Avoiding the Gmail Promotional Tab

Are your messages to Gmail users ending up in the Promotional tab? This is likely due to Gmail flagging your message as promotional due to the content of your email. This guide explains some of our recommendations and best practices for avoiding your email showing up in Promotional if it shouldn't be there.

Notice: Please keep in mind that Promotions Tab was created specifically for marketing emails. If you are sending marketing emails, we do not encourage trying to cheat Gmail’s algorithms by trying to have your marketing emails land in the main inbox. Trying to game the system and avoid accurate promotional message filtering can have a negative impact on deliverability overall.

Subject and content

Gmail's servers scan the subject and content of every email it receives to try and detect what sort of message you're sending. Users who's messages are regularly being sent to the Promotional tab should reconsider the subject line on their email, as well as modifying the content. If you need help, we have examples of great subject lines we've seen on our blog:

We also recommend sending a friendly reminder to your list encouraging them to drag your messages over to the primary inbox. That way your emails will appear there from then on.

Additional tips

If you have changed your message subject and text, but are still seeing your non-marketing messages delivered to the Promotions tab, here are some additional tips that may help:

  • Don’t sell: Selling in your email is promotional by definition, and will be labeled by Gmail as promotional.
    • If you only are selling in some messages, try to focus your email to separate non-promotional material.
  • Create high quality content: Tempt your recipients to open your emails, and click on links.
    • Don’t use blatantly commercial or marketing phrases, as these are likely to activate filters. Keep "buy now", "discount", "promotion", "offer", and so on out of your non-promotional messages.
  • Minimize the number of images and links: Personal messages tend to have far fewer images and links than marketing campaigns, so this is an easy tell for email servers. Keep these to a minimum in your non-promotional email.
  • Personalize your email: Referring to the subscriber by their first name would be a way to show Gmail that you know them personally.

For more insight about the Promotions Tab, please check our blog post and recommendations on the Gmail tab layout: I Fought Gmail’s Tabs, and The Tabs Won.

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