How to Avoid Gmail Promotions Tab- A Step-by-Step Guide11 minutes read

In 2013 Google rolled out an update in Gmail that created multiple tabs such as Primary, Promotions, Social, Updates and Forums. This update has significantly affected the email open rates in Gmail. 

When a user goes through their emails, they want the most relevant information at the top of their inbox. Thus every email received on Gmail goes through the filter where it checks if the email is sent to promote something. In such a case, the email is categorized in the Gmail promotions tab. 

If you are a marketer or sales professional sending emails to your subscribers or a prospect, you would be worried why are my emails going to promotions. However, it’s easy to learn how to avoid Gmail promotions tab. 

This blog contains a detailed explanation regarding how to prevent emails from going to promotions in Gmail.

Why do emails get delivered to Gmail promotions tab?

Gmail uses smart algorithms to scan every email. If you send marketing emails or bulk emails that include deals, offers and, other promotional messages from a third-party email service provider or email marketing software like Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, etc, this would trigger the filters. This is the reason why your emails go into the promotions box.

84.5% of the messaged triggered as promotion land in the promotion tab, out of which only 19.2% are read, which is lowest among all the tabs. This itself proves that landing in the primary inbox is much more significant for your product or service than you think.

So it becomes crucial to move your email from promotion to the primary tab of Gmail to increase email open rate and boost your conversion rate. 

Without any further ado, let me give you some of the best strategies that you can use in order to avoid Gmail Promotion tab and land in the primary inbox.

12 effective strategy to avoid Gmail promotions tab in 2022

1. Avoid email blast (use email campaigns)

When you send an email blast to your subscriber from any email blast tool, the Gmail filter imminently detects it. There are high chances you may land in the promotion or Spam folder. To avoid that, instead of blasting an email to the entire list, you can segment your subscribers and do an email campaign using tools like  Saleshandy

You can send personalized email campaigns to multiple recipients. Using Saleshandy, you can set an interval between your two emails to make it look more natural and human-like. Additionally, you can set follow-ups in a single threat based on the recipient’s behavior. Such practices improve your email deliverability and help you gain a good open rate. 

2. Avoid too many links

The most significant difference between a marketing email and a conversational email is links. If you jam your emails with too many links, there are high chances why your email goes to promotion. In order to land in the primary inbox, you need to make sure that the links are to a minimum.

3. Improve your sender reputation

The email deliverability also depends upon the sender reputation of your email service provider. Based on your score Gmail filter decides in which tab your email should land or go in Spam. 

There are ways to check your spam score before you send an email to someone. You can make suggested changes and make sure that the spam score is as low as possible. You can use a free tool called Mail-Tester to check it. Send your email to the email address that they provide and they will fetch you your spam score.

Google recommends authenticating your email. It helps the Gmail filter verify that the email is sent from a legit account of an organization. 

Follow this guide to set up your email authentication and increase your email deliverability.

4. Keep the HTML to text ratio

If you are sending an HTML email, there is no chance of your email landing in the primary folder. Gmail algorithm immediately detects its send by tool rather than a human. Along with that HTML email with heavy images take more time to load and it affects user experience. 

To make sure your emails avoid Gmail Promotions tab, the email should appear as if it’s written and send manually to create a one to one conversation rather than blasting with beautiful HTML tags. If your campaign requires a beautification, keep the HTML to a bare minimum. The plain text email with minimal links and images gives higher chances of getting delivered in the primary folder. 

5. Personalize your email

When you send an email to multiple users, you can use mail merge to personalize each and every email. This will not only help you get better odds in landing in the primary box but will also create a feeling of belongingness with your readers. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and clicked. 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line.


With tools like Saleshandy, you can attach a CSV file containing all your subscriber’s details and send a different email to each one of them. You can address each one of your recipients by their name and a personalized subject line. You can also put a random time difference between every email so that it could replicate human-like sending.

6. Avoid spam trigger words

There are plenty of words that will trigger the smart Gmail filters and send your email in the promotions box. 

Here are the most Spam Trigger Keywords:

  • Free
  • Sale
  • Offers
  • Discount
  • Best prices
  • Clearance
  • Be your own boss
  • Expect to earn
  • Get Paid
  • No credit card

You can read a whole list of such words and make sure you avoid it as much as possible. It will ensure high email deliverability.

7. Use correct formatting

If you use a lot of fancy-looking fonts in your email or have a variety of formatting at different places, the filters might identify you as spam. Keep your emails professional looking and using different fonts only if essential for the design.

8. Declutter the footer

The footer of your email might have a long list of disclaimers, terms and conditions, etc. Only keep the necessary things — its best advice to keep your email plain with no links and images. 

9. Ask your subscribers

In Gmail, moving email from promotions to primary is the most full-proof way to ensure that you avoid Gmail promotions tab. Send an email to all your subscribers, asking them to move your emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab. When the user moves it to the primary box, all your emails will be sent there. Regardless of what content you share. But make sure you do not overuse this luxury by sending spammy content. You can also ask your subscriber to save your contact. This will help you land in the primary tab of the inbox.


10. Send valuable content to your subscribers

In this era, where content marketing is at its peak, you must understand the importance of giving the readers value. You must deliver great content to all your subscribers. It would increase the number of people that opt-in your newsletter and other content sent by you. You can help them with the new updates of features of your product or you can also tell them the productive news related to your industry. The benefits of creating high-quality content will reap in the long term and it will come with a ripple effect.

PS: Email segmentation helps you deliver high quality relevant content to your subscriber. They earn 100.95% CTR than non-segmented campaigns.

Also Read: How To Send A Newsletter With Gmail Effectively

11. Send short emails

Send concise emails and to the point. If these emails resemble the once that you would personally send to someone, Gmail will put it in the primary inbox. Also, if you keep your subject line short as well, there will be an added benefit. It’s good to send an email less than 300 words and the optimal length of your subject line should be 7 words and 41 characters.

12. Perfect email timing

Timing for sending emails is a determining factor to get a high open rate. The better open rate you have, you are more likely to stop asking yourself why my email goes to promotion. It’s all about the recipients’ behavior with email opens and link clicks that Gmail considers the most. The best time to send emails differs from industry to industry, one that works for us may not be the same for others. Find the best in your industry, test it and stick to what works well for you. 

If you are in B2B, ensure your email gets read when the recipients are at work. On the flip side for the B2C, engagement remains high in the evening and over the weekend. 

To make the most out of your emails, you can use tools like Saleshandy that give you the flexibility to schedule your emails in different time zones.


Benefits of emails getting delivered to the primary tab

1. Higher open rates

Emails in the primary inbox get a far more open rate than in promotions. Once a person’s promotion box starts filling with unread emails, the pile grows and the chances of your email getting opened become minimal.


2. Increase conversion rate

When you land in the primary box, half of your job is done. An email that lands in the primary inbox gets more read rates and that would lead to increased click rates. Hence, your overall conversion rate would increase. Just by making sure of these few things mentioned above, you will be able to increase your conversion rates. That is the biggest and most unarguable benefit that you get when you land in the primary inbox.

3. Increase reliability

 Imagine you subscribed to a newsletter and they send you an email in your primary inbox, it makes the email much easier to access and trustworthy for you. When your email lands in the primary inbox, it increases the trust of your customers on your product or service. This factor helps you create long term relations with your customers. When readers go to the Promotions tab, they have a preconceived notion regarding the email. This means even if you have sent a great email, your reader will read it with a bias.


When you are sending an email, you need to know all the factors that might cause your email to land in the Gmail promotions tab. It is essential to land in the primary inbox to get the best result as email marketing is getting more and more competitive. Due to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, you would find new strategies and tips to understand why are emails going to the promotion in Gmail every day.

If there are any tips and tricks to avoid email going to promotions tab in Gmail that we might have missed, let us know in the comments below.

Till then, make sure you get all the steps correctly and stop wondering why my emails go to promotions.

By SalesHandy Editorial

A team of technophiles and marketing geeks who love to explore new market trends and follow emails everywhere. Making your emails work for you is their only goal!

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