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Fewer Gmail Users Are Opening Retailers’ Messages This Shopping Season

December 19, 2013
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Some e-commerce marketers are having a challenging holiday season, and they blame Google for it. A change to Gmail that relegated retailers’ emails to a separate inbox for promotions has had a big effect during the busiest shopping period of the year, according to three services that manage mass emails. And another change to Gmail, involving the way it shows images in messages, made it harder for retailers to track who opens their emails. Google says it made the changes to improve the service for users, and that the changes could also be advantageous to marketers. ...

 

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Preference centers are the foundation of a brand's digitally connected infrastructure. They help companies recognize and engage their customers, and enable consumers to digitally connect with a brand on their terms. Brands need to consider the elements of channel, frequency and content, and let customers choose their own unique combinations of communication with the brand. The CRM concepts of right time, right message and right channel are steeped in analytics to deliver a message sometimes even before the customer knows they want it. You need to start with what the customer tells you, however, and then layer in more data to reach a rich customer profile.
 
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Google's recent decision to pre-sort Gmail users’ messages by "primary," "social" and "promotions" tabs threw a lot of fashion brands for a loop. Email messaging is a strong mode of communication for online retailers, and now their messages are filed away immediately, relegated to third-most-important in the Gmail tab hierarchy, falling only one notch above spam. At the time of the change, a Google representative told Racked, "Gmail's new inbox is designed to help you manage email overload and take back control of your inbox."
 

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