Recently a request of one of our clients inspired this post: they wanted to send a massive email, but they didn’t want this email to land on the promotional tab for gmail users. “Is there any tool or configuration we can use to reach the inbox tab?”, was the exact question. One simple question, but not an easy answer.
Maybe you all have read before about the complexity of Google Algorithm, but just in case, we are going to refresh your memory: It analyzes about 200 factors before “deciding” the tab where an email goes. TWO HUNDRED!, and not all of them are public, or clear to anybody.
So, there is no simple “trick” or configuration to appear on the inbox of any users, and certainly even less when it comes to ALL the users: If there was one solutions just as simple, every advertiser simply would apply it and goodbye promotion tabs! However, there are some tricks you can try if you really feel that avoiding the “evil” tab is worth your time and effort.
Google could think an email promotional if it fits one or more of this conditions (among 190 other).
If just the addressee has moved emails from the sender before.
There has been interaction with the addressee before, or another user with the same domain, so Google sees it as somebody “close”.
The content is not strictly promotional, i.e. does not have any specific call to action aiming to purchase, subscription, site visits, such as most informative newsletters.
The content does not have any terms or words related to commercial activities. For example “buy”, “offer”, “promotion”, “business”...
The sender has made an exhaustive segmentation that allows the management of several short lists of recipients from a regular user, without the need of any email marketing platform, from IP directions not used regularly for marketing purposes.
The text of the email has a structure similar to the one of a regular email: It starts with a greeting and then moves to tell a story.
Is sent out the regular work schedule hours.
The subject is written in a casual manner, without using calls to action, a lot of punctuation or words that could interpreted as advertisement.
Has one or no image, and almost no HTML code.
When it lands on inbox, none of the recipients sends it to spam or any other tab.
To resume, to avoid the promotion tab, your email should avoid look like a promotional email, or furthermore, be a promotional email.
As always, content is the king, and if this content is alike most of the “regular” emails, it will land where the regular emails arrive. However, it is worth mentioning that maybe you can trick the algorithm, but you will never trick the user. Advertising will still be advertising.
Email marketing, as everything in digital world, has evolved, especially with the growth of social media, but that doesn’t mean that it is “dead” as many marketers dare to say. in fact, 75% of adult online users say that email marketing is their preferred marketing method
So, if your email is not working, it is more probably because of the lack of a effective content, instead of the tab or any other thing you can’t control. In fact, if a clearly promotional email arrives at the inbox tab, chances of being thrashed increases more than when they are on the “right” tab for the user. Every time users check the promotions tab, they know what they are going to find there, so the challenge is then to call their attention among all the other options there. On the other hand, if the user thinks an email is in the wrong tab, it will surely be discarded without any consideration, especially if they are received in office hours.
If you don’t want to fall in the promotion category, what you must do is delivering content of value for the user, written in a non-promotional way and sent without the use of any automatic tools, and yet there will be no warranty that it will not be sent to the promotion tab (especially if promotions have been sent from the same user or domain), or that there will be more or better conversions.
So, why not focusing of delivering high quality content, with attractive subjects and useful information, instead of trying to fool Google Algorithm? It will be a more effective time investment, and will give you convenient results if used following the right tools and with realistic expectations.
There is another marketer nightmare: a lot of users don’t confirm purchases or subscriptions because the confirmation email goes to spam or any other tab.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to fix this problem, which is suffered by the majority of companies, no matter how big they are.
In this case, the most effective strategy is simply ask your subscribers to add you to their contact list, which is —we know— not always effective, or even possible.
Every platform deals with the same problem. Basically, the only thing that a company can do is warn their clients that they will receive an email that will probably go to the notification tray, reason why it is convenient to check this tab.
By the way, we don’t know if the client understood the answer we gave, but when it comes to Google algorithms, there is never an easy or short answer.