Gmail Priority Inbox - The End Of Email Campaigns As We Know Them

Google today announced another option for becoming more efficient in the way we handle our communications - Priority Inbox. For those heavy email users, this will (over time) likely get us back to focusing on content and less on process. Here's @fredwilson asking for access today:

Fred Wilson Tweet - Priority Inbox

So, what does this have to do with email marketing campaigns? Everything. I pulled this piece from Jason Kincaid's article this morning over at Techcrunch:

Email intros will become ever more important, because you’ll want to ensure that your message gets marked with coveted ‘important’ tag.

Ouch. It's challenging enough getting your message in front of your customer or potential customer. Google just made this process even more difficult. Over time, we'll likely see email metrics such as views and click-throughs remain consistent, then suddenly plummet as more and more people deploy their Priority Inbox.

Yikes.

Of course, this assumes there's a big chunk of your contacts that are using Gmail as their email solution. In larger corporations, this probably isn't the case (unless they've moved to Google Apps). But I bet we'll be able to put a rough estimate on those Gmail users pretty quickly (see before/after plummet).

The idea is great for users and over the long-run, will be great for marketers, too. We'll have to re-think our campaign strategies to keep our current contacts and implement new campaigns to acquires new contacts.

For those who have taken the quick road to building lists, this will be very painful. For others, this is simply another way to communicate with your customers and ask (plead?) to be marked as important in their email inboxes.