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How – And Why – Google Inbox Could Save Mobile Email Clickthrough Rates

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Mobile email clickthrough rates are dropping. Anyone with a smartphone has done it. You’re checking your email for a few minutes – between meetings, during a commercial, waiting for someone who texted you that they’d be there but is nowhere in sight – and you start mercilessly deleting emails, one-by-one.

Anything that doesn’t seem useful is a candidate for the Trash folder.

And, as marketers are starting to find out, email marketing campaigns are often the first to go. Sure, open rates on mobile devices are spiking. <a “””href=”””” =NDYwNTc2ODE1S0″>Recent research from Epsilon shows that mobile open rates grew by 6.5% from the past year. But clickthrough rates are falling. Epsilon found that there was a dip of 0.5% in clickthrough rates (dropping from 4.5% to 4%) over the same time period.

A dip of 0.5% in clickthrough rates is no reason to start shouting that the sky is falling and hyperlinks are the main thing dropping out of the clouds. But this points to an interesting trend: it’s a lot easier to get customers to open mobile emails than engage with them.

Our own mobile device research has found that desktops are still the kings of user engagement, even if mobile devices now make up about 50% of email opens.

Email marketers have a hard time making sure that emails are contextually relevant to an audience that is constantly on the move. Google knows that, which is why the search giant is working on Google Inbox, an application that’s being developed with mobile-first email users in mind.

Magnificently Mobile: Google’s New “Inbox”

Clearly, user behavior is different for mobile emails. Google already knows this and that’s been the inspiration for the company’s new email product, Google Inbox.

In a Reddit Q&A, Lead Designer Jason Cornwell explained that Google Inbox was being developed as a separate application from Gmail:

The philosophy behind Google Inbox features

Google wants to make mobile emails easier to navigate, sort, and ultimately use. So what does that mean for email marketers? We covered some of the features of Google Inbox before, but let’s break it down again:

  • Multimedia. Google Inbox showcases multimedia (videos, PDFs, etc.) much more prominently in your email inbox – even if you don’t open the email.

  • Bundles. Instead of Gmail’s “tabs,” Google offers “Bundles” that categorize topics even more granularly, making sure users can automatically organize everything from bills to order confirmations and hotel reservations.

  • Snooze. Marketing Land notes that one of the more interesting features of Inbox is that users can “snooze” emails so that Inbox will remind them of the message at a later date or – if a user has entered the right data – upon reaching a specific location.

Mobile Email Engagement = Contextual Content

Contextual marketing emails that are relevant to people in the moment are the ones that are going to get opened and, more importantly, clicked. With Inbox, Google is creating an environment for the next generation of email marketing, when emails take into account everything from weather to mobile device, location to time of open.

Now, it’s up to email marketers to build the new kinds of personalized emails that thrive in that environment.

Want to learn more? Our latest eBook, Email Personalization 2.0, shows how brands have already started personalizing emails to respond to customer location, weather, device and more.

Email Marketing Personalization) In Email Personalization 2.0, you’ll learn:

– How brands like Airbnb, The Knot, ESPN and others are using email marketing personalization

– What kinds of customer data can be used to create better user experiences

– The different functions and features of email marketing personalization

Download eBook)

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