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Gmail Tab Research – A New Report Explains How Messages Are Miscategorized and What That Means For E

At the end of 2016, Return Path published research that found Gmail users moving away from the email provider's built in "Tabs" feature. The inbox feature, which was added in 2013, automatically sorted emails into various classification buckets, including Social, Updates, and Promotions.

The report was based on data from a survey of over 1,500 Gmail users that aimed to determine how customers are using the optional feature. The most staggering statistic is the decrease in usage of the sorting function. In 2013, Return Path found that 100% of users had the feature enabled; in 2016, just 34% used Tabs.

The primary explanation behind the falling usage can likely be credited to incorrect sorting. "Email Marketers Guide to Gmail Categories" reports that nearly 10 percent of tabbed inbox users say that their messages were not sorted correctly.

This is potentially bad news for many email marketers. The research shows that 45% of tabbed inbox users check the Promotions tab at least once a day. While this category aggregates most marketing promotions and other offers, marketing emails accidentally sorted into a less frequently monitored tab are at risk to be missed completely.

The full report also explores inbox placement rate and read rate for emails in the assorted categories, and provides industry breakdowns that show what industries may be especially susceptible to wrongful categorization. You can read the full report here.

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