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Gmail tabs update

After Gmail introduced the new tabbed layout earlier this summer, everyone has been talking about what impact it might have on email marketers, whose messages may not end up in the Primary tab.

  • Will open rates be impacted?
  • If there is a drop, how big?
  • Could conversion rates actually go up – regardless of open rates – because people browsing the “Promotions” tab are in the mood for some shopping?
  • What can you do to deliver to the Primary tab?

New Gmail Inbox

Effect on open rates

Our Deliverability Team here at MailUp is busy compiling all kinds of data to look at what is happening to open and click rates for Gmail recipients. We’re seeing some interesting trends, but we decided to give it a few more weeks before announcing our findings. So, stay tuned for some juicy data coming in a few weeks.

Move me to the Primary tab!

As we mentioned in a previous post, one thing that marketers can certainly do to affect where their messages are being delivered is to ask recipients to move or drag-and-drop their messages into the Primary tab.

For example, my kids do a lot of swimming and we’re loyal customers at They recently implemented this very strategy.

Here is the message subject (“Gmail Users, Don’t Miss Out!): a good subject, although they didn’t have a good preheader as you can see from this screen shot:

Drag and drop me in Primary tab

And here is the message body, with a clear explanation of what to do.


You can easily do the same:

  • Filter your customers based on a domain: in MailUp you can easily do this by using a profile filter.
  • Create a message similar to the SwimOutlet message above (but make sure you use a better preheader to maximize the open rate, especially on mobile phones). The message should be short and to the point, with both a visual and textual explanation
  • Send the message
  • Place the recipients into a group
  • Repeat the mailing every month or so, excluding the group of those that have already been sent that message

For new subscribers, in MailUp you could also address this need by creating a triggered message, sent automatically to all new Gmail subscribers, N days after subscription (e.g. 10 days after subscription).

  • Create a triggered message sent N days after subscription
  • Apply the same Gmail profile filter mentioned above
  • Select the same message mentioned above
  • Done!

Contact us if you have any questions on how to do so. We’re always happy to help!

Searches don’t care about tabs!

By the way, when Gmail recipients search for a topic in their Gmail account, messages are found regardless of the tab that they are in, and their tab location is not mentioned.

For example, service updates for my Rhapsory subscriptions arrive in the Promotions tab, but if I search for Rhapsory, those messages are found and displayed regardless of the tab.


In other words, the new tabbed layout does not affect searches.

More to come!

Stay tuned for some fresh statistics on how the new Gmail tabbed layout is affecting campaigns sent through MailUp!

Liked this article? We have plenty more in store for you.

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  • vwbeetlvr

    I am sick of this practice. Your emails don’t belong with emails from my wife, end of story.

    • mailupinc

      You’re absolutely right that the Priority tab should only contain messages that you consider a priority. That doesn’t mean, however, that for some people this includes certain messages and promotions from their favorite brands. Cheers! The MailUp Team