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Why emails get delivered to Gmail's promotions tab and how to avoid it

Why emails get delivered to Gmail's promotions tab and how to avoid it

What is gmail’s Promotions tab and why is your email there?

Gmail has introduced multiple inboxes/tabs - primary, promotions, social, updates, and forums. Promotions tab is gmail’s inbox where all marketing and promotional emails land - this is based on gmail’s filters and algorithm. When you send a blast about your awesome offer and it triggers gmail’s filtering, your emails would most likely land in the Promotions tab and this is true to all 3rd party email service providers people use. 


Best Practices to Avoid the Promotions Tab

  • Don’t send email blasts:

When we say blast, it means sending the same email to your entire list. If this can’t be avoided, we recommend you drip out your campaign or automation to lessen the chances of getting caught by gmail’s filtering.

  • Have your subscribers add you to their Primary tab: 

Your subscribers know who you are and it would be best to have them add your from address to their contact list. Advice them to check their promotions tab and to move your email to the Primary tab. Whenever they do this, gmail will take note of this as user preference and will help you land in their Primary tab moving forward. 

  • Personalize your emails:

People tend to open emails with catchy headlines and personalized content. Make them feel that you are talking to them and the email was written specifically for them and not for a list of 10k. 

  • Minimize the number of links: 

Avoid putting too many link on your email. Not only does it make it get caught on gmail’s filtering, it also confuses your recipients on where they should go or what they should click. Have only one call to action - may it be to book a call or follow your tiktok account. 

  • Avoid spammy words:

Just like links, spammy words also make your emails get caught on filtering. Some words are: free, offer, get now, buy, sale, discount. Instead of using these words, checkout for synonyms you can use to change them. 

  • Use default style/format:

Pretty emails don’t usually bring in pretty results. Fancy fonts might even get you caught in spam filtering. Instead of using them, italicize and bold your words for emphasis. Be creative but keep your emails simple and professional.

  • 60:40 ratio:

Your text to image ratio should be 60:40. Keep in mind that too much image will get you caught in gmail’s filtering and land you in the promotions tab. 

  • Shorten your email:

Gmail would most likely put your emails in the Primary tab if they look like personal emails. Keep your subject line short and email straight to the point. Don’t make your headline too long and keep only the important stuff on your footer. 

  • Don’t forget your unsubscribe link:

Always put an unsubscribe link on your email. It is better to get people to unsubscribe rather than have them put your emails in spam. Also, the CAN-SPAM law states that all marketing emails must have an unsubscribe link to be legal. 

  • Test your emails: 

You can do an A/B testing to compare which email works best. Numbers will tell you what emails your people prefer. 

  • Send valuable content:

You’ll get more opt-ins and engagement once your recipients get value from your emails. 

  • Know your people: 

 Knowing your subscribers to a certain extent will get you more opens. If you know when they open their email and what emails they like to receive you can send the right content at the right time.


In summary, simple is better. From header to your footer, keep your email simple to avoid getting caught on gmail’s filtering. Making your emails too fancy might land you in spam or the promotions tab.