Google’s new tab designed Gmail inbox has captured a lot of attention lately. Consumers have voiced tons of negative opinions about the new interface. That is to be expected. People generally don’t like change and that is especially so if they were not in on the decision to make the change.
However, the good news is that, over time, most consumers will welcome the change in the same way they welcomed the introduction of TiVo. Oh sure, there are those who like watching more commercials but I don’t hear anyone complaining about wanting more. The same holds true for promotional emails. This new layout makes email better. It gives consumers a choice of whether they want to interact with promotional emails or only those from Primary, Social, Update or Forum tabs. Additionally, it gives the ultimate choice of disabling the new system altogether and stay with GMail Classic..
The choice to disable the system would be like Felix Unger deciding to stay in Oscar Madison’s room (wow I just dated myself), or a neat freak deciding to live in a sloppy teenagers room. It’s not gonna happen that often.
Initially, the marketing talking heads were really up in arms and to an extent they still have not calmed down. To me their reaction is nonsensical. Before the change, great relevant marketing was getting lost in all the noise and clutter of an un-tabbed inbox. There are times when consumers are open to anything but marketing and promotional messages. During those times they are most likely to ignore marketing messages, no matter how good they are. When I am scrolling through my inbox most mornings trying to catch up on work emails or looking for an email from a family member or friend I don’t want to be distracted. In fact, I will clear away the distraction by deleting them. It is best not to get caught up in that process.
The good news for good marketers is that the tab system actually enables good marketing to stand out. I still look at my promotion’s tab, but when I am in the mood for sales messages. With the new system, the other types of messages are moved out, which means less clutter for relevant messages to resonate with me. Additionally, irrelevant promotions are more frequently cleared out by consumers, leaving the space more pristine for relevance.
I imagine some emails will get placed in the wrong category on occasion. However, weigh that against the re-invigoration of the email inbox and I think most will agree that Google’s GMail has found a better way for consumers and good marketers
What are your thoughts?