Top 10 Gmail Promotions Tab Myths Debunked


“After a year of managing email lists totaling 10’s of Millions of subscribers? Gmail is weighing in at 43% of total list on average; 20% at the minimum (rarely) and as high a 65%- A well orchestrated Gmail strategy without trying to game the system is more important than ever!” – Chris Lang

“Why is my email going to the Gmail Promotions Tab” is probably the most often asked question I still hear these days, two years after Gmail released tabs.

So let’s take a look at the Gmail Promotions tab from a non-techy perspective and count em down like Letterman…

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

The Gmail Promotions Tab is highly dependent on language. So when you talk about yourself, or your product you use words like; I, me, we, our and of course, the name of your product?

Well, that is a promotion.

Stay away from hard hitting copy as well. Mentioning; money, click here, limited time only, discount, buy now and of course, reusing the same copy over and over. That goes double for heavy footer text in emails.

#9 – Only Mail Your List When You Are Promoting Something

Let’s face it, you and I subscribe to some email lists just because we want discounts and rightly those kind of emails go to the Promotions tab. That does not mean you have to send emails with the same footprint and join them, do you?

#8 – Use Small Text Because “Hey! I Have a Really Big Phone…”

When it comes to civilian email readers, the normal everyday person that reads your email will resoundingly be a iPhone 5 owner. And that is a very, very small screen.

You can easily see your own device stats at; Google Analytics >>> Audience >>> Mobile >>> Devices… In the left hand navigation menu.

Use a font like Arial that is easy to read, and set your font size between 18 pixels and 22 pixels. 18 px is what most email list owners prefer, I myself prefer like 22 px.

#7 – You Use Your Business Name As The From Address Text – And Pay Close Attention To Those “Branding Experts” :]

Using the name of your business as the from text in your email’s from field, may be great for your business, but it’s not how you get to the Gmail Primary tab. Businesses promote, hence… Promotions!

Use your own name and create personal connections!

#6 – Use Lots Of Images – Because… Well- Pinterest!


Ancient Aliens guy explains how to go to the Gmail Promotions tab...

Translation: If you see aliens and get a great selfie with the little green men and women, you only need one image in an email or blog post to get your readers attention.

Every email marketer that has written about the Gmail Promotions tab agrees, one image per email.

So when you have a business name, banner style logo image at the top of your email, you have already reached the recommended daily allowance for images. Why waste that image on a business logo?

#5 – Use Big Phat Newsletter Style Templates – We All Want An Entire Magazine In Our Email

The email digest type newsletter layout has 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 – Use A Sig File And Link To All Your Social Profiles In Every Email

See #3 and #10

#3 – You Add Lots Of Links In Your Email – The More Links, The More Clicks You Get Right?

All fun aside, the more links you have in your email, the more Gmail weights that in over 450 algorithms that make up Gmail’s decision making process that decide where your email is going to go.

One link please, and one link only!

#2 – Do You Say “Whitelist my email” Cuz Everyone Knows How To Do That Huh?

Please raise your hand and scream “Yayes” in your best Sunday go to meeting voice and tell me you know how to whilelist an email address!

Expect that your reader does not know how to whitelist your email either, and instead use my email whitelist generator!

#1 – You Change Your From Address Often

Use a stable from address and Do Not change it…

Google and Gmail especially hate it when you change your from address to your email list. In fact, this is a footprint that is well known among spammers.

User whitelisting is automatic in many email clients like Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo and your phone. Plus it’s the front line to detect spam in many spam filters. Changing your email from address and or using a no-reply@ email address breaks their built in address book lookups.

Gmail does like variety when it comes to email. But not when it comes you your email address!

The Bottom Line

No one but Gmail knows the actual algorithms and the weight of somewhere around 450 different algos that make the final decisions at Gmail.

And just because you have 10 links in an email does not mean you are fore-shore going to the Gmail Promotions tab.

As I said proved in the Email Delivery Webinar with Mari Smith, Gmail is:

  • Highly Customized and Personalized
  • Algorithmic and Dynamic
  • Like Google overall; Forever changing…

Cover image of email delivery book

This has been just 10 of over 100 step by step Email Delivery techniches and strategies real people can use no matter what platform you send your mail from, to Get It To The Inbox!
Click Here to get the rest…

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Gmail Promotions Tab Myths Debunked

  1. Excellent article, Chris. Useful tips indeed. Using very less or no images certainly help in improving your open rates. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at hiverhq.com)

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