Email marketers, stop complaining about getting filtered to the new Gmail inbox’s “Promotions” tab

The dreaded "Promotions" tab in the new Gmail inbox.
What scares you about the “Promotions” tab in the new Gmail inbox?

As you’ve probably seen, Gmail’s new tabbed inbox now automatically flags email newsletters (including marketing promos) in the “Promotions” tab. That is, your marketing emails (and your clients’ marketing emails) are no longer going directly into readers’ inboxes.

There’s an uproar online among marketers, about how this is terrible and that Gmail should stop doing this, and that it’s probably going to hurt email open rates.

My take? Stop complaining. It won’t do anything and it just wastes your time and energy.

Stop complaining

Your email newsletter is a promotion. Think about it for a moment.

Take off your marketer hat and think like a customer. If one of your competitors had emailed you the exact same message you sent out this week, would you think of their message as a promotion? I bet you would.

Stop complaining that Gmail slots your outbound email newsletters in the new Promotions tab. They ARE promotions.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying”

Marketing is always changing, whether it’s Twitter APIs or new social networks. Complaining doesn’t do anything about it. Change is the status quo.

As Andy Dufresne, the Tim Robbins character, said in The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Make some money while you’re at it

If you’re running a digital marketing agency, your clients need you now more than ever. You’ll figure out a solution—a solution that doesn’t come down to figuring out how to “game” the new tabs.

I’m guessing it’s mostly around the obvious—write relevant content that’s useful to your reader/customer/client. Consumers don’t want to read another press release about you-you-you. 80% them, 20% you.

Stop cursing the darkness; light a candle and do something about it. And make some money.

Question: What do you think of the new Gmail inbox, including the “Promotions” tab? Click here to respond.


  1. Maria says

    I actually kind of like it! I think I might be one of the few. It has really helped me this week to keep my inbox organized and it allows me to focus on the most important items first.

    I usually hate when Google makes changes (ex. Google reader) but I am liking this.

    • says

      @Maria: As a consumer, I like the new tab system, too! Looking at my Primary inbox, it feels like I have so many fewer emails, because everything lower-priority is shuffled elsewhere to review later.

      My perspective is that many marketers are complaining too much about something that they probably benefit from as consumers (but may hate as marketers because it makes their job harder).

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