Businesses that sell directly to consumers love to automate their work. Whether it’s a regular postcard blast, outsourced call center, or an email drip campaign, staying “in contact” with a company’s sphere of connections has always been easier when it is scheduled, standardized, and managed in a way that takes as little custom interaction with individuals as possible.
While the lack of unique, personal interaction could certainly be criticized, it’s indisputable that many companies have been very successful at reaching a large audience at a low cost with email drip campaigns. The “set it and forget it” mentality is attractive to a busy marketing department, and even if it only creates a marginal return on investment, it allows salespeople to feel that they’re keeping in touch with their client base. Email drip campaigns allow us to reach a larger audience, at a faster rate, with much lower labor and financial costs than nearly any other marketing.
Enter Gmail And Its Ever-Encroaching Spam Filter
Google’s Gmail products are quickly taking over the email ecosystem. In less than ten years, Gmail went from an invitation-only beta product to the most popular web-based email in the world. With over 400 million users. the product is becoming ubiquitous for personal email accounts. It is also the fastest-growing business-class email platform.
In short, Gmail is the prevailing platform for consumers, and any business marketing to consumers must craft their contact plans around the parameters that Google creates. When Gmail first started, it had a spam filter like most other email platforms. It picked up a fair percentage of spam, but it erred on the side of caution, letting plenty of bulk mailers and generic content through to the user’s inbox.
More recently, though, Gmail’s spam filters have become aggressive. Google’s goal is clearly to keep a user’s inbox as clean as possible. The company has decided that a few casualties along the way are justified when the overall outcome is less spam in the inbox. This means that a far higher percentage of newsletters, customer update emails, and other drip campaigns are finding their way directly into Gmail users’ spam folders, never to be seen by the intended recipient