Gmail’s tab system, which categorizes emails into primary, social, promotions, updates, or forums, has been around since May 2013. The categories aren’t meant to marginalize senders but to organize messages into easy-to-navigate groups. Gmail’s priority is ultimately to place promotional messages in the promotions tab, and trying to escape it could undermine promotional impact. However, subscribers can move messages to a desired tab to tip things in the sender’s favor, and user feedback can result in Gmail placing future sends into the desired tab by default. Successful marketers can still see good engagement and sales even with mail in the promotions tab.
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It’s crazy to realize that Gmail released tabs back in May 2013, so we’re just shy of a ten year anniversary of this functionality. A functionality that often confounds and annoys marketers. And it might even be crazier to recall that the guidance of the time (here’s Ken Magill) was essentially send wanted content and you’ll be just fine.Ultimately, that’s still true today, just about ten years later. Gmail’s attempt to categorize messages into the primary, social, promotions, updates or the forums tab isn’t an attempt to marginalize senders, but is instead meant to help both email senders and their recipients. Sender email messages are easily found by those most interested in them, and recipients benefit based on a categorized inbox that organizes inbound messages into coherent and easily-navigated groupings.In the past, I’ve collected and shared guidance from across the Internet on how best to “escape” the Gmail promotions tab.