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In April 2016, Google released three feature updates to Inbox by Gmail (not to be confused with the Gmail app for mobile devices) that let users keep better track of their inbox regardless of the email provider they use*. The update most relevant to email marketers is a feature named Glanceable Newsletters. This feature makes it easier for users to preview newsletters and click through to the article links within the inbox page, instead of having to click on the email itself to first open and then go to a landing page.
With this new feature comes the question: how are open rates affected? Is an email marked ‘opened’ once the glanceable section of the newsletter is clicked, or does that only happen when the user scrolls down to the “Related Items” section and chooses to fully open the email?
Yesmail’s Deliverability team recently attended the ESPC (Email Sender & Provider Coalition) Semi-Annual Meeting and noted the following remarks from Gmail’s team:
Based on these insights, email newsletters that already adhere to the best practices above are likely to receive equal or better engagement rates than they’ve generated so far since users would have an immediate and direct view of the individual newsletter articles.
Per the image below*, the Glanceable view makes the newsletter’s top three articles really pop out in the inbox view. An intriguing list of three articles will prompt the user to expand the view to then see the “highlights from the latest email”. This subscriber action registers as an open, even if the entire email was not viewed in the conventional sense. An important takeaway here is that marketers now have the opportunity to go beyond the email subject line and capture a user’s attention directly through email content.