Friday, August 2, 2013

Adapting to The Change to Gmail Tabs

How do you feel about the changes to your Gmail inbox. Do you like how Google has separated your emails into specific tabs and made determinations on your behalf which emails go into which tab?

Some of your important and favorite emails may no longer be considered "primary" emails. Equally bad, your clients may not be aware that your emails are being filtered to one of the other tabs instead of your primary box.

It would be nice if Google allowed you to make your own custom tabs, however, they have limited you to only 5 of their designs described here in Google's words:
  • Primary: Messages from friends and family, as well as any other messages that don't appear in other tabs. Also messages from senders that you have previously starred.
  • Promotions: Your deals, offers and other promotional emails. 
  • Social Messages: From social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, gaming platforms and other social websites.
  • Updates: Notifications such as confirmations, receipts, bills and statements.
  • Forums: Messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists.

You can  instruct Gmail to automatically send emails from certain senders into particular tabs.
  • Right-click on this email (if it has been filed under the incorrect tab heading), hover over the "Move to Tab" option that appears in the pop-up box, and select the tab where you want it to be.
  • Alternatively, you can drag and drop to your choice of tab.
Gmail will then ask you if you want it to "Do this for future messages from []?" Click "yes" and future emails from that address will auto-filter into the Primary tab.

Google Ads

Included in your "promotions" tab in-box will be targeted ads that are designed to appear more like email than an ad. The idea, of course, if for you to click on it and hopefully buy something. These are ads from Google advertisers, which has been selected for your inbox based on keywords the advertiser selected match similar words or phrases in your emails.According to Google "Ad targeting in Gmail is fully automated, and no humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information"  It's all handled by Google's algorithms. The only way to stop these ads, at present, is to delete the "promotions" tab, however, the ads may show up in another tab in the future.

On the Good Side

If you like the idea of mail being sorted for you into specific tabs so you can more quicky filter through them, you may like this new layout. You can choose which tabs your emails will be sorted into. If you take a look at the promotions tab you might recognize many of email blasts and newsletter subscriptions. This can be helpful to have them all in one place so you can easily delete the ones you don't want and see the ones you do.

Disabling Tabs 

If you dislike the new tabs functionality and want to return to the traditional inbox layout, click the "+" icon to the right of the tab heading, un-check every tab box (apart from "Primary" which is a default) and your inbox will revert to the old design., for now, or until Google decides to make this new layout permanent for all Gmail accounts.

Help Your Customers Get Your Emails

To assist your customers in seeing your emails, send them the instructions or a link to this blog post, so they know how to filter your emails to land in the primary tab.

One thing we all know for certain, is that there will be always be change.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

~ Charles Darwin