This article is nothing more than a diatribe by a spammer who's upset that Gmail's new feature makes it harder to get his spam into my inbox.
And let me preempt the CEO of a startup who's sure to reply, telling me that THEIR product is good, and that THEIR users actually want to read the spam. Everyone thinks their special-snowflake emails are the exception, but that's almost universally delusional.
If you're sending more than a single confirmation email that the user has not EXPLICITLY requested then you are part of the problem.
Why else would a company waste time and money on life cycle emails if they didn't work?
They have a nonzero rate of return. You are hating the player, and not the game. Humans are error prone, forgetful beings. An email reminder can often times engage them into something they intended to do but simply forgot, or became too busy to complete. In this act of reminding there is also a non zero rate of pissing off end users. The advantages obviously outweigh the disadvantages or it wouldn't be done.
I shrug and move on. There will always be an endless cycle of advertising and marketing surrounding you. The entirety of the economy depends upon getting you to exchange currency for productivity.
> Today, lifecycle emails are the state-of-the-art in customer engagement. Immediately after a user signs up, they receive an email. A few days after creating an account, they receive another email. A week later, email; then a month later, email; if they haven’t logged in, email.
And thought this article was going to be about how annoying these spammy emails were. Nope, quite the opposite.
The CAN-SPAM act really needs to be updated to take into account a lot of this BS or at the very least some of the mail providers should provide more protection from this. Google has gone a step in the right direction in Gmail.
One rule I would love is that newsletters are legally required to be opt-in, never opt-out or worse yet, no option at all given. Asking users to set their email settings upon signup would be another good one. Forcing companies to add this step to their signup flow would require them to think wisely about how many dozens of types of emails they are going to try to inundate their users with, and only choose those that really matter for the user to get utility from their product/service.
Long term these tactics actually hurt the entire ecosystem because users become wary of the consequences of trying out for a service. TBH I'm getting to the point where I want the signup page to show that they make available a delete account page before I sign up. I don't like the fact that when I stop using a service that my information ends up sitting on their servers for all eternity. It should delete all information within reason and anonymize any information which has been recorded in places where deleting it will degrade the service for other users.
Also, aren't there some guidelines for what sort of stuff push notifications can be used for? This would basically seem to fall under advertisement (self-advertisement, I guess).
You read some of these outcries from marketers, and you'd think that Gmail decided to stuff all of these emails in the spam folder, never to be seen by anyone, ever. I'm speaking anecdotally here, but when I'm checking mail now I always tab through each inbox and review my new mail in each one. It's not as if the "promotions" or "social" inboxes have been blacklisted, I just tend to not care about the messages that end up in them (but I wouldn't care about them if they ended up in my primary inbox, either)
When I actually come across an email that catches my attention from a service I find valuable, what do I do? I open it (yes, even when its in the lowly "promotions" inbox). That doesn't happen too often though, because as is astutely pointed out, most of them are bullshit emails from services that I don't care about. Again, that's just my own perspective and I'm sure there is data to suggest lower open rates/conversions etc. since the UI change, but at the end of the day, the premise remains the same. Send me a relevant email that actually captures my attention, and I will open it (regardless of what inbox it falls into).
I as the user, am in control.
And I thank Google for for ranking my email for me, so I don't half to.
BTW, Gmail already had the concept of "Important" email that one could filter their entire inbox by, which I used a lot. While it's not as in your face as the tabs, it had the same results.
I have the Gmail app, iPhone's built-in Mail app, and Mailbox app. The only one of them that filters my email using the new Gmail tab structure is the Gmail app (which is not my primary mail app).
This also doesn't take into account that there are still thousands of businesses that are using Outlook to access their Gmail. B2B operations won't have to deal with the Gmail filtering as much.
There's no question that the new tab system has SOME impact but I don't think we can simply accept the numbers in the article as fact in all cases.
I'd be interested to see some numbers on the long-term effectiveness of such campaigns, instead of the short-term spike in return visits
EDIT: Focused on iOS because, as of today, that's still where the money is. From what I understand setting push notifications up for Android is far more straightforward.
Today: user signs up with website, website has access to user via email, Google is out-of-the-loop except to serve ads to gmail users only
Future: user signs up with website, website no longer has access to user via email, website has to pay Google to advertise to searchers
This will absolutely have an impact on AdWords and AdSense.
"SomeRandomPerson has endorsed you. Click here to find out what they endorsed."
etc. It is a invirtuous cycle of trying to essentially trick people into doing things that trigger these emails for other people (recall Classmates.com being an earlier crash-into-Earth example of this pattern). They're trying, desperately, to fight the fact that many people simply have no need to use the service with any regularity at all, so it becomes gaming about endorsements.