How to Get Your Emails into Gmail’s Primary Inbox

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The non-primary inbox has many names.

Gmail calls it the Promotions tab.

Marketers refer to it as the Grim Reaper, since it’s supposed to be the death of email marketing as we know it.

I personally refer to it as a challenge, but one that you can overcome by following a few tips. With the right strategies in place, you can avoid the Promotions tab and land in the primary inbox every time.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips so your emails don’t end up in the Promotions tab of doom.

Keep it Informative

It’s natural to want to pitch your products whenever you send out an email.

If you do that, though, your emails are going to end up in the Promotions tab each and every time.

Instead of going crazy with promotions, follow Buffer’s lead and send out informative emails that don’t scream “Promotional Material.”

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This email has a ton of great information you can use for your marketing strategy. Plus, if you click on the links, you can sign up for Buffer’s service.

Go with a Single Link

Gmail analyzes the number of links in emails when determining where to file emails away. If your emails have multiple links, there is a good chance you’ll end up in the Promotions tab.

To be on the safe side, stick with a single link in the body of the email, like Heroku did with this simple email.

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This adds an additional benefit to your email marketing campaign as well. It helps you create a focused, click-worthy campaign.

Research shows that emails that have a single call-to-action have higher conversion rates.

Whirlpool ran a test with a single, focused CTA button and increased its conversion rates by 42%.

Create Emails that Read Like Personal Notes

I’ve noticed that marketing emails that land in my inbox look a lot like personal emails. If I don’t look closely, I could almost be fooled and think they’re from a friend.

These emails start with a personalized greeting and have a few paragraphs that read like a standard email, like this email from Ugmonk.

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When you create personalized emails like this, take it to the next level by targeting them.

If you do this the right way, two things will happen.

First, of course, your messages will end up in Gmail inboxes, which is the Holy Grail of email marketing.

Second, your conversion rates are going to increase.

The amount they increase depends on how good you are at this. If you’re great at it, expect to see your conversion rates go through the roof. 

Just ask the marketing team at Artbeads.com. They sent a targeted offer to one of their email segments and their conversion rates grew by 208%.

Send Content People Are Looking For

Here’s the sad fact: Sometimes, you can do everything right, and your email will still end up in the Promotions tab.

That is just the way it goes.

Fortunately, you can combat this by sending content that people are looking for.

Let me explain.

I subscribe to countless lists. If I were to go through email, I would probably find that I’m on 30 or so different lists.

Do you know how many lists I actually care about?

Two.

I know when the emails are coming in from those lists, and if I can’t find them, I look in my Promotions tab. Then, I drag them over and add them to my inbox.

Once I do that, Google knows that I want them in my inbox.

If you can create emails that people want to read, they’ll make sure they receive them in their inboxes.

So how do you create emails that people want to read?

Include tips, tricks, and useful information that people don’t get anywhere else. Make your emails the go-to place for inside information.

You can also include some giveaways or coupons in your emails so people begin to anticipate them.

I just received a coupon in my inbox from Under Armour, and now, I’ll keep an eye out for the company’s emails. I love getting a deal and I will keep opening them up to see if there will be more deals.

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Conclusions:

Don’t look at the Gmail Promotional tab as the Grim Reaper. It won’t kill your email marketing campaign.

This is merely a challenge and one that you can overcome. Use these tips and you will be a marketing genius.

Your competitors’ emails will be wasting away in the Promotions tab and your emails will be right in front of everyone.

Sign up for a free trial of Sendlane to start marketing to Gmail’s Primary Inbox today.

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Check here every Monday and Friday for more valuable info on helping to grow and direct your email based business!

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions, or what has worked well for you to hit the Gmail primary inbox.

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Dave Bender

Dave Bender

Project Manager at Sendlane
Dave is Sendlane's Project Manager. Raised in sunny San Diego, he has worked in all aspects of Internet Marketing for the last 12 years. He has acquired a deep understanding and knowledge that covers SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Digital Marketing.
Dave Bender