As a follow-up to my previous blog post, I continued to monitor the Gmail inbox placement for ProFlowers over the past two months. And what I saw was a remarkable turnaround from the struggles they had in February and March, when they bottomed out at 26.1% around Valentine’s Day. Their proactive approach to restoring sender reputation with Gmail customers seemed to have worked as planned!

While ProFlowers continued to send out bulk email campaigns, they also started sending out targeted email campaigns to Gmail-only segments shortly after Valentine’s Day. Looking at a list of these targeted campaigns (with “Gmail” in the subject lines) pulled from EDS Analyst™, all but one reached at least 85% of the intended inboxes. The majority of them scored better than 94%.

Below is a screenshot of the weekly inbox placement rates for ProFlowers over the past 90 days, which shows marked improvements at Gmail since the week of March 19th. During that week, the inbox placement rate jumped from 35.9% to 71.8%. Two weeks later, the rate surpassed 85%. And the following week (and every week thereafter), the rate has been consistently above 95%.

Needless to say, the concerted effort by ProFlowers to focus on re-engaging their Gmail customers was a major factor for the improved Gmail inbox placement. In addition to sending Gmail-targeted email campaigns, another tactic they employed was to include a sense of urgency and exclusivity in the subject lines to prompt subscribers to further interact with at least one of the emails. Here are some of the subject lines they used:

  • Gmail customers, this is your last chance to Save…
  • Gmail Exclusive! Surprise somebunny special with Easter Tulips…
  • ALERT: Exclusive 40% off savings for Gmail customers!
  • Just for Gmail customers: 50% off!

Open rates for these targeted campaigns were also solid, ranging from a 15.38% to an excellent 35.29%. All of these numbers undoubtedly added up to a high ROI for their Mother’s Day email campaigns, especially with their Gmail customers.

What does this all mean? Companies need to constantly monitor their inbox placement at major ISPs to maximize revenue potential and not let customers slip through the cracks. This is an integral and strategic component of successful email marketing programs. A higher level of customer engagement translates into higher inbox placement, which turns into more customers receiving and opening the emails. More opened emails typically results in higher conversion rates and revenue. And ProFlowers has taken the necessary steps to restore and maintain their sender reputation at Gmail. While some of their competitors are still struggling to get into their consumers’ inboxes and losing out on potential sales, it looks like ProFlowers and Gmail have made up. It’s an impressive achievement in a short amount of time, and something other companies struggling with deliverability should take note of and emulate.


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