Gmail New Update Featured
By now, you’ve probably heard about the new Gmail tabs (find out more about Gmail tabs) and may have some questions about how the change could impact your email marketing results.

Here’s what we have to report:

We’ve been monitoring our customers’ open rates since the launch of Gmail tabs to see what, if any, impact the new feature has had. For Gmail subscribers, we saw small decreases in open rates between May and June. We do not believe there is any need to panic. Given that Gmail tabs is early in its adoption, we’ll continue to monitor this in the coming weeks and months to see if there is any further impact.

Bottom Line: As we continue to monitor the impact of the new Gmail inbox, there are steps you can take to make sure your email subscribers continue to look for and read your emails.

Gmail tabs make it even more important that email marketers send relevant, valuable content to the people who have opted in to their list. Continue to listen to your readers, monitor your click-through reports, and take the extra time to get to know the people who are receiving your emails each month.

Ask yourself, Would my readers thank me for this email?” This is the standard your content should meet before you hit the send button. It’s also the kind of content people will take the extra step to discover, regardless of any changes Google decides to introduce.

In addition, marketers should proactively ask Gmail users on their list to move their emails to the Primary tab. This can be done by dragging and dropping emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab or by clicking the star next to the email.

We will continue to monitor this in the coming weeks and months and will provide future updates as they become available.

Here are some of the other top stories you should know about this week:

42 percent of consumers will abandon a purchase if they forget to bring their coupon

This week, Google took a closer look at the ways in which consumers are using coupons in today’s digital age.

As part of the study, participants were asked whether or not they had ever left a retail store without purchasing an item because they left a coupon at home. Of the 1,000 people who participated in the study, 42 percent said they had.

When asked about the ways in which they had redeemed coupons in the last 90 days, 90 percent said they had used an in-store paper coupon, with 69 percent saying they had printed a coupon off a website or email.

Respondents were far less likely to have used a mobile coupon, with just 30 percent having shown a coupon to a cashier on their mobile device.

Bottom Line: If you run a small business (especially a retail business), you know better than anyone how effective coupons can be when it comes to attracting new customers and generating repeat sales.

But as this data shows, there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to offering coupons to the people who matter most to your business. One of the easiest improvements you could make is encouraging customers to redeem their offer via a mobile device.

While it may seem like an unfamiliar concept to your business, your customers are likely already finding your coupons in the inbox or on your website via a mobile device. Why not save them the extra step and let them redeem the offer in your store from their phone or tablet?

It’s easier than you might think. Find out how one New Orleans retail store found a smarter way to offer discounts.

People are twice as likely to share content on mobile as desktop

According to new data from ShareThis, consumers are twice as likely to click and share content on networks through mobile devices as they are on desktop.

Over a 30-day period, ShareThis monitored more than 6 billion social signals on desktop and mobile.

Other findings included:

  • Facebook accounts for 60 percent of sharing on mobile
  • Pinterest is nearly 3 times more represented on mobile than on desktop
  • The majority of email sharing happens on desktop but rarely on mobile

Bottom Line: If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your mobile audience when planning your social media marketing. Mobile traffic on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest has skyrocketed in recent months. In the last month alone, mobile traffic on Facebook spiked 20 percent.

If you want to make the most of all this mobile activity, there are a few tips you should keep in mind:

•    Write short posts — about 100 characters or less
•    Use colorful images that stand out in the news feed
•    Simplify posts so that they are easy to engage with
•    Include clear call-to-actions (links) that lead to mobile-friendly websites
•    Create urgency, just not all the time

LinkedIn introduces Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn became the latest social network to offer brands the opportunity to pay to have content promoted to users with the introduction of Sponsored Updates.

This new advertising tool let’s brands target their content to relevant audiences as a way to generate interest and increase visibility on LinkedIn.

Here’s how Gyanda Sachdeva, product manager at LinkedIn, explains the new feature:

“With Sponsored Updates, what we are basically doing is giving them a way to go beyond their followers and increase their distribution. We expect our members to see more content from these companies, institutions, businesses, and at the same time give our marketers and all these entities a bigger channel to distribute this content and get in front of a professional audience on a mainstream channel like the news feed.”

Bottom Line: As a small business, paying for Sponsored Updates is unlikely to be on your radar today or any time in the near future. Sponsored Updates is a brand new feature and will likely be dominated by larger companies over the next few months.

But while you may not be dishing out dollars to sponsor your content, it is important to be aware that paid advertising like this is quickly becoming the norm across major social networks. Will this mean that those who are not advertising on a larger scale will be ignored? Not at all.

But it does provide an important reminder about the value of building an engaged audience for the content you create and share, regardless of the platform you choose to use.

New to LinkedIn? Here are 25 things you’ll want to watch out for when getting started.

Still have questions about the new Gmail inbox? Let us know in the comments below.

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