How to avoid getting into the Gmail promotions tab?

Gmail designed different tabs to help its users navigate through the different emails they receive. The Promotions tab collects most of the marketing and promotional emails. And while some users check their Promotions tab to see if they get any exciting offers, most don’t.The tabs algorithm is ever-learning and very adaptive, so there’s no ideal way to trick it. And still, there are certain things you can do to avoid having your campaign fall into the Gmail Promotions tab. Get the sending account warmed up.

It’s a good tip not only for avoiding the Promotions tab but for building your sending reputation in general. Verify your email list before using it, increase sending volume gradually, and don’t forget to set up email authentication.

Split your sending list into segments

If you send the same email to your entire mailing list, putting it into the Promotions tab is the lesser evil. In most cases, such a campaign will be flagged as spam, and you can very well get blocklisted. By segmenting your audience, you can prevent that from happening while also providing your leads with content that’s relevant to them. That brings us to the next step.

Personalize your emails

You can trick the algorithm by addressing your audience like they’re your friends - calling them by their first name, for instance. By further personalizing your emails, you can make it seem like they’re a part of a casual conversation. The algorithm will then treat them accordingly. But there are some dead giveaways that you should avoid.

Minimize the usage of links, images, and HTML

While making your email look nice and flashy, images and HTML formatting signal that the message is promotional. If used excessively, they can even get your email flagged as spam. So make sure to reduce those as much as possible. The same goes for links: using more than three links lands you in the Promotions tab. That vital unsubscribe link at the end of the email counts too!

Don’t sound promotional

There are a lot of things that could give you away. You don’t want to use spammy language in your email’s body and subject line. But your headers and footers should be revised, too. Those Unsubscribe and View in browser buttons are a clear signal for the Gmail algorithm to put the email in the Promotions tab, and so are the Buy now CTAs. Try to be more creative, and you will likely get away with it.

Value your subscribers’ time

That means two things. First, find the right time to send your campaigns to get more clicks and opens. The higher the click and open rate, the better Gmail will treat your emails - it will put them in the Primary tab. Second, don’t make your emails too long. Shorter emails are far less likely to be considered promotional or spam. And they save your recipients some time as well.

Use a nominative email address

Make sure to use an address with your name in it. Your company’s name can be in the domain, just don’t use a generic “sales” or “marketing” name - Gmail will immediately realize that it’s a business email. And emails like that belong in the Promotions tab.

Ask your subscribers to aid you

If there is a 100% way to avoid the Promotions tab, this is it. If a recipient moves your email from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, all of your future emails will also end up there. The same effect can be accomplished if they add your email address to their contacts. You can ask them to do so on your Welcome page or when they subscribe to receive the emails. It doesn’t matter: if they do either, all your emails will go right into their Primary tab.

The ultimate tip

Provide value to your audience. The Promotions tab isn’t scary in itself; it’s the possibility that your subscribers may not open the unfortunate email. But if your emails are interesting and relevant for the recipients, if they provide value. Your audience will find your emails even in the Promotions tab, or they will whitelist your address or add you as a contact. No Gmail algorithm can stop communication if they want to receive those emails and read them.

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