Gmail is segregating incoming emails under "Promotions" tabs: How do I counteract this?

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This summer, Gmail initiated several different "tabs" for segregating incoming Emails (primary, social, promotions, updates, forums). I assume that my Enewsletters from Emma are going under the "Promotions" tab which is more likely to be ignored by my customers. Any suggestions for counteracting this? Do you know if a customer has "opted in" to my Emails if Gmail puts those under "Primary" tab?
Centennial Canoe Outfitters Inc.
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Centennial Canoe

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Posted 6 years ago

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hi Julia! I wrote a blog post this summer about Gmail's tabs, where you'll find answers to most of your questions.

According to the federal Can-Spam law, all recipients of marketing emails like yours must have opted in, but they'll still go to the Promotions tab unless the recipient manually moves your email to their Primary tab.

Let me know if you have any questions beyond that post!
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Art Quanstrom, Deliverability and Compliance Lead

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A few years out from Gmail's introduction of the Social and Promotions tabs, it seems like Gmail's efforts to make email more user-friendly are still in question. Just in case anyone out there is still looking for guidance on this topic, I thought I'd add a few thoughts here.

Time and some analysis of the actual affects of the Promotions tab have shown that, for email marketers, it might not have had quite the negative affect anyone imagined. A few studies were performed and those showed a slight dip in engagement, but this was slight and not a redefining event for email marketing. The team at Gmail is putting a lot of effort into crafting a seamless, safe email experience that keeps their users sane in the face of an increase in both volume and variety of received messages. The categorization of these messages is central to their product and, as such, isn't something with which you should tamper. There are a few reasons not to do this:

  1. Some of your subscribers might actually like the Promotions tab and want your messages there. If they don't, they can always drag your message over to Primary to set a new rule.
  2. Gmail might not like you tampering with their product by circumventing their rules. They might view this as an attack on their software and, even if it works, it probably won't last.
  3. With people interacting with your messages on mobile devices, the Promotions tab might not even matter. Apple's default mail client, for example, doesn't support the Social or Promotions tab classifications.
Gmail is pushing the same message that we all are for email marketing, and it's based on engagement. Create compelling, relevant content. Get it to your subscribers when they expect and need it. Couple those two things with a strong list of people who know and love your business, and whatever else Gmail or anyone else does to categorize messages won't prevent your success.