Avoid The Gmail Promotions Tab

promotions tab image
Don’t let your emails end up in the Gmail promotions tab

Google doesn’t make it easy for marketers, they have 200 or more factors for SEO, those who have YouTube and Google+ pages have prominence on rankings and then there is the promotions tab in their Gmail email service.

This tab is where all the marketing messages are supposed to be delivered. The idea is that Gmail users aren’t surprised by a sudden request to buy from a company and to keep personal messages at the forefront. However, it doesn’t always work like that and promotional messages can end up in either tab.

If yours aren’t going to the primary tab this can be a problem and your competitors may be getting seen first by your target audience. This can make you miss out on a sale. Therefore, you want to adjust your emails so that they will arrive in your audience’s primary inbox and the not the promotions.

Here are our suggestions of what you can do:

Be Personal

Use the first name Merge Tag tool in your email marketing program to address the receiver by name. This makes the message more meaningful to your audience, improves interaction and increases trust.

Most email marketing packages include this facility, but Mailchimp’s is by far the easiest to use.


Personal touches win by a mile, so keep your message simple and natural. Write it like a letter you would send to a close friend or relative and make the reader feel you are speaking directly to them. This also helps fool Google.


We’re all about images these days. Images in your blog, social media, etc, but not in your email copy. Google see images as promotional or spammy and send these messages to the promotions tab. Therefore, lose the images and get better returns on your email deliverability.


The major point of your email marketing campaigns is to deliver traffic to your website or sales page on Amazon / Ebay. So you’ll want to include links to all those great products and services you are promoting. However, Google sees this as spammy and considers all messages with more than one link suitable for their promotions tab.

If you want to enter on their primary tab, reduce your links down to one. This shouldn’t be too bad either, allowing you to focus on one clear objective could help you sharpen the marketing message and have more people willing to take you up on your offer.


RSS feeds just aren’t good for email marketing. They don’t look good and they aren’t personal. They are automated marketing and Google sees them exactly that way as well. Therefore, don’t use RSS Feeds.

Content Length

Longer is no longer better. If you want to arrive in the primary inbox of your target audience, then you should keep your content short. The recommended length is about 500 characters or less. Other authors have noticed that lengthy emails are finding their ways in the promotional tabs, while short emails are not.

An option here is to have a page on your website hosting most of the information and using your emails as a way to ‘advertise’ that information and get people to click through.

Don’t Sell

Google has a very clever system, there is no doubting that, they can analyse your message in seconds and determine its true purpose. What you need to do is to make your message look less like a pitch and more like a personal communication. The best way to do this: lose the pitch and just speak to your audience.

Don’t even mention the words: buy, receive or anything in linking text if you want good results. Instead concentrate on providing high quality information to your audience.

Provide Value

If all else fails you can always get your audience to move you from promotions to primary. There is no finer way for this than to ask. But to do this they will need a reason and that is best achieved by providing valuable content they want to read every time.

Final Word On Gmail’s Promotions Tab

Your target audience using Gmail as their mailing client are likely not receiving your emails. This might be because Google thinks you are being too promotional and placing your content in the ‘promotional’ tab. To avoid this – follow the guidelines above and gain better return on your email marketing campaigns.