4 Secret Gmail Features Your Business Needs Right Now

By Princess Jones

A few weeks ago, Google announced a new feature, Undo Send. Excited users everywhere could now undo a sent email within 30 seconds of it going out. Now, if you remembered one more thing right after you clicked “Send,” you could do something about it. The Internet went crazy for it.

There was just one problem — Undo Send had been available for Gmail users for years already.

Although many users don’t realize it, Gmail has a setting called Labs that allows them to turn on experimental features not quite mature enough to be included in the core product. Many of the email client’s most notable features were once labs until they graduated to widespread deployment.

If your business uses Gmail or branded email through Google for Work, you may be missing out on some great tools if you haven’t checked out Gmail labs. Here are few interesting ones to consider.

1. Authentication Icon

Securing your business is an important part of maintaining it. And email scams affect millions of businesses each year. Spammers and scammers can create fake emails that look like they come from legitimate businesses to steal sensitive information.

The Authentication Icon lab adds an extra layer of security for your business email. Messages from trusted senders like Google Wallet, PayPal, and eBay will have a small key icon next to them. Now, you can tell at a glance whether that email from your bank is legit or not.

2. Preview Pane

We’ve all fired up our email client at the start of the day only to be greeted by a mountain of messages. Prioritizing which messages to answer is an essential part of efficient workflow. It’s easier to do that if you have an idea of how important each one is. And if you don’t have to open each one to do that, it’s even better.

Preview Pane is a Gmail lab helps you prioritize by showing you snippets of the email content right in your inbox. To right of the each of the messages, you see the first line or two of the message. From there, you can quickly determine which ones to attend to first.

3. Smart Labels

smart-labels

Email filtering is something that most email providers and clients have been offering for years. Grouping messages can help clean up your inbox. It can also make sure that the messages you absolutely have to see are the ones that are brought to your attention.

When you turn on Smart Labels in your account, you can create labels for certain types of messages and determine how Gmail handles them. Start by going to Settings > Labels > Create New Label. The label will now appear on the left side of your screen for easy access to those messages.

To control the behavior of those labels, go to Settings > Filters > Create a New Filter. The next screen will give you the opportunity to set the parameters for the filter. For example, you can choose to certain words in the content or specific senders. Once you’re done, click “Create a filter with this search.” On the next screen, choose what to do with the message. Select your label, decide if it should skip your inbox, etc.

4. Canned Responses

canned-response

Does your business rely heavily on email inquiries? If it does, you may find that you’re sending out the same or similar emails several times a day. You can save time by turning on the Canned Responses lab.

Essentially, you create email templates by creating a draft in your Gmail account. Remember that you can adjust the font, style, and other attributes of the email but you can’t add an attachment. Then, click the down arrow in the right corner of the draft, click “Canned responses” in the pop up menu, and then click “Save.” You’ll have the chance to name your canned response when you save it.

When you’re ready to use it, create a draft or click “Reply” to a message. Do the same thing you did when you saved the response, except this time you should just click the name of the response you want to use. At this point, you can make any edits to the draft. When you’re done, click send.

Do you have a favorite little-known Gmail hack?

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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