Prevent Mobile Alerts of Marketing Emails though Gmailon 28 May 2011

How many times have you been expecting an email and when your phone plays that lovely “new mail” sound, you check, and it is from some company who’s products/services/ideas you love instead of being the email you really want? While looking forward to email, especially in the workplace, is unlikely, it is still a big form of communication today. Tomorrow? Anyone’s guess really. Anyway, I typically still want these marketing emails, however I do not want to be notified when they arrive, especially on my phone.

Handling the emails

This article will only apply to Gmail specifically, however it can be applied to desktop scenarios in Apple’s Mail app and Microsoft Outlook.

One of my favorite time savers is the Filters that Gmail has built in. This may seem obvious to some, though the concept alluded me for quite some time. I always thought of Filters to organize the emails coming in mainly for friends, family, work, etc. I never thought about it to be used to filter the emails I kinda-maybe-somewhat-wanted, though wanted to look at when the time was convenient. More importantly, not be bothered when they arrived.

I typically follow this process when an email comes in:

  1. Email that...
    • I do not want to unsubscribe from
    • I do not want to be alerted of its arrival
    • is marketing
  2. Select email
  3. Click Gmail’s “More Actions” button
  4. Select “Filter messages like these”

Setting Up the Newsletter Filter

There are a few more things to consider when filtering. This is where Gmail’s “Test Search” button is useful.

On the “Create a Filter” page that lists emails that match the criteria, check for emails you may not want to filter. Sometimes companies use the marketing email address as the same one that alerts a bill is due. So make sure to pick out a phrase that may work for all of them, or the subject line, for the emails you wish to filter. For example, a company I buy things from uses the same email for customer service as marketing to me. So in my filter I make sure that the email “has the words” “unsubscribe.” Because I specifically ordered something, they would not put unsubscribe information in that email. However in the marking one, they would. This is great criterion to filter on.

Once you are satisfied with your filter, hit the “Next Step” button.

This is where the magic happens, be sure to check “Skip the Inbox” and “Apply the label” boxes. In the “Choose label...” box, select “New label...” and create one with a name you will recognize. I use “newsletters.” Be sure to assign the “newsletters” label. Click the “Create Filter” button and never worry about it in your mail Inbox again.

Create a new Filter each time one of these emails comes in, and help yourself have a happy Inbox. Also, be sure to check your newsletter label for any emails that were mistakenly placed there and to actually look at the marketing emails you actually want to look at.

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