Gmail’s New Inbox Tabs: Marketers, You Can Relax

Gmail recently reorganized inboxes into several tabbed spaces.

Like Outlook’s Clean Sweep or Gmail’s already-existing Priority Inbox, it’s one more way to divide incoming emails into categories.

One of those tabs is “Promotions,” designated for offers and marketing newsletters. Another is “Updates,” for more transactional messages (receipts, bills and the like).

The bottom line?

Your Emails Are Tucked Behind Tabs – At First

Originally, they fall under Promotions – unless the autosorting system perceives them as Updates – instead of the Primary tab, which loads by default.



Those who buy from you and those considering purchases want what you have. They still want to see your emails.

They’ll come looking for you in the Promotions area. They may keep you there, or they may drag your email to the “Inbox” tab, where your future emails will land, right up front.



In Fact, The Promotions Tab Could Be Your Best Friend

Your emails will land among fewer contemporaries. This means less chance of mass-deletion. It also means a higher chance of grabbing attention.

Add to that the mindset of someone who clicks to the Promotions tab. I let my Promotions build up all day, since they’re not constantly peppering my inbox. When I’m in the mood to buy something frivolous, to scan travel deals or to read newsletters, I click to my Promotions.

I’ve chosen the time I “receive” the email myself. I’m in the mood to read them, and I’m in more of a mood to buy than I would have been otherwise.

I’ve chosen the time I “receive” the email myself. I’m in more of a mood to buy than I would have been otherwise.

Still, You Can Choose To Take Proactive Measures

To encourage the sorting system to get you into the main inbox, increase your readers’ engagement with your messages as much as possible.

Include links for them to click if you aren’t already. Even better, encourage people to reply to your emails by asking for their opinion on a topic or having them participate in a vote. (But be aware that even if the sorting system relocates you to the Inbox, readers can always switch you back, depending on their preferences.)

Finally, add a note to your thank-you page telling those who use Gmail that they’ll find your confirmation email in their “Updates” area.

If Sales Go Down, THEN Get Concerned

Common sense dictates that sales are the crucial stat to track. Sales are what bring in money.

Opens are great, but if they don’t lead to clicks and sales, their value is fairly low. If they DO lead to a drop in sales, let us know.

For now, we believe your opens will dip, your clicks will waver and your sales will stay steady – or, because of what we’ll call the “promotions mood factor,” perhaps even increase.

But as Silverpop’s Loren McDonald notes, “It will likely take 12 to 18 months before we can truly understand the impact.”