Technology

Lunchtime Links: Could Gmail's Big Changes Hurt Email Open Rates?

By / Jul 24, 2013 (YouTube screenshot)

How Gmail’s new inbox interface could affect email open rates. Also: Does your staff’s view of the organization align with your own? Survey them to find out.

Gmail is reorganizing your inbox. What could the changes mean for email newsletters?

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Gmail’s new look: Gmail recently introduced a new inbox system that automatically sorts users’ emails into three categories: “primary,” “social,” and “promotions.” But it isn’t just personal accounts that are affected. Email newsletter service MailChimp says the changes could affect your email marketing campaigns. Writing for the company’s blog, staff member Matthew Grove details an experiment he conducted to determine how the new interface might affect email open rates. “My sense is that Gmail wants all marketing email to go to the Promotions tab,” Grove explains, saying this change could lead to decline in open rates for communications like email newsletters. “For marketers who are trying to establish a personal relationship with their customers, this change can be frustrating,” he says. And there doesn’t seem to be an easy way around it—at least, not yet.

Ask your staff: As CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, Eric Lanke is used to making executive decisions. But when he set about the task of revising his organization’s mission and values, he decided to rope in his staff. He sent out a survey, asking staff members to comment on several issues, including what current values the association rewards, what values contribute to its success, and what new values could improve its mission. While much of the feedback was expected, some of the responses surprised him. “I am a strong proponent of the ‘always in beta’ concept for program and service development,” Lanke writes for his blog. But, as it turns out, “not everyone is comfortable with experimentation and risk-taking, especially in how those concepts are communicated and shared with members,” he says. What has communicating with staff taught you about your approach to leadership?

The facilitator: While directing a recent workshop for association leaders, consultant and speaker Jeffrey Cufaude made a rookie mistake. He cut short the time allotted for small group discussions right when the conversation was getting good. When he realized his error, he brought it to the group’s attention. “Collectively we talked about what had just transpired, how it could have been avoided, and how the attendees might manage similar situations in their own future facilitation efforts,” Cufaude writes for Idea Architects. Cufaude shares lessons learned from his experiences as a group facilitator, including making quick decisions based on the flow of conversation and allotting more time when it’s needed.

What are you reading today? Let us know in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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