Email Marketing: A Hypothesis for Successfully Engaging Gmail Users

by Jasmin on

Successfully Engaging Gmail Users
It may or may not surprise you to know that consumers who use Gmail as their preferred email service provider are not as easily engaged as consumers who don’t.

I arrived at this assumption after reviewing months of data regarding very specific details about the recipients on our dynamic email lists. And, as it turns out, for every 10 Gmail users, an average of 1 engaged with the information, call-to-action, or activity included in any given email marketing effort. A 10% engagement rate may or may not sound all that bad to you, but the data used spanned over 12 months and included approximately 36 different email marketing tactics – you see where I’m going.

So, what is it about Gmail users that have them so stiff about engaging with email content and moving forward in the inbound sales funnel?

After reviewing the consumer profiles of 100 Gmail who are currently on one or more of our email lists, I was able to compile a short list of 4 characteristics common among Gmail users. Following that is a hypothesis for successfully engaging Gmail users with respect to the information preceding it.

79% of Gmail Users are Company Decision Makers

Compared to 22% of AOL users and 46% of Yahoo! users, an impressive 79% of the 100 Gmail consumer profiles reflected a user who was at the management-level or above, meaning they were is a position to make decisions on behalf of their company. With this kind of status, we assume that these Gmail users are more interested in hard-core facts and figures than they are about the more subtle marketing tactics.

61% of Gmail Users Prefer Email Communication

Sounds kind of contradicting, doesn’t it? Well, believe it or not, more than half of the Gmail users included in this sample expressed interest in receiving all information (requested or non-requested) via email. This includes everything from quotes to correspondence related to open or past projects.

84% of Gmail Users Consult With a Partner Post-Inquiry

Because we initiate verbal communication with every consumer who joins one of our email lists or inquires about services, we are able to pull a little more information about their decision-making process. From the information collected, 84% of Gmail consumer profiles reference a decision making process that includes collaboration with one or more outside parties. Of the 84 users that made up this population, 91% of them are not company decision makers, while 7% are decision makers and 2% did not specify their roles.

51% of Gmail Users Use Their Full Name in Their Email Address

Though it doesn’t seem like anything new, especially among professionals, the use of a full first and last name for e-mail addresses outside of company emails is an indication the consumer is probably serious about doing business. The 100 Gmail consumer profiles were almost evenly divided by users who did and did not use their full name within their email address. Qualifiers included those who did used numbers, abbreviations and titles along with their name or just their name alone.

A Hypothesis for Successful Email Engagement

It’s easy to see how achieving a high engagement rates for this particular group can be a little tricky; nonetheless, it is possible. How? Focus on the “other” details.

Hypothesis: If email marketing tactics focus on the consumer characteristics not commonly addressed, then Gmail users are likely to engage with email content.

That’s right. While everybody’s here to do business, the Gmail user may not want to be taken too seriously.  So, put some time aside to reviewing the client profiles of these users and see what characteristics you can draw from them. From there, devise 2 or 3 new email marketing strategies that will increase the possibility of getting Gmail users to engage with email content.


By starting with a general idea of the characteristics that separate Gmail users from other consumers on your email lists, you can see exactly what tactics must be employed to progress further into the inbound sales funnel. The most important thing is to provide these consumers with information that really matter to them, not only as a recipient, but as a busy professional and a person in general. Focus on the smaller details that may otherwise go unlooked in order to devise a master plan for getting through to the Gmail users on your email lists more frequently.

If you’re experiencing similar difficulties with engaging Gmail users, let us know the strategies you are using in the comments below.

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