Gmail has revamped the look of its inbox with tab-based navigation. By default, the inbox is divided into three tabs: Primary, Social and Promotions.
Primary: All personal emails from friends and family, password reset and account information and Google alerts are categorized under this section.
Social: Emails from Social Networks, Dating Sites, Gaming Platforms, Q&A & Presentation sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Slideshare are included in Social Tab.
Promotions: All other newsletters and promotions are categorized under Promotions Tab.
Updates: To get notifications like account confirmation, bills and statements, updates tab is used.
Forums: All emails, notifications, and messages from forums, groups, discussion boards and mailing lists can be categorized under this tab.
To customize the Tabs, click the Gear Box on the right side of your inbox, and click Configure Inbox
Users can enable or disable tabs. In addition to Primary, Social and Promotions, users can enable Forums and Updates tab.
Gmail’s New Look - Impact on Email Marketing
What needs to be seen is the impact of Tabs on Email Marketing, especially since newsletters are categorized under promotions. The word “Promotions” has a negative connotation, and since majority of users will not customize tabs, to reach an audience, Businesses will have to overcome the “Promotions” barrier and an additional ‘tab click’ to reach the mail.
What Google Should Change?
1) Google should change the default three tabs and include all the five tabs. By doing so, newsletters from Businesses will be categorized under Forums, which has much better chance of being clicked than promotions.
2) The word “Promotions” in the third tab should be replaced with a more neutral word.