I subscribe to a great e-newsletter a friend of mine produces. The other day it landed in my “gmail”:http://www.gmail.com inbox but appeared totally out of whack. Trying to decipher it was like a scene out of the “DeVinci Code”:http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode/.
So I told my friend and he forwarded my email to his agency and asked if they tested email formatting in Gmail. The response was “Gmail accounts are not generally included in the scope of our projects.” Excuse me?
That’s pretty shortsighted in my view. If there are already thousands of Gmail users in only a couple of years, what happens when more email users shift to Gmail over time? What if Google moves from Beta, eliminates the invite-only option and makes Gmail public? The floodgates could easily burst open. Cracks are already appearing…
I contacted my amigos at Google for a ballpark figure for total Gmail subscribers but was very politely told to go fish. They are not at liberty to disclose even directional information (which I respect) however one can conservatively estimate Gmail adoption is rising. How many people do you know with Gmail accounts?
Remember when Google offered loads of email storage space for free when other web based emails wanted you to pay? What if the G-men/women pull another rabbit out of their hats to shake things up in the e-mail space? Candidly, I wouldn’t bet against them based on their history.
It’s highly recommended to test how your website displays with various browsers be it the Internet Explorer versions, Firefox, Safari, Netscape and/or AOL. So shouldn’t the same theory apply to testing how your email diplays in Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Lotus Notes and other email applications?
Today Google mail may not be in scope. But what happens when Gmail or another web-based email end up representing 20% or 30% of your email database? Losing a ton of subscribers because your email looks like a chinese riddle is undesirable. Heck, even a 1% unsubscribe rate is undesirable.
You might as well have Gmail and any other email services you can think of included in your scope now. Your competitors probably have.