Are you a blogger, Internet marketer, freelance writer, or just someone who likes to get their email? Whether or not you use Gmail, you should be concerned.
Here’s why Gmail wants you to be excited about their new tabs. It’s supposed to help you only get the emails they deem as important in your primary inbox. The rest gets sorted in tabs for Promotions, Updates, Social, and Forums.
While it sounds good, in theory, it’s bad. For everyone. Here’s why.
1. If you want to actually see all of the new email in your inbox, you have to now check a total of five tabs.
2. If you have Gmail open all of the time so you can get alerted to new emails in your inbox, you won’t be alerted to new emails that are sorted into one of the tabs.
I currently have one new email in the Promotions tab and one in the Updates tab.
3. Want any email from a mailing list? It just went to the promotions tab, including that email you need to confirm so you can get your free download (such as my free, 8,000+ word Guest Blogging Survival Guide).
Email marketers (ie., anyone who sends email through Aweber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, and related mailing list services) should start watching their confirmation and open rates!
3. Speaking of the promotions tab, if you’re OK with mailing list emails going there, you probably won’t be OK with updates from local businesses you care about, auto reminders from health professionals (dentists, veterinarians, etc.), and even gift cards from Starbucks.
4. Working with clients who have product updates that you need to know about? Their emails are going to the Updates tab.
5. Depending on the topic of your websites, your contact form submissions could end up in the Updates or other tabs.
Best of all, when you switch to the new Gmail inbox, the emails in your inbox will be automagically sorted into the new tabs. So if you were saving particular emails in your inbox, they might have gotten moved.
6. Gmail is serving up their ads in the Promotions tab.
So much for the new Gmail inbox design being meant to help users…
Turning Off New Gmail Inbox Tabs
So how do you solve your new Gmail inbox issues? First off, you can shut some or all of the tabs off by going to your Settings wheel and clicking on the configure inbox option.
Then uncheck any tabs that you don’t want, or all of them to get back to Gmail as it once was.
Alternatively, if you like the new Gmail tabs, but want certain messages to come to your primary inbox, you can drag them from whatever tab the come into over to your inbox.
You can also do the opposite – if messages are coming to your primary inbox that you want in another tab, you can drag them over to your desired destination tab.
Educating Your Mailing List
If you have a mailing list, you’ll have to assume that many of them use Gmail. 49% of my Aweber mailing list subscribers are using Gmail. In Aweber, you can find out what your percentage of Gmail users is by going to the Subscribers tab and using the search filter to find emails containing @gmail.com.
Then, you have to remember that a lot of people may have other email addresses forwarding to Gmail, making that percentage even higher.
With this in mind, you’ll want to educate your mailing list subscribers on how to keep getting your emails.
You can start with a blog post just like this one. Then you can send that post (or this one) to your mailing list immediately to catch those who might not have converted to the new Gmail inbox just yet.
You can also start educating your subscribers from the very start by updating your thank you page with instructions on where to find your email when they subscribe.
Then let them know how to get future updates delivered to their inbox once they confirm.
Note that this doesn’t just apply to your mailing list. If you have an online store that sends out confirmation emails, a product that sends out update notifications, or pretty much any other type of email that you want to reach your intended audience, you will need to do some testing to see where those emails end up for Gmail users and educate them too.
Found this useful? Please share it with anyone you know who is using Gmail or marketing through a mailing list!