How to Keep Your Newsletter Out of the Gmail Promotions Tab

Woman reading email on an iPhone. How to Keep Your Newsletter Out of the Gmail Promotions Tab

Is your newsletter landing in the Gmail promotions tab? Here are 5 tips to help your email newsletters land in the primary inbox.

Based on algorithms that consider subscriber engagement, content, and sender information, Gmail’s tabbed inbox, segregates emails into three tabs- primary, social, and promotions. 

The emails you send may be landing in the least visited of all three tabs, the dreaded promotions tab. Under the promotions tab your emails may not get seen by your customers and your business may lose sales.

To increase the chance your readers see your emails, you need to keep them out of the promotions tab. Why spend all the time and effort to created a beautifully written email when it just gets swept to the desert of the promotions tab? 

Although Google algorithms change constantly, here’s what you can do to keep your newsletter out of the Gmail promotion tab.

5 tips to keep your newsletter out of the Gmail promotions tab

Don’t Use Promotional Phrases

Limit your use of promotional phrases to a minimum. The tone of a newsletter should be conversational. Just like you’re speaking to someone in person. Keep it friendly yet businesslike. Usually in conversation people don’t use promotional phrases, so it would serve you best if you avoided them altogether.

Promotional phrases give the Gmail algorithm the impression that it’s a promotion. It only makes sense that your newsletter would be relegated to the promotions tab since that’s what it reads like. 

As simple as this seems, lots of folks still make this mistake. Avoid words like “Sale,” “Free,” “% Off,” “Deals,” and “Discount”. Do not use these words in the subject line of your newsletter. 

Watch how you use the caps, dollar or percent signs, and punctuation.

Reduce Your Use of Images 

Text to image ratio is critical when creating emails. Restrict the images to 2 per mail. Avoid adding pictures in the signature line. 

Too many emails annoy subscribers and could get your email banished to the promotions tab. Google filters email with too many images to promotions. When you consider the fact that emails from friends rarely have lots of images while promotional emails do, then it’s easy to see why. 

Always remember that your logo counts as an image, too.

Interested Readers

To improve the chance of your newsletter landing in the Primary tab is to maintain a healthy audience. 

A reader that wants to hear what you have to say will make changes in their Gmail account that send your newsletter in their Primary tab. 

Ask your subscribers to add your email to their Google contacts. Mails from Google contacts always go to the Primary tab. 

Suggest that they move your newsletter campaigns to the Primary tab. Google will then “learn” to send your newsletter to their Primary tab everytime. 

Only Add Necessary Links

When you add unnecessary links to your email, you give Google the impression that it’s a promotional email, and its assigned to the Promotions tab. 

Avoid adding too many links to your email; 4 at most. Interestingly, the fewer the links, the more likely your email will land in your inbox. Remember to count the social connect links at bottom of your newsletter in the link total.

Go Easy on the Formatting

While it is a great idea to format your emails so they appeal to your readers, too much formatting can harm your marketing efforts. 

When you “over-format” your email, Google assumes it’s being sent by a company not a person and sends it to the promotional tab. 

Emails that land in the primary tab every time use plain text and avoid HTML formatting or fancy fonts. Keep it simple.


Although Gmail’s Promotions tab contains marketing emails and promotional offers, it could be something of purgatory for your newsletter. 

Mailchimp suggests that landing your email in Gmail’s Promotions tabs could be a good thing. Personally I want all my informational emails to go to my Promotions tab so when I have some down time I can dig in and read.

Using these helpful tips should help you keep your newsletter out of the Gmail Promotions tab. If you’re still having difficultly feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help.

1 Comment

  1. Jocelyn on December 17, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I always knew that text to image ratio was important but I forget that my logo & any images in my signature counted. Even those darn social media ones. Fixing asap!

Leave a Comment