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Google's recent decision to pre-sort Gmail users' messages by "primary," "social" and "promotions" tabs threw a lot of fashion brands. Email messaging is a strong mode of communication for online retailers, and now their messages are filed away immediately, relegated to third-most-important in the Gmail tab hierarchy—falling only one notch above spam. At the time of the change, a Google representative told Racked, "Gmail's new inbox is designed to help you manage email overload and take back control of your inbox."
And while consumers have already adjusted to their new Gmail layouts, brands are still freaking the hell out about the change. Google has made it difficult to game their system; if a retailer wants its newsletter to be front-and-center, it has to convince its subscribers to reclassify it as primary. TOMS, for example, had this to say to its newsletter readers yesterday:
TOMS would like you to know that they do not belong in the muckety-muck of the Promotions tab with those other mailers you mass-delete daily. "No big deal, but we're no ordinary company," they write. "Sure, we make great shoes and eyewear. But when customers buy them, we are able to give to people in need. We think that makes us more than a company. It makes us a movement."
While TOMS is being passive-aggressive, other brands like Kate Spade are going the begging route. "Let's stay together," they said to subscribers in a missive earlier this month. Meanwhile, Gap took a more straightforward route by simply explaining the change to readers and instructing them on how to change their subscription settings.
· The New Gmail Inbox Is Causing Issues for Fashion Brands [Racked]