So about a week ago gmail began to change the inbox behaviors and has started to initiate auto-tabs for the communications you receive. I’ll admit, when i first saw the changes to my inbox I thought “who are you to automatically categorize my messages” and then, I went on with life.
The next day I hopped in my gmail account after a transaction to get a hold of the details for my purchase. I knew the transaction had an auto-responder, an automated message that would populate to me, and so I knew right away to click the “promotions” tab so that I could retrieve it.
It was no big deal. Knowing that my newsletters and other mass-distributed emails are going into one tab to view them all is actually more convenient for me. All of those communications are, in fact, marketing.
However, already I’ve received email after email after email from marketers and coaches and others saying “if you have email, do this” followed by instructions on how to re-categorize their particular communications.
It’s like everyone hit the panic button at the same time.
The reason for the panic? Many online marketers make most of their money based on one single factor: the size of their email list. It’s a numbers game for them and not getting “top position” has almost all of them worried.
I’m not sending a “re-categorize” me email, because I think my clients are smarter than that. If they want to re-categorize me, they will, and if they don’t think being in a different tab is an inconvenience for them, I’m cool with that.
I speak to people on my list by phone.
I send people on my list “just because” mail and cards and invitations.
I connect with people on my list at events and on social media.
My hunch is that if other entrepreneurs really nurtured their community they wouldn’t feel the need to panic either.
So if you find yourself in this situation, don’t freak out. Don’t send a separate email probing the reader to re-categorize you, because if you mattered, they would have considered it on their own.
Instead, continue with your usual communications and perhaps include a link that says “Here’s a helpful link for those of you adjusting to the new gmail” and leave the decision to them. Show them how to control their destiny overall, not just your small part in it.
Need a link? Mashable has a good writeup on this at http://mashable.com/2013/07/23/tabs-in-gmail/
Hope that helps, and hey, remember, it’s summer… just chill 🙂
(Share your thoughts below, I’d love to hear your take on this)