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Google Launches Gmail Tabs: Regain Control of Your Inbox

Do you use email marketing to stay in touch with your prospects and clients?

Do you like getting emails from certain companies that provide great education based marketing content that you want to stay up to date on?

If so, this change will affect you. 

In an effort to help make your crowed inbox more manageable, changes to Gmail have recently been rolled out with a major change to the entire Google mail platform. Certainly no one can accuse Google of not regularly updating and adding new features to Gmail.

This latest update has created 5 different Gmail Tabs for your inbox (Primary, Social, Promotion, Updates and Forums) that Google sorts your email into.

Unfortunately, this newest change may prove as troublesome as helpful if you do any email marketing. It will make it difficult for the people on your email list to find emails or regular newsletters they have have signed up for. This means for user that it will be more difficult for them to find your regular newsletters or email updates as they may be sent to their Promotions inbox and miss their Primary inbox altogether.

The same is true for you if you use Gmail or Google Apps as it affects both.

You will know if the changes are live on your account if you have noticed something similar to the image below after logging in to your Gmail account in the last week or two.

Gmail's Welcome to your new inbox

Gmail welcomes you to your new Inbox with three of the five new tabs active (Primary, Social and Promotions).

 

Gmail Tabs 

To help you decide whether each of Gmail’s new Inbox Tabs will be a help or a hindrance, here is a breakdown of each of the Tabs.

Primary Tab

This is your main inbox, which you will see by default when opening your email. Emails that are a direct conversation will usually end up here (sometimes Google will miss an email and send it to the wrong tab). You will also find in this tab any emails you have starred (if this is enabled) or from senders you have manually added to this box (more on that later). 

Gmail's Primary Inbox Tab

Your Primary Inbox Tab is where most of your “conversation” emails will be found.

 

Social Tab 

Email notifications sent from social media platforms will end up in your Social Tab inbox. Even general conversations, if they are mainly about social media, can end up here. 

Gmail's Social Inbox Tab

Your Social Inbox Tab is where Gmail will send emails from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Promotions Tab 

In this box you will find all emails that are selling or offering something, even if they are coupons or free offers. Newsletters and emails updates from businesses you have subscribed to will also end up in your Promotions Tab. 

Gmail's Promotions Inbox Tab

Your Promotions Inbox Tab is where emails that contain information about offers or deals will be sent as well as newsletters and other emails sent from businesses you have subscribed to.

 

Updates Tab

You must manually turn this tab on. Emails delivered to the Updates Tab include replies to existing conversations and auto-generated reminders and other emails such as Google Alerts, bills, statements and receipts. 

Gmail's Updates inbox Tab

Your Updates Inbox Tab has emails such as replies to existing conversations and auto-generated emails.

 

Forums Tab 

The Forums Tab must be manually turned on and may be empty for many people unless you frequent and are subscribed to online groups or discussion boards. 

Gmail's Forums Inbox Tab

Your Forums Inbox Tab includes emails from discussion boards or online groups you have joined.

 

Making The New Gmail Changes Work for You 

 

Drag & Drop Emails Between Tabs

If you want emails from a particular sender to land in a different tab, drag an email from that sender to the tab of your choosing or move using right click.

While Gmail is fairly intelligent about sorting emails into the appropriate box, sometimes they get it wrong. Or maybe you just want emails from a particular sender to show up in a different tab. You can quickly and easily move emails from one tab to another by dragging it and dropping it in the tab you prefer. You can also right click on an email and choose “Move to tab” and add it to the tab you want. 

Moving Email's between Gmail's Tabs

Drag and drop emails from one tab to another.

A small box will pop open at the top of the page and ask if you would like to do this for all future emails from that sender. Click “Yes” to have this change apply to all new incoming emails from that sender

Confirm Sender Inbox Change

Click “Yes” to make all future emails from that sender land in the new tab.

 

Removing Gmail Tabs From Your Inbox 

If you decide that the new Gmail Inbox Tabs are not for you or you only want certain tabs, you can easily remove or change them. Simply click on the “+” sign located at the right side of the tabs.

Remove New Gmail Inbox Tabs

Click the “+” sign located on the right-hand side of the tabs.

This will open a pop up box that will allow you to remove all the tabs but your Primary Inbox or select just the ones you want. Make sure that you check the “Include starred in Primary” under Starred messages if you decide to keep more than just the Primary Inbox Tab open. This will ensure that you can easily direct important messages into your main or Primary inbox by adding a star. When you are finished click save.

Select Your Gmail Inbox Tabs

You can select or unselect the tabs you want open in your inbox.

If you change your mind at a later date, it is easy to bring the tabs back by clicking Settings and then Inbox and then selecting the tabs that you want to use.

Configure Your Gmail Inbox

You can go back in and turn the Gmail Tabs on later.

I hope that I have helped to answer some of your questions about the new Gmail Tabs that have invaded your inbox and given you back your power to control how your inbox looks and how your email is sorted and organized.

What do you think of Gmail’s new Inbox Tabs? Please leave your comment below.