Google announced today a new feature that categorizes e-mail messages based on importance. Meant to unclutter the ever-crowded inbox, this may pose some new challenges for e-mail marketers. From a deliverability standpoint, if an e-mail is delivered to the “non-priority” area of a customer’s Gmail inbox, it’s similar to being delivered to the spam folder.

However, small business marketers don’t need to worry. In today’s guest post, Melanie Attia, Product Marketing Manager for Campaigner e-mail marketing, offers three top tips to help you make sure your e-mails get through.

1. Remember the Big R – RELEVANCE!

Relevance has always been a golden rule when it comes to e-mail marketing – if you aren’t providing relevant information, your customers simply aren’t going to open your e-mail. Want to make sure customers with Gmail accounts mark your e-mails as “priority?” Provide them with relevant information they will want to read. It’s really that simple.

2. Analyze Your Results with Every Campaign

The reporting tool in Campaigner is designed so that you can get a sense of open rates, click through statistics, etc. Now more than ever you will need to watch these statistics – if you notice a difference, you may need to reexamine your campaign (see the note on relevance above).

3. Ask Your Customers!

For small business owners, any new obstacle also presents an opportunity, and Priority Inbox is no different. Use this as a chance to reach out to your customer base and ask them what they’d like to see in your e-mail marketing campaigns and how often they want to hear from you. Incorporating their feedback in future e-mail marketing efforts means that your messages are more likely to be classified as “priority e-mail” with customers using Gmail.

Overall, as e-mail programs like Gmail give users more control over how their e-mail is classified, marketers are tasked with consistently delivering material that customers will want to open and read. Though no two customers are the same (one may love getting daily coupons from a store, while another may find that a nuisance), the bottom line is that e-mails that are relevant and valuable have the best chance of being a priority read for your small business customers.