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Oh, Gmail … What to do With the New Tabs?

Google is at it again! The company is making some major changes, and this time it’s with Gmail. Gmail users may have noticed their inboxes are now categorized into 3 different tabs: Primary, Social, and Promotions. “Designed to make your inbox more approachable, tabs organize your incoming mail into categories, giving you an at-a-glance look at what’s new,” according to Really, it is up to you whether this new organization system makes your inbox more approachable or just plain annoying. After reading plenty of reviews, I’d say the consensus seems to be split: people either love it or hate it.

Here’s my take on it from an email marketing perspective and as a consumer:

As an email marketer

It’s a little scary, and I’m expecting to see open rates decline slightly. However, not every email subscriber has a Gmail account, so it’s not the end of the world.

And truthfully, the glass is half full for me. This new organization is a wakeup call and should be for all email marketers. It’s time to really focus on what your readers want to know about, not what you want to tell your readers. Engage the readers by sending relevant information and incentives because, after all, that’s why they signed up to receive email marketing from your business. And don’t be scared to ask them what they want to read about. They will appreciate it, and doing so will build trust between the reader and your brand.

Gmail’s new feature is a friendly reminder or nudge (depending on how you want to look at it) to get your email marketing on a consistent schedule. Doing so trains your readers when to expect your emails, therefore checking the promotions tab more often.

Call me an optimist, but I’m not afraid of you, Google, or your crazy organization skills.

As a consumer

When I first signed in to my account last month, I was upset to see that everything looked different. I’m a creature of habit — what can I say? However, it’s been weeks and I still haven’t gone back to the old format, so I must not hate it that much. When I check Gmail on my phone the original format still exists (I don’t use the Gmail app), so all emails show up for me in the general inbox. The desktop version is highly organized, and I’ve made it a habit to check the promotions tab on a daily basis.

If this organization really isn’t your cup of tea, it’s easy to switch back to the old version. Simply drag the email you want to be delivered back to the primary tab and click yes in the yellow pop-up box. Wasn’t that easy? Now every time you receive an email from that sender, it will show up in the inbox. Or, you can click that little plus sign to the right of your tabs and then use the checkboxes to turn off any tabs you don’t want.

In closing, take charge of your inbox and remove yourself from subscriber lists you no longer want to be part of. Turn your promotions tab into what you want it to be, and I bet you will check it more often.

So, do you love it or hate it?

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