Why Do Emails Get Delivered to Gmail's Promotions Tab?

Email Appearing in Gmail Promotions Tab
Alex Kachalov Alex Kachalov 17 may 2022, 14:51 443
For beginners

Your marketing emails may appear in the Promotions tab of your recipients' Gmail inboxes due to the way Gmail automatically categorizes emails. When going through their emails, users want the most relevant information at the top of their inbox. As a result, every email received through Gmail is filtered to see whether it was sent to promote a product or service. If that’s the case, the email will be shown in the Gmail Promotions tab.

Learn why this may happen and what you can do to ensure that your future emails arrive in users’ primary inboxes.

What Is the Promotions Tab in Gmail?

Promotions tab in Gmail

The promotions tab is where your marketing, promotional, and other bulk emails go. A user can go straight to the Gmail promotions folder to look for some deals or offers. Gmail introduced this tab to help users organize their inboxes and keep all marketing emails, promotional content, and other bulk emails in one place. No one except Google has control over how Gmail categorizes your emails, so you can't choose whether they appear in the promotions tab or not.

Why Are Emails Delivered to the Promotions Tab in Gmail?

Gmail scans each email with intelligent algorithms that detect marketing emails, bulk emails from third-party email service providers, and other promotional messages.

Gmail sorts emails to tabs

According to a study, the promotions tab receives 84.5% of the messages triggered as promotions, but only 19.2% of these are read, the lowest of all tabs. This demonstrates that landing in the primary inbox is far more critical for your product or service than you may believe. The spam folder, however, is not the same as the promotions tab. Even if Gmail sends your marketing emails to your recipients' Promotions tab, they can still interact with those emails. Engaged contacts can also set up their Gmail accounts to automatically forward your emails to their primary inbox.

As a result, getting to the primary tab of Gmail instead of the promotions tab is your objective if you want to increase open conversion rates of your emails. Here are some of the most helpful strategies for stopping your emails from going to the Promotions tab.

How Do You Get Your Emails into the Primary Tab?

Here are 12 practical strategies to get your promotions to the primary inbox tab.

Strategies to get your promotions to the primary inbox tab

1. Do Not Send Out an Email Blast

The Gmail filter detects it almost immediately when you send out an email blast using any email blast tool. Your message might end up in the spam or promotions folder.

Instead of sending an email to the entire list all at once, you can use any tool to segment your recipients and set up a series of emails.

2. Limit the Number of Links

The most noticeable distinction between a marketing email and an informal one is the number of links in the email. To get into the primary inbox, keep the number of links to a bare minimum. If you stuff your emails with too many links, there's a good chance they'll end up in the Promotions folder.

3. Enhance Your Reputation as a Sender

Your email service provider's reputation as a sender impacts email deliverability. Gmail filters determine which tab your email will land in (or whether it should go to spam) based on your reputation score.

You can make suggested changes to reduce spam scores as much as possible. Check your messages’ scores with a free tool like Mail-Tester. Send your email to the address provided, and they'll calculate your spam score for you.

4. Maintain a Small Markup-To-Text Ratio

If you send out a fancy HTML email, it has almost no chance of being delivered to the primary folder. In addition, HTML emails with large images take longer to load, which degrades the user experience.

Emails HTML tags in the Gmail

To avoid landing in the Gmail promotions tab, your emails should appear as if they were written and sent by hand rather than being flooded with fancy HTML tags. If you need to decorate your campaign, keep the HTML markup to a bare minimum. Plain text emails with few links and images are more likely to be delivered to the primary folder.

5. Make Your Email Unique

When sending an email to a group of people, you can use mail merge to personalize each message. This will improve your chances of landing in the primary box and give your readers a sense of belonging. Emails that are personalized are more likely to be opened and clicked.

6. Avoid Spam Trigger Words

Certain words and phrases will trigger Gmail's intelligent filters, driving your email to the promotions tab. Here are some of the most common spam trigger keywords:

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

You can look up a list of such words and avoid using them as much as possible to ensure a high rate of email delivery.

7. Make Sure Your Formatting is Correct

If your email contains a lot of stylish fonts or tons of formatting all around, the filters may mistake you for spam. Maintain a professional appearance of your emails, and only use different fonts if absolutely necessary for the design.

8. Clean Up Your Footer

An email footer usually contains a list of disclaimers, terms and conditions, and other information. Keep only what you really need — your email footer should be simple and free of links and images.

9. Ask Your Subscribers

The most foolproof way to avoid the Gmail Promotions tab is to convince your email recipients to move your emails from Promotions to the Primary tab to ensure that similar emails get there in the future. Gmail will ask the recipient if they want to do the same for similar future messages.

However, you should be careful not to abuse this privilege by sending spammy content. You can also request that your subscribers save your contact information.

10. Provide Useful Content

You must understand the importance of providing real value to your readers in this era of content marketing. It would boost the number of people who signed up for your newsletters and other content. You can help them with new updates on your product's features, or you can inform them of important industry news. Useful content increases open rates.

11. Make Your Emails Brief

Gmail will move your emails to the primary inbox if they look just like emails you would send to a friend. There will also be an added benefit if you keep your subject line short. It's best to keep your email under 300 words, and your subject line should be no more than seven words and 41 characters long, including spaces.

12. Consistent Email Delivery

The timing of sending emails is crucial for getting a high open-rate. The higher your open rate, the less likely you will land in the promotions tab. Gmail is most concerned with the recipients' behavior, such as email opens and link clicks. The best time to send emails varies by location and target audience. Find out the best time for your audience, put it to the test, and stick to the best solution.

If you're sending an email to businesses, ensure it gets read while the recipients are at work. On the other hand, B2C engagement is still high in the evening and on weekends.

Advantages of Having Emails Delivered to the Primary Tab

Increased Open Rates

Promotional emails have a much lower open rate than those in the primary inbox. When a person's Promotions tab fills up with unread emails, the pile grows, and the chances of your emails being opened go down even further.

Boost Your Conversion Rate

Half of your work is already done when you land in the primary box. The open rate of emails that land in the primary inbox is higher, which in turn leads to higher click rates. As a result, your overall conversion rate improves.

Boosts Trustworthiness

When your email lands in the primary inbox, your customers will trust your product or service. This factor aids in developing long-term relationships with your customers. When readers click on the Promotions tab, they already have the wrong opinion about the email. Even if you send a fantastic email, your recipient will read it with prejudice.


To avoid the Gmail promotions tab, you should consider the above strategies. Email marketing is becoming increasingly competitive, so it is now critical to get in the primary inbox in order to get the best results. To avoid ending up in the Gmail Promotions tab, your emails should look like they were written and sent by a human rather than crafted by robots.

Related Articles

For beginners
Why Email Open Rates are Important and How to Reach Good Open Rates?
It’s one thing to send email campaigns and another for the recipients to open the emails. That’s why email marketers always pay attention to their open rates, which is the percentage of subscribers that read their emails over a specified period or within a particular campaign.
Alex Kachalov
17 november 2022, 10:009 min
For beginners
Email Deliverability: How to Improve It?
Study this guide about deliverability practices and email sender scores.
Valeriia Dziubenko
27 october 2021, 14:498 min
For beginners
Email Authentication: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
Email authentication technologies — what are they? Learn about SPF, DKIM, and DMARC settings for emails and find out how they work in our UniOne blog article.
Alex Kachalov
13 october 2022, 11:136 min