In 2013, Gmail rocked the email-marketing world by launching the “tabbed” inbox. Offering auto-organization into five mail categories – primary, social, promotion, updates, and forums – Gmail eliminated the inbox black hole and put users back in control over their digital mailbox.
While the new feature excited users, email marketers were fearful that their consumer correspondence would go unseen. Since the initial rollout, perception of the “Promotions” tab has generally been negative, as marketers equate it to the spam folder. However, that is where you might be getting it wrong.
You might be thinking, “the Primary tab typically gets the most attention because that is where people are checking person-to-person conversations,” and that thinking is correct. Gmail is pretty good at getting it right, so your deals, offers, and other marketing emails would of course not be included in the Primary tab, but in the Promotions tab. Correct sorting is a great indicator of the health of your email program, so celebrate the success of your campaigns rather than fearing the worst.
While the Primary tab typically receives the most attention, the Promotions tab is where you best target your consumers. When subscribers go into the Promotions tab, they are typically in the shopping mindset. It’s become second nature to Gmail users at this point – if they are familiar with your brand, they will expect to find your emails in the same place. If they can’t find it, consider it lost.
So, let’s say after all of this, you are still not convinced and want to trick Gmail into placing your emails in the Primary tab. This tactic is usually not a risk worth taking. The Primary tab is reserved for personal and professional emails, and meddling or aggressive brands might appear as intruders. Avoid hurting your brand’s reputation with deceptive behavior. Instead of taking valuable time and energy trying to force something that is not meant to be, work on refining and amplifying your email campaigns so they stand out in the Promotions tab.