Excited about a 35% hotel email open rate?
Learn what happens with the other 65%.
A surprising number of marketers don’t recognize that e-mailbox providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com and others use engagement to filter or block your email messages, according to a recent survey by Demand Metric. This filtering has been going on for years. Many managers and executive level marketers managing email themselves are surprised at how many of their email messages get seen at all.
The story of what happened to all those unopened emails
Our imaginary resort guest, Anna Fofanna books a stay with your hotel and you collect her email address. Your systems send her a confirmation, which is a transactional email and is exempt from most rules, legalities and filters. She opens the email and her email provider detects that granting that sending email and domain a point for good reputation based on that interaction. If you did not send the confirmation using the same domain you use for marketing messages, you won’t get the reputation boost for your later marketing.
Fast forward six months, you’ve been emailing marketing offers to Anna every month. She has only opened one of those emails. Her email provider detects that lack of interaction and, in an effort, to make Anna’s digital life a little more bearable has rerouted your messages into a promotions tabbed inbox that she rarely looks at. Your reputation just took a hit. That process repeats itself across multiple recipients using that email provider and if things are bad enough, that provider send your message straight to junk.
Impact of the tabbed inbox
In May of 2018 Gmail introduced the tabbed inbox to 425 million Gmail users around the world. With “Promotions” being one of those tabs, email marketers everywhere were anxious to see how this would impact open rates.
Results of a study by Return Path surrounding the effects of the tabbed inbox.
• There was a slight increase of emails delivered for those who regularly open emails.
• Those with medium engagement saw a minor decrease in deliverability.
• Email users in the medium and low engagement groups received more emails in their promotions tab that they would have previously seen in their spam folder.
What could be worse than going into the tabbed inbox?
Things can get worse for the hotel marketer. Fast forward two years and Anna has abandoned that email account. Gmail has converted that account into something called a spam trap. Here’s how it works. You send a message to thousands of Gmail addresses and one lands in Anna’s old abandoned inbox. You’ve been trapped! This flags Gmail and if they get enough flags, they immediately cease delivering all your emails to Gmail accounts. You will never know if that happened unless you know where to look.