In 2013 Gmail introduced its new website design, complete with the ‘Promotions Tab’. By introducing tabs, such as Promotions and Updates, they made it easier to focus on messages that are important and read emails of the same type at once.
The tabbed approach certainly does help users find and classify their mail appropriately; no more sifting past hundreds of newsletters and order confirmations to find an email from a loved one. For email marketers, the Gmail Promotions tab can be incredibly painful – particularly when sending an important update or newsletter.
Below are our top tips to help you ensure your important updates are delivered to the Primary inbox:
Greet your subscriber by name
The more personal the email, the more likely it is to get delivered to the correct place. Use the subject line and one of the first lines of the email to greet your recipient by the first name. Using first names can also improve open rates and click-through rates for those not using Gmail. A win-win.
Send from a personal email address
Very rarely does anyone receive personal emails from a no-reply or info@ email address. Not only is sending newsletters from no-reply emails bad for a user experience, it’s also a big red flag for the promotions tab. Send the email from your own personal email address and actively converse with subscribers – it’s great for Gmail and even better for you users.
Reduce the number of links and images in the email
The more links and images there are in an email, the more promotion it looks like. How many images and links do emails from your mum or friends have? The key to getting into the Primary tab is making an email as personal as possible. Plain text emails can work great!
Test before sending
Create a specific test list for all your newsletters and send tests before hitting the big green button. We highly recommend using this great tool from the team at Litmus.
Ask subscribers to move your email to the Primary tab
The most foolproof way to ensure deliverability to the primary tab is by asking your users to move it there. When a subscriber moves one of your campaigns from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, Gmail asks whether it should always deliver your campaigns there.
If you have engaged subscribers who want your emails to appear in the Primary tab they’ll likely have already moved them there – but there’s no harm in asking. Just don’t over-do it.