How To Stop Emails From Going To Promotions

The Gmail Promotions Tab tends to get mixed reviews— some people hate it, some love it, and some just love to hate it. One thing is for certain— not many sales reps and marketers are huge fans, and they constantly wonder how to stop emails from going to promotions Whenever businesses send an email to their customers, they are never sure whether it will arrive in the Primary tab or land in Promotions, where it will be lost and forgotten. This makes email marketing a difficult tool to employ in a digital marketing strategy.

Before we discuss how to stop emails from going to promotions, let us understand what the Gmail Promotions tab is and why your emails might end there. We will also shed light on how this affects Gmail deliverability.

What Is The Gmail Promotions Tab?

So, let’s start by touching on the basics— what is the Gmail Promotions tab, and what is its purpose?

Back in 2013, Google introduced five tabs, namely:

  • Gmail Primary Inbox: This is primarily for personal messages from people you know.
  • Social Media Tab: This tab is set up to receive updates from social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Updates Tab: Order confirmations and shipping confirmations related to transactions are stored in this tab.
  • Forums Tab: To receive emails from forums like Reddit, Quora, etc.
  • Promotions Tab: This tab is where all email marketing and promotional emails end up.

So, the Promotions tab contains offers, product launches, and welcome email messages from businesses. Gmail sorts all your incoming messages through a complex and clever algorithm. It considers several factors, such as HTML code, email content, and the sender’s email address to categorize your messages.

Why Are Emails Going To The Promotions Tab?

Gmail automatically organizes marketing and bulk emails under Promotions. While this can be nettlesome for sales reps and email marketers, it is important to understand exactly why it might be happening. Some usual suspects are;

  • Heavy HTML coding
  • Using promotional language
  • Personalized emails
  • The content of the email is too long
  • Too many links
  • An overabundance of images and GIFs

Now that we know why your emails are going to the Promotions tab, let’s talk about whether this adversely affects Gmail deliverability for your brand.

Email Marketing Hack: Tips For Improving Email Deliverability

Does The Promotions Tab Affect Deliverability?

The Promotions tab in Gmail is fantastic for receivers, but most marketers would disagree and argue it is not so great for them. You want your communication to reach the inbox as a business. The good news is that you did succeed in reaching the inbox if your message ends up in any of these tabs.
Remember, Gmail’s tabs are simply categories in the entire inbox. Thus, ending up in Promotions is a step up from being on the block list. According to ReturnPath, there are a couple of benefits of Promotions as far as deliverability is concerned. A significant advantage is that since these messages are categorized, they don’t have to fight for space with different types of emails. This drastically reduces the chances of your email ending up in the spam/bulk/ junk folder and still plays a significant role in the sales funnel.
While it may not be the first online correspondence they see in their Gmail primary inbox, they’ll know exactly where to find it. This means that Gmail users are more likely to open your message when their user intent is high, and they’re actively looking for deals and promotions.

Ten Ways On “How To Stop Emails From Going To Promotions”

While it has no real bearing on deliverability, many marketers want their emails to go directly to the Gmail Primary Inbox. This section discusses ten tips on how to stop emails from going to promotions.

Send Out Personalized Emails

An easy way to prevent your emails from ending up on the Promotions page is to personalize them. Think of your emails as letters to a friend when composing them. Instead of sounding like some automated blast, be friendly and personable. Include jokes your audience will enjoy, and use language your subscribers can easily understand.
A personalized message goes a long way in conveying to your audience that you genuinely care about them. This helps improve email opening rates and lead conversion. There are a few key things you must factor in:

  • Avoid “blasting” your emails: Sending bulk messages to all of your subscribers may be considered spam or advertising, especially if the emails come from an ESP. It is preferable to send subscribers messages based on their preferences. You might need to perform some additional research, but it will be worthwhile once your members start to open your emails.
  • Address each subscriber by their name: Your readers are more likely to open and read emails that are addressed to them. Not only does this create a sense of personal connection with your business, but it also increases the chance of response.
  • Segment your subscribers: Grouping them based on their buying habits, demographics, and how long they’ve subscribed can be quite beneficial. With the help of this information, you can build segment-specific emails that will gain more traction.

Use Minimum Links

A dead giveaway that an email is promotional is that it contains too many links. These could be links to your company’s landing page, services page, or even social media. An overabundance of links may signal to Gmail’s algorithm that your message is promotional and needs to end up in the Promotions tab.
We recommend not exceeding three links per message (this includes the unsubscribe link, which is present in all your emails).
In fact, your promotional email only needs one link placed in the call-to-action (CTA). We suggest refraining from using words and phrases like “Buy Now,” “Discount,” or “X%  Off.” These are more likely to get picked up by Gmail’s algorithm than unimposing ones like “How Can We Help” and “Learn More.”

Create High-Value Email Content

A significant advantage of getting your emails to the Primary Inbox is that you will obtain higher open rates if you give the material your subscribers find valuable, entertaining, and relevant. Luckily, Google filters such elements and sends them to the receiver’s Primary Inbox. It is where the subscriber segments you created come in handy. With the help of these segments, you allow your subscribers to indicate the type of content they are interested in and how often they want to receive it. Then, you can create profitable email sequences that are tailor-made for them!

Pay Attention To The Email You Use

You may not know it, but your email address determines how Gmail interacts with your online correspondence. When your online address contains terms like “sales@” or “helpdesk@,” Gmail picks up as a business account and moves your email to other tabs. We recommend avoiding using generic company accounts like “[email protected].”
The email address in your sender field should match the address in your reply-to field. Google will believe you have used a business email if you use multiple addresses. Casual correspondence between acquaintances does not frequently use a no-reply address or have multiple reply-to addresses. Check if your sender and reply-to email addresses are the same when using an email marketing provider.

Don’t Use HTML Heavily

Perhaps the best thing you can do to ensure that your emails don’t end up in the Gmail Promotion Tab is not to keep the code too HTML-heavy. These can instantly land your email in the Promotions tab, and you will continue to wonder how to stop emails from going to promotions. Instead, use plain text whenever possible since these emails are more likely to end up in the Gmail Primary Inbox.
These are plain text emails without any modifications. The online correspondence only contains simple text without additional fonts, colors, or decorations. Links are not embedded in a plain text email either.
However, since it comes without any modifications, plain text may not be preferred by those running email campaigns. This is mainly because it lacks the critical features to bring attention to marketing your brand. However, even if you use HTML to spruce up your e-message, ensure it is not excessive.

Make Use Of Email Signatures

Automated text like “view in browser” and “Unsubscribe” frequently appears in the email footer and header. With these words, the email can land on the Gmail Promotions tab. Dealing with this circumstance can be challenging because marketers are legally obligated to include an unsubscribe link in a promotional email.
To remedy this issue, create an email signature instead of a footer. Adding an unsubscribe button at the end of the signature will help you ensure compliance and add a personal touch to the email.

Reduce GIFs and Images

Marketers often overstuff promotional emails with graphics and imagery as it gives the message a polished, easy-to-read look. However, when choosing the tab for a message, Gmail’s algorithm takes this into account.
While you have complete autonomy on the graphics and images to include in your email, be sure to do it in a similar way to how you’d email a friend. If you add too many of these in your email, the algorithm will flag it as marketing content and place it in the Promotions tab.

Avoid Spelling Mistakes

Robots can create and send emails. While it sounds convenient, a significant downside of bot-created emails is that they are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Not only is it off-putting, but also unprofessional. Most importantly, it is picked up by the algorithm, and your email might be penalized.
Thus, take your time drafting and proofreading your emails before sending them. This adds a human touch to the email and minimizes the chances of being picked up as AI-created content.

Avoid Using (Lots Of) Buttons In Your CTAs

Call to Action or CTA buttons are used in the email to link to an external source like an application or a website to increase click-through rates. It doesn’t matter how many CTAs you add to the email if your reader doesn’t want to convert. To get more clicks on their content, they add CTAs all over it and create them in the form of a button.

Remember, the more buttons you add, the more code you’ll have to add to your message. A code-heavy email can be categorized by Gmail as a promotion. Hence, create one CTA and ensure it is plain text rather than a button.

Ask Your Subscribers To Add You To Their Primary Tab

Last but not least— ask your subscribers to move them from Promotions. While it can be used as a last resort when the other ways haven’t worked, it is an effective way to get your subscribers to notice and remember your brand. For this, you would need to request subscribers to click the “labels” icon located at the top of the Gmail page and uncheck the Promotions box to shift the email from the Promotions folder to the Primary one. They must do this for every correspondence received from you until Gmail registers it in its algorithm.

But, since it is a manual process, many subscribers may find it monotonous and not bother to help.
Another way is to ask subscribers to white list you or add you to their contact list. All they need to do is click the three dots on the upper-right corner of the email and simply click “Add [your email] to Contacts List.”


While the best way to get the most out of your email campaigns is being consistent and keeping your readers engaged, getting a good inbox placement doesn’t hurt.
Having your correspondences land in the Promotions tab can throw a wrench in your marketing campaign. With the tips listed above, you have a good chance of having your emails moved out of it and into a more coveted spot in the Gmail Primary Inbox.

While these are all straightforward and effective tips on how to stop emails from going to promotions, if you run into problems— fret not! There are many email marketing experts out there who could help you up your email marketing game for better reach. When done right, email marketing can gain you genuine leads and converted clients.

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Camilla | Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

Picture of Camilla B. <br><span>Digital Marketing Specialist </span>

Camilla B.
Digital Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

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Vlad P. Marketing Specialist at Profitable Media, LLC

Vlad Popirda


If you’ve been swayed, convinced, or otherwise persuaded by the writing on our page or in some of our emails, chances are Vlad was the man behind it.

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Alisa is the glue that brings all the parts of our operation together. The one always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. The person that makes sure that it all works smoothly and on schedule, giving everything an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

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Her dream is to travel and explore different cultures, which she is always doing from home by cooking and trying out various cuisines from around the world.
Short Excerpt:
Alisa is the one that makes things work smoothly and on schedule, giving everything she does an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

Zach Warshawsky Chief Operations Officer at Profitable Media, LLC

Zach Warshawsky


Zach manages the operational side of our business and coordinates all the work done by our team. He designs technical architecture and always keeps an eye towards the future, making sure his solutions are scalable. He applies his skills in all sorts of fields, such as Project and Team Management, Sales Funnels, Web Technology, Split Testing, Automation and CRM.

If there’s one trait he shares with Henry, it’s passionate problem-solving. Although he has been working for over 25 years in Sales, Marketing, Management, Team Building and Customer Service, perhaps his relevant business credentials start even earlier. At 15, he started a business selling and installing car stereo systems before he even had a driver’s license. Armed with a reseller’s permit and a passion for business, he started down the path of entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back since.

With four amazing children and a wonderful wife in his life, his goal is set: provide the best possible life for them that he can. To that end, he works hard on helping clients scale their businesses through the use of cutting edge digital marketing tools.

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At work, he loves helping our customers make their dreams a reality, taking businesses to the next step of success, guiding them all the while. Outside of work, he enjoys a good meal with friends and a nice Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. He also likes travelling with his family and exploring different cultures and finding out more about our world. Having dreamt of becoming a soccer player when he grew up, he has since traded that sport for another, namely golf, which he partakes in whenever he gets the chance.

Little known fact, he won the Atomic Spicy Food Competition when most of the people quit after just a couple of bites. Scientists have yet to come up with an explanation.