The Gmail promotions tab is a curse and a blessing. It’s a curse because, I check the promotions tab less frequently and I am sure others are the same way. It’s a blessing because, without the promotions tab, marketing emails were likely to have ended up in the spam folder. Who likes to get bombarded with mass emails?
However, I think we can all agree that we’re willing to tolerate marketing emails that are relevant and helpful and don’t seem overly promotional. When sending out emails, I have several end goals. Sometimes, I’m just trying to tell the customers to not forget about us and sometimes I am actually trying to provide them with time-sensitive information.
When I first started doing email marketing in mid 2016, my emails would go to inbox and I would get phenomenal open rates. This was done through MailChimp and I had validated ownership of my domain. I was sending out emails using my brand name and from the brand domain. They consisted of images, lots of styling, social links and everything that a marketing email typically contains -- still the open rates were phenomenal. A few weeks later, my emails started appearing in the promotions tab. The takeaways from this are:
- Google gives you the benefit of the doubt that you are not peddling rubbish information.
- Google learns from whether your readers love or reject your information.
If you create amazing content that your loyal readers love, open rates should never be a problem. But for the rest of us mortals, following is what’s required.
How to avoid the Gmail promotions tab:
- Don’t use too many images.
- Don’t include more than one link.
- Set the sender as your real name rather than a brand.
- Include a decent body of text, not too short and not too long. Preferably using words that seem like a genuine email rather than one that talks about promotions or uses spam type phrases such as, asking for personal information.
- Make your email subject relevant to the body of text. If you’re writing about apple orchards, use the phrase “apple orchard” in the subject.
In other words, be a real person and send an email as you would to a friend or coworker. Despite weeks of ending up in the promotions tab, when I started making my email subjects relevant to email body text -- my emails started appearing in the inbox again and my open rates went up.