Do you use Gmail—or communicate with customers, clients or subscribers who do?

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by Dana on July 25, 2013

Have you heard?

Gmail just launched a MAJOR UPDATE. They will now be automatically sorting incoming messages into different folders–Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. (You may or may not be seeing this already, as it’s being rolled out gradually.)

What this means to you if you use Gmail (or Google Apps for your business email address)…

Going forward, by detault, Gmail will sort all of the email I send to you into your Promotions tab…right along with ads for Viagra and credit card offers… :(

I assume that you are a part of my community because you value the marketing, productivity and business-building tips I share—and I want to make sure you don’t miss any of my information because you may forget to check this random folder!

But not to worry…Gmail actually gives you options to change its settings into a format that works for you.

Here’s what you need to do if you have (or whenever you get) the filters…

Option 1: Move messages one-by-one back into your primary tab

To ensure you get the messages from people you WANT to hear from (like ME!):

1. Drag those individual messages into the Primary Tab.

2. Say YES to the pop up message that asks you if you want Gmail to put all future messages from that person into the Primary Tab.

(I’d also recommend checking your Promotions tab every now and then to make sure this worked…)

Option 2: Remove the filters altogether

Personally, this new functionality was driving me crazy, so I removed all the filters. (Yes, I admit to being a borderline control freak about things like this and like to have full command over how my emails are sorted…)

Here’s how you can do it, too…

1. Click on the gear button on the top right corner

2. Go into Settings

3. Click on the Inbox Tab

4. Next to Inbox, uncheck all the boxes except Primary, and then all your emails will go into your Primary feed…just like always..and everything will be back to normal! (Sigh of relief!)

Either of these changes should take less than a minute to make—so what are you waiting for?!?!

Here’s hoping I find my way back into your Primary tab… :)


P.S. Even if you don’t use Gmail personally, this will impact you if you communicate with customers, clients or subscribers who do…So be sure you write up an email or blog post like this one (just go ahead and swipe mine–I give you full permission) and send it to your peeps!


Matt July 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

What’s a little frustrating about this is that you’d think Google could (and it could, if it wanted to) compare messages destined for the “Promotions” tab with past OptIn messages in one’s Inbox.

Then the goal of segregating “junk-ish” mail could be accomplished without creating hassles for people looking for messages from senders to whom they have granted explicit persmission.


P.S. I use Gmail for my personal mail and just turned off the new Tabs “feature.”

Dana July 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I hear you, Matt…Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

Jill B Davi July 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Thank you Dana!!! Definitely saw my open rate cut in half this week, probably due to this. Plus, I wasn’t sure how to change my OWN settings, so thank you for spelling it out!

So helpful!


Dana July 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

So glad you found this helpful! Hopefully, most users will adjust quickly and you’ll see your email open rate get closer to normal soon… :)

Ellen Finkelstein August 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Although I’ve read the same instructions in many places, I don’t get that pop-up that asks if I want Gmail to put all future messages from that person into the Primary Tab. In fact, I’ve never seen that pop-up. When testing my own email newsletter, I send it to my Gmail address and it goes into the Promotions tab. No matter how many times I move it to the Primary tab, Gmail never “learns.” I’m sure that many of my subscribers are missing my emails, although I put a notice about the tabs in my newsletter. Why should I think they saw my notice? Also, many people get their POP3 email from within Gmail, so this applies even to people who didn’t subscribe with a Gmail account.

Dana August 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Hmmm…Not sure why you’re not seeing the pop-up…Is it possible that you have your pop-up feature disabled/blocked in your settings–and because you’re not able to do that, the messages continue to go in your promotions tab? I’m not a techie, but wanted to throw that possibility out (it’s happened to me before that I’ve had pop-ups blocked on my computer which interrupted certain functionality). Sorry you’re having a frustrating experience with this change…