Hey! Read this Blog Post! Learning to Like Gmail Tabs

Keroes Heatherby Heather Keroes, APR

If you use Gmail as your email service provider, you’re probably accustomed to having one main inbox for all of your emails (except the Spam folder, of course).  But now, things are a bit different.


The image above is the new norm on Gmail, which has revamped its inbox into several tabs – Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.  To put it simply, Gmail is now sorting through all of your emails and organizing them by specific categories.  For example, an email from my Facebook account would automatically be sorted under the Social tab, instead of Primary.  By doing so, Gmail is not only deciding where you see each email, but also, it is determining which emails you see first.

The tabs are not mandatory.  And while I do prefer to sort through my emails and organize them myself, the new feature is starting to grow on me.  I’m not going to use this blog post to explain my likes and dislikes of each tab, but rather, to focus on one in particular – Promotions.

Have you ever signed up to receive a company newsletter?  If so, you’ll most likely find it filed under Promotions.  When Gmail’s Promotions tab “switched on,” many marketers jumpstarted consumer email campaigns, encouraging and (in some cases) pleading with their email databases to not keep them filed under Promotions.  Since, thanks to Gmail, this filing process is automatic, the consumer must make this change manually.


As a Macy’s subscriber, I received the eBlast pictured above.  There was no doubt that Macy’s wanted me to move them to my Primary tab.  Perhaps it was all of the exclamation points or perhaps it was the model with a Macy’s-branded megaphone … but in any case, Macy’s was clearly unhappy with the prospect of being relegated to Promotions.

At first, I found the process of having to check several tabs for new emails annoying.  If I signed up for promotional eBlasts, that meant I wanted to see them … right?  I was especially perturbed when emails from the Public Relations Society of America (of which, I am a member) and other organizations were also deemed as promotions.  This did not make me happy, but it was easy to rectify the issue by following the instructions Macy’s shared with me.

And do you know what I’ve realized?  I actually pay more attention to several emails, now that they’re filed under Promotions.  I can’t fault marketers for wanting real estate in the Primary tab, but I’m starting to like the new system.  Using Macy’s as my example again (I come from a family of lifelong Macy’s shoppers), I find myself paying more attention to their emails and not simply deleting or skipping over them right away.  Strange, isn’t it?

Category: Heather Keroes, APR, Taking Aim Tags: , , 4 Comments

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