How Yahoo and Gmail changes will affect marketers

As you may have heard, there have been some recent changes made to Yahoo and Gmail email accounts, which will have consequences for email marketers.

In this post we’ll look at the Yahoo and Gmail changes, how they affect email marketing, and brands that are reacting to them.


Yahoo announced that as of the 15th of August 2013, they will start reissuing Yahoo IDs that have been inactive for over 12 months.This means the email addresses will become available again for new Yahoo users. An email address on your contact list may soon belong to someone else, and your email could be perceived as spam.

At the end of July, Yahoo started hard bouncing the email addresses that will be reallocated. This means you should email your Yahoo contacts before the 15th of August to understand which of the contacts are bouncing, and which will continue to be live.

Consider doing the following to try to reach the inactive Yahoo users:

1. Create a different message for Yahoo users

Ideally, your email will generate an open or a click through so you can understand if the account is still live. Your email should explain the changes about to be implemented, and should encourage the user to log into their Yahoo account to keep it current.

2. Capture a new email address

If you have contacts on your list that have not opened or clicked in the last 12 months, use a campaign to gather a new email address. Use as strong subject line to persuade them to open the email, inform them of the changes, and ask them to provide a new email address in your preference centre if you have one in place.

3. Prioritise those addresses

Send a campaign to those Yahoo addresses that have not engaged in the last 12 months as a matter of urgency.

4. Inform users on your website

If you have a site where contacts log in to access your services, include a pop up warning when a user logs in with a Yahoo account. If the email address changes hands, a new user could potentially have access to protected information.

Remember, and .com are not the only forms of Yahoo account. Look out for and addresses too.

As the number of live email accounts in the world increases, this will become standard practice for email clients, so marketers must have a strategy in place to deal with it.

Read more here: Yahoo releases un-engaged addresses, from today


Back in June, Google announced it would be rolling out its new tabbed inbox to Gmail users. The majority of Gmail users now have access to the new inbox, and have already seen how it manages your emails. Google changed the inbox in a bid to help users wade amongst the number of emails they received daily.

Gmail is now split into 3 main tabs: Primary, Social and Promotional. The majority of email marketing messages are filtered into the promotions tab, meaning the user may not see, or open the email if they do not check that tab.

This potentially had huge implications for email marketers, who feared their campaigns would not be seen or interacted with. A number of email marketers even organised a boycott of Google Adwords as a protest!

However, a Gmail user can now have more power of their inbox, and if as marketers, you are sending informative, relevant and wanted content, there should be no reason your email has been missed.

Retailers are taking additional steps to ensure their emails are not missed. See below for great examples:

topman gmail


Topman are instructing their contacts to take action themselves, so that they don’t miss any promotions. This is a great tactic, as it ensures the mail lands in the right area of the inbox.

coast gmail

Coast have followed the same pattern as Topman, by asking users to take action themselves. Currently, this is the only way that companies can deal with the multiple tabs.

Another example is from voucher and deal provider Groupon:

groupon gmail

The above templates get straight to the point, lay out the process easily, and tell the contact what they’ll achieve if they do take time to move the emails across to the Primary inbox.


To try this yourself, follow these steps:

1. Drag the email from the Promotions tab, into the Primary tab.


gmail 1


2. You will see the following message:


gmail 2


3. Click ‘Yes’ to ensure that any future emails land under the Primary tab.


gmail 3


Read more here: How Gmail’s new inbox will affect your email marketing


Have you seen any examples of marketers alerting contacts of the Yahoo and Gmail changes? How have you informed your own contacts about the changes?

Let us know about your tactics below or tweet us @Wired_Marketing

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