The Tabbed Inbox and Customer Engagement

The Gmail Tabs Paradox: A Disruption of Email Marketing Changes Little


The relatively low impact of Gmail tabs on marketing performance and user engagement hides a fundamental change in the way consumers experience commercial email. By shunting promotional messages into a separate tab, Gmail has effectively created a secondary inbox expressly for shopping, and consumers are using it. Four months after the widespread rollout of tabs left marketing messages a click removed from personal email, consumers continue to read them at roughly the same levels as before. Tabs have taught Gmail users a new and potentially more efficient way to shop from their inboxes.

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