Are You a Primary, Social or Promotional Email Marketer?

As an email marketer, you’ve put effort into generating your email list to sell your services or products, but you’re not seeing a high response rate from your Gmail members.

It could be that Gmail, offers their user an option to deliver all emails into categorized tabs*. These tabs include Social, Promotions, and man with letterthe all-important Primary tab. What do these tabs mean to you, and how can you increase the deliverability and open rates of your emails?

Gmail has become one of the most popular” free” email systems available.  This means there is a good chance a large portion of your subscriber list are Gmail users, and Gmail has become their primary email source.  As your growing Gmail subscribers actively use this email client, Gmail tabs can become a concern and possibly affect your deliverability.

Emails in Gmail that are tagged Primary will alert the user’s phone when one is downloaded.  An alert increases the chance that your email will be seen and opened. However, if your email lands in the Promotion tab  no alert sent, and the email could be overlooked entirely. So how do you increase the deliverability to the Promotions tab?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Keep your member list up to date:

Your first few emails to Gmail clients have a good chance of ending up on the Primary tab. As you continue emailing, the interactions of your subscribers to your messages (do they read them, trash them?) is measured by Gmail.  If the interaction is poor, your emails are deleted as soon as received or never opened (for example) Gmail may start moving your incoming messages to the Promotion tab – lowering your overall deliverability.

By using an up-to-date list your email marketing will perform as expected, with high deliverability, opens and forwards. Including an increase ROI.  It’s worth the investment of time needed to build and maintain an engaged list of subscribers.

  1. Keep your subject line formal, and hello personal: 

When deciding on a subject line, try to shy away from using words like sales, free or discounts, as this can be viewed as Promotional and will affect the deliverability as such. Create messages that are personal instead of generic, thus increasing the likelihood that your email will be delivered into the Gmail’s Primary tab.

  1. Limit your images and links:

I’m sure you heard it before, limit the number of graphics you use in an email.  This also applies to Gmail.  As stated Gmail monitors incoming email, a message with several images and links will appear to be a marketing or spam email.  The Primary tab, because it is associated with personal communication, will less likely accept an image-laden message – if it’s not deemed spam it will most likely end up under the Promotional tab.   Personal correspondence usually contains just a few images or links, emails with a high text to image ratio, or high HTML usage will also be seen as promotional and moved accordingly.

  1. Send a Welcome Letter:

When you have a new subscriber, send them a welcome letter. “The most important email you’ll ever send hasn’t changed, it’s still the Welcome Letter.  Whether you are offering a service, selling retail or running a nonprofit organization, the goals are all the same.  Increase the customer, client or member base and keep them happy and interested.”  In the letter thank them for subscribing, and ask them to move your email to the Primary tab instead of the Promotional Tab. This only takes a few clicks on the subscriber’s part and this will inform Google that they want to interact with your emails.  If they do the sorting most likely any future emails will automatically be sent to the primary tab.

  1. Send a Test Email:

The best way to see if your content will end up where you want it is to do a test run. Generate your email and send it to a test account to see where it lands. From here you can make any needed corrections, or if you’re happy with the turnout, send it out.

The goal of all list owners is to grow your subscribers and get them to complete an action. To do so you must be effectively reaching your clients. It may take a little time and effort to guarantee your Gmail subscribers see your emails, but the result may just be worth it.

  • *Primary: personal conversations and messages.
  • *Social: social network messages and other services such as media-sharing sites and online dating services.
  • *Promotions: advertising, marketing, offers, deals, and sales.