Technology platform changes. Marketers everywhere freak the hell out.
The latest freaking out about Google Inbox is reminiscent of last year’s freaking out about Gmail Tabs. It’s the same deal in social media land with Facebook’s algorithm changes, and SEO with Google’s near-constant tweaking.
And it’s a shame because, in my experience, good email marketing (as opposed to spam, bulk email, blasts, etc.) is actually immune to these changes.
So here are four reasons why we should spend less time panicking about the latest platform change, and more time delivering timely, relevant, brilliant content that our subscribers love.
1. Everyone does email differently.
I run on inbox zero. Or rather, try to. (It’s about intent, right? Like yoga).
Anyway, my inbox is basically my active to-do list. I archive everything and clip important to-keep things to Evernote.
But other people do email differently. Some use folders or labels. Some (who are, presumably, insane) never delete anything and swim in an ocean of emails-dipping in and out, catching some waves and letting others wash over them.
As marketers, the thing to understand is that – if someone is interested in reading our emails – they’ll make that happen.
So, please, let’s not go begging our subscribers to perform some boring admin task shifting us from tab X to tab Y.
Focusing on the inner workings of a person’s inbox can come off as intrusive and make our special snowflake subscribers feel like number-crunched click-through stats.
Platforms change. But if our content is truly valuable to people, they’ll keep reading-in whichever way is convenient for them.
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2. We don’t have a right to be read.
Okay, so at some point each of our subscribers filled out a form giving us permission to show up in their inbox.
But the ‘permission’ part of permission marketing isn’t encapsulated in that one-off transaction … it’s ongoing.
Our subscribers don’t owe us a thing (and neither does Google). So if we want consistent readership, we need to work for it, again and again.
Getting people to sign up to our lists is just the first step. To succeed, our content needs to be so good that subscribers will happily seek it out in the face of the next platform change.
Which leads me to my next point …
3. Don’t be distracted. Be awesome.
Freaking out about platform changes is a distraction from your real job.
It takes skill and dedication to be a brilliant email marketer, so don’t waste your time trying to game the system. Instead, focus on your craft.
A great place to start is with Vero’s 20 tips for dramatically better emails.
If you’re already putting tips like this into practice, then moaning to your subscribers about platform changes is selling yourself short.
Worse, it gives people the impression they’re doing you some kind of favour by reading your emails.
If you’re consistently delivering timely, relevant and brilliant content that your subscribers love, the opposite should feel true.
4. Google wants what we want.
Google, Facebook and the rest of them aren’t out to make our lives as marketers difficult.
They’re out to look after their users. (You know, our subscribers).
They’re working to ensure that people keep wanting to check their email inbox and read what they find inside.
Which means, believe it or not, we’re all on the same team.
As a user, I have to say I’m underwhelmed by Google Inbox so far – but as an email marketer, I’m excited about anything that helps my audience separate the wheat from the chaff and get at what really matters to them, faster and easier.
Because the emails I send people should matter to them.
If not, that’s on me. Not Google.