BY NOW, many of you will have discovered the new Google email tabs. Great, you might think, how helpful of the Gmail guys to automatically filter my emails for me. That’s brilliant for business, isn’t it?


Notice the ‘promotions’ tab? How many of you send out e-marketing or newsletters? Chances are, your marketing promotions will now be dumped into this section. And honestly, how many people will check that tab on a regular basis? The very title makes it sound like a secondary spam filter!

On checking our promo tab this morning, we’ve already discovered a couple of magazines we subscribe to, an event invitation and some Chamber of Commerce alerts. Promotions? All of them? Really? Thank goodness we checked!

Here’s how to get rid of the tabs…

First, click the little ‘+’ button to the right hand side of the tabs.


After clicking the ‘+’ button a pop up will appear allowing you to uncheck as many tabs as you like AND revert back to the traditional (and, in our opinion FAR SUPERIOR) Gmail.


What if I want to keep my tabs?

If you decide you want to keep the tabs, but don’t want to miss important emails (such as Turquoise Tiger blog alerts), you can click on the ‘promotions’ tab, find an email from someone you want to keep seeing under your ‘primary’ emails tab, then drag and drop it into your primary inbox.

TabsMoveCROPWhen you’ve done this, you’ll get an alert saying: “The conversation has been moved to ‘Primary’. Undo. Do this for future messages from Yes.” Click ‘yes’ and all future emails from your chosen email contact will be directed to the primary feed. Simples!

Make sure your customers know how to keep receiving your emails!

The uphill task, of course, will be letting your customers know they need to do this to continue receiving your emails in their ‘primary’ stream. So, share this blog on your social media sites as much as you can, tell people when you see them (you could even print copies of the instructions provided here to print out) and, of course, you can always email your list and HOPE they check their ‘promotions’ feed.

Good luck!

  • What do you think to Google’s email tabs? Please leave us a response here, we’d love to hear your views – even if you disagree with us. *purr*

10 Replies to “A tab too far: why the new Gmail is bad for your business”

  1. Well I have to say Tigers – that I disagree with you (purr).

    To me, as a consumer, e-marketing is dead. Has been for years. I classify it in exactly the same category as the junk mail that gets put through my door. It is, at best, an inconvenience that I have to delete these emails. At worst, it is an irritating display of arrogance and stupidity on the part of the brands trying to engage with me using this blunt tool.

    The sooner marketing managers dump cold calling, e-marketing and junk mail as means of blindly firing their shot-gun into the target audience and hoping some of it hits home, the better.

    1. Hi Simon,

      Thanks for your response. In terms of the short-sighted, outdated marketing messages you describe, I would totally agree. Like everyone else, we Tigers groan when the offers of ‘awesome’ SEO services and horrible links leading to squeeze pages hit our email.

      When it comes to our own marketing, whether working on our own messages, or on behalf of clients, content is king. There’s no room in today’s world for pushy brand messages or hard sell… but there IS room to inform and educate if you’re truly an expert in your field, and, guess what, if you’re giving out USEFUL advice, people might just WANT to receive it.

      What happens to all that good quality, informative information we WANT to receive? Google automatically consigns it to the ‘promotions’ heap. What if you’ve signed up to a newsletter from an individual, brand or organisation, for instance? And what about the examples we listed earlier, where magazines we actually subscribed to, an invite to an event and information we’d asked to receive from the Chamber also got ‘Google dumped’?

      Unless I’m misunderstanding you, Simon, it seems like you want Google to weed out all the rubbish, all those blatant sales pitches that buzz around our email boxes like flies. Sure, great idea… but they haven’t found a way to sort the wheat from the chaff properly yet, and this new move does little more than emulate the spam filter we already have, with the added irritant of diverting USEFUL and SUBSCRIBED TO information away from our inboxes.

      Not all business-generated emails are created equal!

      1. Thank you, this is a real eye-opener. As I work in marketing myself, I agree that random emails and cold-calling very rarely get a response. I would be interested in your thoughts about the best way to get an initial positive response. If email, phone or post are not acceptable as initial contact, what would be the most proactive way to engage prospective clients?

      2. Hey Taz,

        I agree, that there is room to inform and educate, however the reality is most marketers don’t. As a guy in SEO, I receive countless unsolicited emails offering services, it’s a bit off putting to have to constantly waste my time sifting through whats spam to fined out what’s actually useful.

        I actually like what Google has done here, the’ve put the power back in the hands of the end user and challenge those of us in marketing to be more creative.

        I agree there is no way to weed out all the crap that gets sent to us, but Big G has made an effort here where no one else has.

        As for educating and informing, wouldn’t it just be simple to educate the subscriber at time of subscription that your stuff may end up in another folder? that way it’s clear from the beginning. If marketers aren’t doing what’s necessary to ensure their items are being seen by the end user, is that really GMails fault?

    1. You’re welcome AnneMarie. We’re looking forward to the day when marketeers just stop churning out crap… then we’ll need neither a ‘promotions’ tab nor a spam bucket!

  2. I’m glad I found this article, very well laid out and easy steps to follow, now my personal gMail is sorted I’m thinking about rolling this out to our employees.

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