I talk to mailing list owners large and small nearly every day. Many are resigned to live with their email marketing landing in the Gmail Promotions Tab. 

Not necessarily true. 

I asked Gmail expert Chris Lang to share what he has tested and experienced over millions of emails sent. 

Top 10 Ways to Avoid The Gmail Promotions Tab

2017 has made it clear, Gmail Promotions tab appearances, are email engagement death!

Gmail dominates your list today. 60% to as high as 77% I’ve seen, as we pour on more ad clicks. Only to find the opt-ins are Gmails, running like lemmings to, eventually, the spam folder.

Why the Spam folder you ask? The more and more your emails are unseen, the more and more engagement slips away, one opt in at a time.

Until you are so desperate- you start hacking your list away, calling great leads non-engagers. Or then, you get that email from the compliance department: “Remove the no opens no clicks, or else…” Even worse, termination of the account.

We used to think open rates meant more money, now they mean Gmail Inboxing…

Because Engagement = Delivery. And Delivery = Money!

And it’s you that is making it happen, because you think deliverability still depends on what email platform you use.

And so the magic bullet to the Inbox this week, becomes “It Sucks!” in your Facebook feed months later.

Take Back Your List –
10 Ways To Avoid The Gmail Promotions Tab

I did hear the Gmail head of anti spam say:

“Don’t game the Promotions tab, if you are there, you belong there€¦”

But when it comes to Inboxing, it’s not what you do right; Instead take away what you do wrong…

So let’s take away your negative indicators, in 10 easy steps!

#10 -You Don’t Believe “They Are Just Not That Into You!”

Unwillingness to make changes is your first mistake…

I had a guy tell me that “I will never chop up my beautiful emails to jump through Google’s [gmail’s] hoops…”

You are going to have to let go of your creations (and your creatives) while at the same time, quit looking at your own Gmail Inbox.

Just because you see your own emails there? Does not mean anyone else will. Because you are on your own list, right?

You click send, then anxiously refresh Gmail to see it appear. And open.

But your subscribers are not just that into you. Meanwhile you- have told Gmail your emails are the 100X most important thing you read.

And you hang onto your misconception of Gmail, based on one email going to your Inbox…

#9 -You Don’t Know The Email’s True Purpose

Your email has one purpose: Get the click!

But the subject line is NOT the only reason you get opens. When your subscriber sees your email, they open that email because because you are going to give them something they want. If not?

Then you have just missed the chance for your list to VOTE for your email in the Inbox.

Gmail actually predicts IF your subscriber will open that email. Opens and other indicators are votes for you to Inbox.

Then Gmail goes on to predict how soon after it arrives, that the Gmail subscriber as a real person, is historically apt to open it.

Guy does not open your emails regularly? Than it’s pretty darn easy to predict the guy is not going to open it today! And Gmail is not going to waste valuable Inbox real estate on it.

The REALLY bad news, is Google knows millions of guys just like him. So they predicatively send you to Promotions; If that person fits the jacket, or worse spam.

#8 -Get The Click On Mobile

Link placement in mobile is crucial, especially as you realize below, you only get two links to stay out of Promotions.

So you had best be testing link placement.

The days of scattering links thru out the body copy, are gone as you will see.

So before you can take advantage of what I am going to tell you in a minute, you have to rethink copy.

Especially in these days of phone obsession, correct use of your clickable links is gold…

#7 -Real Email Comes From Real People

I know you went to all those building a brand seminars, so now you want to build your brand via your list.

That is great if you are Adidas. I live in Adidas day in, day out. So I open every email from Adidas.

But I love Russell Brunson’s marketing. It’s his personality and his transparency that make him magnetic.

Ben Adkins is another great example. Trey Lewellen too! All three personalities are happy-go-lucky kinds of guys.

What ever your niche, the personality is in inside that email. Opening it lets you connect.

Again, we are back to getting the dang email opened…

#6 Images Are Great, But Too Many Are Too Much

Using too many images is a sure fire way to visit Gmail Promotions.

Cut back on those images: Try constructing your emails with one image, and see what happens.

Anything in your email is meant to get the reader to do what you want them to do.

So- Ask yourself, if you only had one image to use in an email:

“Would a branding header image be the best use of such?” NO! Heck no!

Use your one image to your best affect, and don’t follow the gurus as an example…

#5 -Your HTML Code Outnumbers Your Text

Pretty email templates have been popular and effective as a marketing tool for a long time now; It looks impressive, publishers love them, and so do businesses.

And that is the problem.

Businesses love them, and businesses belong in the Promotions tab.

#4 -You Use A Sig File And Link To All Your Social Profiles In Every Email?

You already have your subscriber’s attention, why would you want to let them scurry away to Facebook, Twitter and other attention zappers at the bottom of your email?

This is bad marketing. Keep your emails focused and give the reader one way out.

And then there is this next…

#3 -One Link Please, And One Link Only!

OK, don’t snap on me, and jump to the conclusion that the unsubscribe link counts. Take a deep breath.

One link is the Gmail dream.

But here is the big secret€¦

Two links will still Inbox well. And since 2013, the Gmail Inbox is the Primary tab.

You get two links, live with it and make the most of them.

#2 -You Don’t Offer Whitelisting Instructions

Believe it or not, whitelisting is your #1 way to stay out of Gmail spam.

And I know this because when my personal consulting clients take my instructions?

One client alone got back to the Inbox, and put 88% more profits in the bank in 60 days…

But the old way of whitelisting is over:

“Gmail has changed the address book addition link many times in the last few years, and just adding a sender to the address book does not whitelist delivery anymore at AOL, Outlook, Outlook.com and others anymore.” – Chris Lang 2016

Tim Starr, Senior Director of Deliverability for Maropost, said: This Whitelist Generator app is the only up to date instructions there are at T&C 2017.

On that page, there is even a link to Click Funnels video on how to integrate this with a Click Funnels page there…

#1 -Use One From Address -One From Name Text -A Real One & Stick To It

Yahoo, Google and Gmail especially hate it when you change your from address and from name.

In these days of machine learning, the machines can’t tell it’s you, if you confuse them.

But Gmail is also smart enough to know, that if you are changing your from address to try to avoid their AI machines…

And those address books are not just built on the from email address, they are also built on the from name text too, especially Gmail contacts!

And here is the 800 lb gorilla in all that:

When you launch a new product to your list? Well using the same from address as is already in your subscriber’s address books and whitelists is email delivery gold.

And every mailbox provider will love you for that one!

The Bottom Line

No one but Gmail knows the actual algorithms and the weight of somewhere around 450 to 550 different indicators of quality, that make the final decisions at Gmail.

But currently as of today, this advice is rock solid…

And I am not looking at my own Inbox and making this up.

It’s not based on Open and Click data either.

100% based on testing and experience, with ESP level software, and big data.

And millions of emails, sent each week by SEND13 SMTP

This article originally appeared at: https://www.send13.com/email-delivery/how-to-avoid-the-gmail-promotions-tab/.

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