic criteria. For more info on demographic filters check out this post or head on over to reachmail.net/support and search for demographic.