How to Adjust the New Gmail Tabs to Get Priority Email


Google has made some big changes recently to the Gmail user interface!

If you use Gmail, you likely noticed the new “multi tab” structure across the top.  Gmail is making it's own determination on what mail goes in each category for you!  This means some important newsletters (like from Pam ) may be dropping in the “Promotions” tab instead of the “Primary” tab.


The intent of Google is to help users with “inbox overload” and to help users see priority email.  To make sure you have mail coming into the Primary that you want, go to each tab.  If you find something in another tab that you want in the Primary area, simply drag the email to that Primary Tab (on the name Primary) at the top of the page.

Immediately after, a yellow box will appear asking, “Do this for future messages?”.  Make sure to click the “Yes” link to train Gmail to send all email from this source to your Primary tab.


Want to learn more and see this in action?

View this great Video Tutorial from Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner:

Video Link on YouTube:


For Businesses….Be sure to Educate your Audience!

For any business engaged in email marketing to nurture customers and leads, it will be important to educate your audience with a post like this above!  This is important so that users do not unknowingly miss your emails by having them continue to go to the Promotions tab.

Take time to craft a blog post or message to your audiences today!  By educating them, you help ensure your communication to them is uninterrupted.



About the Author:

Author: Mike Gingerich, TabSite Co-Founder. Helping Brands succeed on Facebook and the Social Web with powerful online software tools to heighten engagement, increase sales, and boost brand visibility. Driven social media and internet enthusiast with 10+ years experience building apps, brand marketing, and online business with winning integrated web and Social Media Strategies.


  1. David Foster August 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I did a video on this subject because I personally feel that it is not right of us to teach people to add us to their “Primary” inbox. I do feel that we should indeed educate them, however not to do it this way, but to create folders they can manage inside Gmail where they can add people they want to get emails from. Asking them to add us to their primary is a bit extreme as that defeats the purpose of helping people get to a clean inbox…

    Here is the video I made for any interested:

    • Mike Gingerich August 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Thanks David. I guess I didn’t feel Michael’s video was over the top at all. Users still have the choice with the knowledge demonstrated of how to control what goes into each tab. Hope all is well with the new Hubze system!

      • PamMktgNut August 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        I agree with @mikegingerich:disqus . It is up to the end user. If they want your content they’ll get it where it needs to be so they use it. Personally I don’t like messing w/the folders and different views. Either I want to see it or I don’t. As an example @hubzeceo:disqus , both Tabsite & Hubze is content I would want to see so I WILL move it to priority… that is if I used Gmail. However, I trust both brands and have subscribed to your content via my primary email… so even better.

        I think the key is that the user has a choice. This post & Michael’s video doesn’t say this is how it has to be done, but if they want to put it into priority status, this is how it’s done.

        I have already had numerous subscribers tell me they moved our email addy to priority as they don’t want to miss our content. #Loveit! 🙂

        • David Foster August 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

          Yes, was not suggesting that they are saying it is how it “has” to be done, but personally I feel it is much better to use folders because we are all already overwhelmed and using folders I have notifications that stay active in my inbox until I physically go in there and read them…this way they do not at all interfere with my day and keep me focused, and then when I have extra time I can go read what is important to me…that’s all…it is just my personal feelings that having people add things to primary is just going to lead to again to overwhelm, which needs to be enemy #1.

      • David Foster August 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Oh ya, I know there are many schools of thought on this, I just feel like as educators we should show people how to create folders instead of moving things to priority because if they are at all like me, and most people are, they would have about 20 people in their priority box and BOOM they are overwhelmed again…whereas the way I personally set them up, I am notified of all new content from Mike Stelzner, TabSIte etc and at my leisure can go to that specific folder and read them…otherwise they just sit in my priority box that gets fuller and fuller moving things down to the bottom where eventually they just get deleted…

        It is totally up to the end user for sure, but I think going the folder route is more sustainable long term…

  2. Bonnie David August 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Yes. But what if you are accessing Gmail with an Email Client? I guess the key is to use it from the actual Gmail server to benefit the most.

    • Mike Gingerich August 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Yes, @bonniedavid:disqus, this is outlining what options you have with the web version of gmail. If you are using a Email client like Outlook, then the mail simply comes in and your client rules apply and not these tabs.

  3. Mike Thompson August 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I have been an online marketer for years and applaud google for creating the tabs and the system is doing an awesome job of segregating emails for us into the different categories of social, promotions and primary. I no longer have email overload as I did before and still get all my emails. What a time saver!

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