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Will GMail Tabs Hurt Email Marketers?

Over the last few days you’ve likely received urgent messages from email marketers warning of the recent GMail addition of tabs. The idea is that Google wants to help sort your email for you into what they deem Primary, Social and Promotions.

Gmail tabs

Many, if not all by now, GMail users logged in to find their email neatly sorted into these buckets. No surprise, but all of those email newsletters and other offers are going straight to the promotions tab making them a lot easier to ignore. Also no surprise all the alerts and updates I get from Google show up in the Primary tab.

Here’s the deal – marketers hate the idea, but users kind of really like it. So, guess what marketers. It just got harder to get your email read – even by those that really want it. As I saw in a note from my friend Michael Port, triple opt-in is the new double opt-in.

While some have objected over the idea that Google gets to sort their mail the typical GMail user will likely go along for the ride.

Marketers must teach their GMail subscribers to invite them into the primary box.

I’m writing this point in an effort to start that process but I also plan to email my subscribers to ask to be included.

Primary tab

Here’s how I plan to do it (feel free to copy this plan)

  • Sort my list to only mail GMail users – seems obvious but why bother everyone else.
  • Send them an email that shows them that they can simply drag any email from me that they find in the Promotions tab into the Primary tab and then all will show up there.
  • Show them how to change their settings if they like so that they can pick and choose what goes where.

tab settings

Don’t be surprised if you get a number of emails asking to be invited into your Primary tab. Of course, this simply means email or at least GMail marketers have one more reason to make the quality of their content so high that people will want to move it to a higher place.

Here’s the Google Help page on tabs

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