Gmail's new multi-tabed interface is receiving a lot of attention lately. Many, myself included, speculated that open rates for emails sent from your organization would drop once the new interface was adopted. It may still be too early to judge, but some research by MailChimp into the open rates of 12.5 billion emails over the past year and a half suggests that we may have been right.
Before the tabbed layout, open rates to Gmail had been above 13% for 15 weeks. They never dipped below that threshold unless there was a specific holiday. For instance, weekday opens for Gmail fell to 12.5% on the week of Valentine’s day...
What bothers me in this case is that open rates stayed down for 3 consecutive weeks. From looking at a year and half’s worth of data, I can say that kind of behavior isn’t normal. I’m not willing to declare an emergency just yet. After all, I don’t even know what the adoption rate is on Gmail’s side. However, I would say this is an early indicator, and we’re definitely keeping our eye on it.
Read the entire article for the complete breakdown of this early look at open rates in the post-tab world.