ince 2013 Google has been filtering e-mails and categorizing them as either; Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, or Forums. As a marketer, you may realize the open rate in the promotion tab is far lower than the primary tab. This prompted several tests to discover what methods can ease around Google’s algorithm and boost your engagement. Here’s what has been proven to keep your e-mails from landing under Google’s Promotion Tab:
1. Avoid Using Word Triggers
Avoid using words and phrases that Google flags as promotional. Some of these words and phrases include but are not limited to:
Download Our Extensive Spam Trigger List At The End Of This Article.
2. Make Sure Your E-mails Contain Valuable Content
It is detrimental to focus on value. When providing value to your subscribers, you increase your chances for them to not just continuously open your e-mails, but to seek them out as well. With this value provided and increased open rate, you are likely to increase your opt-in rate as well. In the long run you will experience an increase in conversions.
3. Personalize Your E-mails
Sending an email that states each subscriber’s name rather than a generic “hey there” will not only help you avoid the promotion tab but will also improve your open rate. E-mail management software usually offer “merge tags” which allow you to fill in personalized contact information.
4. Send Concise E-mails
When writing out e-mails to your subscribers it will be more beneficial to keep them short and straight forward. There are two main reasons for this:
I. Reader’s are more likely to finish reading the entire e-mail and take action from it
II. Google’s algorithm will likely classify shorter e-mails as personal and categorize them in the primary tab
5. Check Your Headers and Footers
Even though they can make your e-mail look more flashy or poster-like, the way you configure your header and footer can land you under the promotion tab. To increase your chances of being filed under the primary tab its best to skip the masthead (mastheads are usually headers with a large background image or color.) and try adding your “unsubscribe” link above the footer and in the body of your e-mail. Too many links in your footer causes Google’s algorithm to classify your e-mail as promotional.
6. Avoid Too Many Links
Have you ever sent a list of links to someone via e-mail and they could not find it? This is probably because containing many links is a trigger for Google to send you straight to the promotion tab. If you want to direct your subscriber too many links try sending one that redirects to a page with more. You can accomplish this with tools like LinkTree for free.
7. Authenticate Your E-mail
It is highly recommended that you authenticate your e-mail address. E-mail authentication is how mailing services can verify the e-mail address is originating from the company or place it claims to. E-mail providers look for authentication to prevent their users from mistakenly opening malicious mail. Most e-mail marketing platforms and e-mail services show you how to complete this authentication process using Sender ID, DKIM, and SPF. Doing so will help keep you out of the spam folder.
8. Use Uniform and Simple Formatting
Formatting in an e-mail refers to file type and styling of the email. As a marketer you may want to spruce up your email or use a nice HTML template with colored background and graphics. Although these may look nicer, they will likely land you in the promotion tab. Using plain text in a regular (non fancy) font, black color, 12pt size, and no or one image will help categorize your email as primary.
9. Raise Your Sender Reputation Score
Sender reputation refers to a score you are given by e-mail service providers such as Gmail. This score is based on many factors such as:
I. How often mail sent by you is marked as spam by the recipient
II. The amount of times your e-mails are open, replied to, forwarded etc.
III. Your unsubscribe rate
IV. If you are blacklisted elsewhere
V. If you are e-mailing invalid addresses
If your sender reputation score is too low, your subscribers will not receive your e-mails or they will land in the spam folder.
10. Pay Attention to Your Email Address
Use a sender e-mail address that states a person’s name – not the business. I.e: Danny@mydomain.com rather than email@example.com. Doing so will help increase your open rate as well as help Gmail categorize you as primary rather than promotional.
11. Ask Your Subscribers
The easiest way to always ensure your e-mails are filed in the primary folder of your subscribers is to ask them to “whitelist” you. They can do this by dragging one of your e-mails to their primary folder or in their sender menu. To make this process as easy as possible, we recommend sending your subscribers a guide on how to do so.
12. Utilize E-mail Campaigns
E-mail campaigns make your marketing more efficient and faster. The main reason you want to use an e-mail marketing platform is to automate your e-mails according to the actions, or lack of action taken by recipients. For instance, you can have one e-mail ready to send if the recipient opted in via the first e-mail and another set to be delivered after a certain amount of time passed without a response. E-mail marketing platforms usually offer analytics (most of which help avoid being labeled as promotion) to gauge who is opening your e-mails, what times are best to send certain correspondences, which e-mails you should take off your list and even how to group your mailing list in different sections so you can send content to smaller groups to boost engagement. This is called segmentation. You can divide your list and send “personalized” content for better reactions such as using a cat photo in your e-mail for certain subscribers and a dog photo for others. Segmentation helps land you in the primary tab rather than promotions because now you are decreasing the number of recipients per e-mail.
You can start a free trial with Wishpond to experience the difference all these features will make.