On Sept. 23rd, the team behind Gmail dropped yet another bomb in the world of email marketing with the release of its new “block” button. As the staff from Firstpost explains in their look at this development, this new addition gives even more control to consumers in the inbox by allowing them one-click access to a block feature that can completely shut down your targeted email operations. Before this tool went live, users would have to mark unwanted messages numerous times with a spam report to block an IP or “From” address.Naturally, this change is a good defense for consumers against actual spammers, but it also presents a few problems for legitimate brands like your own. With this in mind, here’s five quick tips to ensure that you steer clear of unnecessary blocks from Gmail’s new button moving forward.
Start off with Relevant Content
The best place to start, according to Target Marketing magazine’s Heather Fletcher, is with top tier content. While it might not be the tip you were expecting, emphasizing quality and value makes a lot sense in the face of this new block button. Users who aren’t interested in reading over poorly composed or unexciting offerings are more likely to just outright block your brand instead of taking the time to unsubscribe from your list – something that can definitely be damaging to your reputation with Google.By reinvigorating the message and delivery of your content with strong supporting visuals and fun, engaging content, you can circumvent this unwanted outcome entirely. Simply put, don’t let substandard content bet the reason why you miss out on this golden opportunity to connect with your Gmail following.
Make Unsubscribing a Breeze
Fletcher goes on to note that if these viewers still want to leave your list, even with great content sitting in their inbox, then don’t make this process difficult or confusing; it’s better to just let these readers go on their way. Not only will failing to have an unsubscribe button front and center in your marketing messages earn your brand a quick block button response, it could also put you in some hot water with the enforcers of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL.)
Only Reach out to Members of Your Contact List
Another way to avoid unnecessary blocks via Gmail’s new feature is by only reaching out to the people that actually requested your content in the first place. In her look at this tip, Jess Nelson of Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily blog explains that cold emails or any other unprovoked outreach is a big no-no not only with current anti-spam regulations, but also in terms of racking up spam reports and blocks from consumers.Too many of these responses invariably reduces your sender reputation score with Google, thereby causing your content to end up in the email marketing abyss that is the Gmail spam folder. Once you’ve hit this point, it’s a daunting task to climb back into the primary folder and redeem your reputation with Google and viewers alike.
Learn from Your Audience
If you do notice an uptick in your blocks as this tool’s usage becomes more widespread, there’s no reason to freak out right away. Nelson goes on to point out that this negative reaction isn’t a death sentence for your email operations, but rather should be viewed as a learning experience for your brand.By taking note of the type of content sent, as well as the message frequency and sending times, you can optimize and adjust the variables of your campaign to improve your performance in the inbox. It might take a little bit of testing and a healthy dose of patience, but if you listen close enough via these practices and other feedback from your audience, your viewership will have no problem telling you exactly what they want in an email and when they want it to show up in their inbox.
Manage Your Reputation Outside of the Inbox
Finally, you’ll also want to manage your reputation outside of the inbox appropriately. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when inquisitive new email viewers come away with no desire to continue interacting with your brand after checking out your site content, social profiles, and other digital presence.By staying active and offering value on these fronts, as well as via your email marketing campaigns, you can ensure that your inbox audience doesn’t get the wrong impression and head straight for the block button as they research your brand’s operations online. When paired up with the rest of what you’ve learned here, you should have all the tools and tactics you need to avoid any unnecessary backlash via Google’s latest upgrade to the Gmail user experience.