How to - organise your emails at gmail

If you are using mailers for Internet Marketing I would hope that you have a gmail account setup exclusively for your marketing efforts? If you haven't, I would recommend that you do so that you are able to keep all marketing emails separate from your personal or business email. Some of these mailers will send you well over 100 emails a day and you don't need that anywhere near real emails. That said, let's get to it!

We need some of what gmail calls labels. I'll explain how I have mine setup as it might give you some ideas, but you can obviously do whatever works for you. They can be edited at any time, so don't worry too much about getting it right first time.

I have a label called 'M' for mailers and one called 'T' for TEs. You may also notice I have 'MD15' and 'MD20'. I use those for mailers that only allow you to open one email at a time and you have to wait for the timer to count down before opening another - M for mail, D for delay, 15 or 20 for length of delay in seconds. By sorting the emails into a label that describes how the mailer works I can quickly decide whether or not I want to bother looking at any of those emails. As far as the TE's go, if a TE insists that I use a gmail account, their emails are unlikely to ever be seen.

To create your first label, at the bottom of the list of labels on the left of the gmail window there is one called 'More' with a wee down pointing arrow to its right. Click on the arrow to display some additional labels/options.

Once you've expanded the "More' you will see an option called 'Create new label'. Click on that to see what happens next.

Not very exciting, but quite useful. Give your label a name and click on create. Ignore the 'Nest label under' section at this stage. Repeat it you would like to create some additional labels.

Now that you have a/some nice new label(s), go to the inbox and open an email.

In this example we have an email from 'NorthernMailer'. I select NorthernMailer with the mouse (the name rather than the email address so it should catch all mail from any address NorthernMailer choose to use) and copy (right-click copy, or Ctrl-C) so that I don't have to type it later. Then click on the thing that looks a bit like a gear in the top right of the window and select 'Settings' from the drop-down menu.

In settings, select 'Filters and Blocked Addresses' from the items across the top of the window and then click on 'Create a new filter'. If you already have a few you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the list to find the 'Create a new filter' link.

Paste (right-click paste or Ctrl-V) the name you copied from the email (or type it in if you didn't copy it) into the 'From' box and click on 'Create filter with this search'.

Click on the 'Choose label...' button and select 'New label..'.

Paste (right-click paste or Ctrl-V) the name you copied from the email (or type it in if you didn't copy it) into the 'Please enter a new label name:' box.
Tick the 'Nest label under:' check-box and click on the drop-down to display the available labels.
Choose the nice new label you setup earlier. In my case I'm going with 'M' because this is a mailer. This can be edited later if you change your mind about where you want it put.

Click on 'Create' to save the new label name.

Check the following check-boxes -

  • Skip the Inbox (Archive it)
  • Apply the label [the one you just created]
  • Never send it to spam
  • Also apply filter to matching conversations
Click on 'Create filter' and you're done.

If you would like to rename a filter (I like to add the number of emails I am able to open at once to the beginning of the label name. Typically, if it is less than 10 I rarely bother because I've seen most of the ads before & I skim read - 10's about right to not have to go off and make coffee while the timer counts down (see How to - open email credit links efficiently or How to - browse multiple TE sites simultaneously for more info). If there is no limit I add 00 to put those mailers at the top of my list.) move the mouse pointer over the label in the list on the left side of the gmail window and click on the down arrow that appears. From the drop-down menu, select 'Edit'.

Make your changes (I'm entering 05 so that I know I can only open 5 emails at a time from this mailer) and click on 'Save'. You can also move a label anywhere from this screen. Remove the nest under if you no longer want a label nested under another label. Or change it to be nested under a different label. Anything can be moved or renamed without affecting the filter.

You are also going to need to do some house-keeping.

Thousands of emails will be arriving daily (I'm receiving about 3500 a day) with credit links that will typically expire in less than a week. If you don't clear out old emails you could eventually use all your disk space. If that happens, emails will bounce and your mailer accounts will possibly be suspended.

Google give you lots of space, so that's not likely to be a problem for quite a while. However, Google's gmail servers aren't known for their processing ability and if you attempt to delete too many emails at a time (I'm often seeing numbers as low as 5000 causing this problem) you are going to see a number of "Oops" messages with totally meaningless error numbers (a few examples - Oops... the system encountered a problem (#007) - Retrying .... or Oops… the system encountered a problem (#79344) - Retrying in ... or Oops… the system encountered a problem (#78144) - Retrying in ... You're also likely to see Temporary Error (500) which is just another server timeout). The number of messages you are able to delete at a time depends on how busy the servers are, so it is never constant. Contrary to all the posts that you will find where someone has fixed it by using a different browser, cleaning out their cookies/cache, disabling their antivirus, rebooting, etc., the problem is with the Google servers and not with your computer. The fix/work-around is to delete fewer messages at a time.

As the majority of emails that are older than a week no longer have any value, you may as well delete them regularly so that you don't end up spending days trying to get rid of old messages.

At first glance, deleting gmail messages isn't the easiest. Under any label you have the option of selecting either 100 messages or all messages. You don't generally want to be deleting the latest messages, so your only option is to page through to the desired time-frame and delete 100 messages at a time. While this method puts less strain on the server, it is extremely tedious.

Presenting 'before'.

If you enter before:yyyy/mm/dd (four digit year, two digit month, two digit day) into the search box, all messages that arrived prior to the entered date will be displayed (That's all messages under all labels - a very good reason for having a seperate email address for real emails - do not use this method if you have any older emails that you would like to keep). You can check the select all box and then click the 'Select all conversations that match this search' link and remove all the messages that arrived before the entered date in one go, retaining the later messages that still have valid credit links. You need to keep in mind that too many messages selected will cause the server timeout issues, so you need to work your way forward from your oldest messages in time-frames that won't contain too many messages. For me, that is often one day at a time (~3500 messages), but I have had times where I could delete five days' worth (~17500 messages) at once. Google will remove messages that have been in the bin for more than 30 days so you don't have to worry about the bin unless you are short on space.

Why wasn't this presented as a video?

I detest how-to videos. I don't have the time to sit through an extended video with inaudible audio presented by a person with a radio presenter's face and a newspaper journalist's voice who appears to love listening to their own ramblings.

While a walk-through such as above takes considerably longer to produce, the information presented can be scanned far more quickly and any useful information can be returned to at any time (without having to sit through that feature length video).

© 2017 Pete Tyson all rights reserved worldwide