This summer, when Google introduced Gmail Tabs—a feature that automatically filters incoming messages into separate areas (tabs)—many marketers worried that their emails would stop reaching users' primary tab and wind up in a secondary tab, where they would be ignored.

It turns out they were half-right: A recent analysis by Return Path found that 90% of commercial emails now wind up in the Promotions tab, and only 0.3% go to the main tab.

However, contrary to some expectations, the study found that Gmail users are actively searching for marketing messages in the Promotions tab and reading them at almost the same rates as before the feature was introduced.

For some industry sectors, slight declines occurred in key email marketing metrics since the introduction of Tabs, but some large sectors maintained their performance levels, and a few even recorded higher read rates.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji