Is there no escaping Gmail, and the smothering embrace of its parent Google?
Gmail now has 1.5 billion users — 20% of the world’s population — and email marketers have little choice but to deal with its design quirks, changes and insidious blocking mechanisms.
Will Gmail will end up being the only gateway to the inbox?
One sign of Gmail’s dominance is an article by Sydney Mugerwa on Dignited.com advising readers on how to migrate to Gmail from Yahoo Mail.
The article is more about the fall of Yahoo than the rise of Gmail. But Gmail is the chief alternative offered to people who are tired of Yahoo Mail’s outages, its scanning of emails and by the whole Oath nightmare, in which old accounts were cancelled without ceremony.
Want to switch? It only takes a few clicks.
Mugerwa also tells people how to move to Outlook -- but again, reflecting reality, Outlook is buried at the bottom of the piece.
We need more competition in this business.
Not that Gmail is perfect. Take these tidbits:
A security researcher has created a tool that allows phishing artists to bypass many two-factor authentication schemes used by Gmail and others.
Gmail doesn’t work on the iPad Pro tablet — when dragging the Gmail icon from the dock, it takes over the whole screen and doesn’t allow split-screen views.
And security threats have been growing — not only for Gmail, but for every tech provider.
“There have been different kinds of phishing attacks, malware hits, ransomware attacks with over 90 per cent of cyber attacks have started with an email,” Times Now News writes in an article titled “Your Gmail account could be at risk here is why you should keep your Gmail account safe.”
Despite all these challenges, Gmail offers benefits for marketers — like Gmail ads.
“Now, I’m not trying to say that Gmail ads are as effective as your standard opt-in email marketing campaign,” Jacob Baadsgaard writes in Search Engine Land. “They’re not.”
What the ads do offer is a way to put sponsored messages in inboxes, accompanied by a green “Ad” tag. “Otherwise, they look like a new unread message,” Baadsgaard adds
And Google makes it easy — you can “create Gmail ads by creating a new display campaign in Google Ads and then choosing the “Gmail campaign” option,” he continues.
One wonders about those ads -- just how targeted are they? Google has promised to refrain from scanning emails for targeted ad purposes.
Google’s metrics and technology are first-rate, we’re told. But we wonder if Gmail will turn out to be just another walled garden.
We hope not, for on that day email marketing will die.