Successfully Move Emails from Promotions to Primary

Trying to understand how to move email from promotions to primary? Do you want to ensure your important messages reach your subscribers during the holiday season? The answer is YES, yes you do! And you’re not alone. Many membership based businesses face the challenge of their emails being sidelined into the Promotions tab, where they might go unnoticed.

But fear not our savvy friend! There are strategies to fix this issue and maximize the impact of your email campaigns. We explore how to prevent your emails from being dropped into the Promotions tab.

Avoid Excessive Sales Language

Email filters are designed to detect emails with excessive promotional language. Using too much of this type of language can trigger spam filters and cause emails to be placed in the Promotions or Spam folders. 

Here are a few examples:

  • “Buy Now!” – This phrase is direct and purely focused on making a sale. Use language like “Discover More” or “Get Started.”
  • “Limited Time Offer!” – While urgency is a useful marketing tactic, using it excessively can make your email seem like a sales pitch. Instead, try “Exclusive Access for a Limited Time.”
  • “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity!” – This phrase is not only promotional but also unrealistic. It’s better to be honest and transparent in your emails.
  • “Act Now!” – This phrase pressures the recipient to make an immediate decision. You can convey urgency in a less aggressive way, such as “Don’t Miss Out.”
  • “Free!” – While offering something for free is a common marketing tactic, using it too much can trigger spam filters. You can say “Complimentary” or “At No Cost” instead.
  • “Buy One Get One Free!” – This often is associated with promotion emails. To make it sound less promotional, you can say “Two for the Price of One” or “Double the Value.”
  • “Amazing,” “Incredible,” or “Unbelievable” – While emphasizing the quality of your product or offer is essential, consider being more specific in your descriptions.
  • “$$$” – Excessive dollar signs in email subject lines or email content can be spammy. It’s better to use the actual price or discounts in numbers, such as “Save 20%.”

Remember, the key is to strike a balance between promoting your products or services and providing value to your subscribers. Use clear and informative language rather than relying on pushy sales tactics. And remember, personalize the messages to genuinely build engagement.

Personalize and Segment Your Emails

Personalized emails have a better chance of landing in the Primary tab because they feel more like one-on-one communication. Use your subscriber’s name, reference their previous interactions, and segment your email lists for more targeted and relevant content.

move emails from promotions to primary

We actually go over the do’s and don’ts for holiday marketing here! Move email from Promotions to Primary and improve your subscriber retention rate!

Engage Your Subscribers

Encourage your subscribers to interact with your emails. Ask them to reply to your emails, click on links, or move your emails to the Primary tab. For example, you can add a brief section to your email that says:

“To make sure you never miss our important updates, here’s how to move our emails to your Primary tab in Gmail: [Include step-by-step instructions].”

This empowers subscribers to control where they receive your emails. These actions indicate to email service providers that your emails are important to your subscribers. It suggests that your content is engaging and wanted, which can lead to better email deliverability.

When email providers like Gmail see that your emails generate interaction and positive responses, they are more likely to deliver your emails to the primary inbox instead of relegating them to the promotions or spam folder.

Authentication and Verification

Ensure your domain and email authentication records (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC) are correctly set up. Not sure what this means? We’ve got you!

  1. Domain: Your domain is essentially your website’s address on the internet (e.g., You need to set up your email domain correctly in all aspects, including your email authentication records.
  2. Email Authentication Records:
    • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): SPF is a DNS (Domain Name System) record that specifies which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. When your domain sends an email, email providers can check the SPF record to verify that the sending server is legitimate. This helps prevent email spoofing, where malicious actors send emails that appear to come from your domain. It’s like a list of approved senders for your domain.
    • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM adds a digital signature to your outgoing emails. Email providers use this signature to verify the email’s integrity during transit and confirm its genuine origin from your domain. It helps with email integrity and authentication.
    • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM. It’s a policy that specifies what actions should be taken if an email doesn’t pass SPF or DKIM checks. DMARC can help prevent email spoofing and domain abuse by providing clear instructions on how to handle emails that fail authentication checks.

Setting up these records correctly reduces the likelihood of email providers marking your emails as “promotional” or “suspicious.” This step is essential for maintaining a strong sender reputation and guaranteeing that your legitimate emails, particularly those tied to holiday marketing campaigns, land in your subscribers’ primary inboxes rather than getting sorted into spam or promotional folders.

Check and Improve Email Content

Periodically review your email content and subject lines. Avoid spammy words, misleading subject lines, and excessive use of symbols. 

Examples of what to avoid:

  • Problematic words:
    • Words like “free,” “guarantee,” “prize,” “cash,” “earn money,” and excessive use of exclamation marks can trigger spam filters. While these words are not inherently bad, when used excessively, they raise red flags.
  • Misleading claims:
    • Don’t promise something in your subject line that your email content doesn’t deliver. Misleading subject lines can not only land your emails in the spam folder but also damage your brand’s reputation.
  • Excessive use of symbols, especially in subject lines, can look unprofessional and spammy. Avoid using too many special characters or capital letters. For example, “HUGE DISCOUNT!!!!” will probably be flagged.
  • Use symbols or emojis sparingly and when they genuinely enhance your message. For a holiday campaign, a well-placed snowflake emoji can add a festive touch, but don’t overdo it.

What you SHOULD do is be transparent and specific! Ensure your subject lines clearly represent the content of your email. For holiday campaigns, focus on being specific. Mention the holiday or promotion directly in the subject line to create anticipation and relevance. For example, “Exclusive Black Friday Deals Inside” is more specific than “Don’t Miss Out!”

The goal is to create engaging, informative, and non-deceptive subject lines and email content. High-quality, relevant content is more likely to pass through spam filters and reach your subscribers’ primary inboxes. It’s especially important during holiday campaigns when email volumes are high, and subscribers are looking for deals and meaningful messages.

Follow Best Practices

Staying updated with email marketing best practices is essential to maintain a positive sender reputation and ensure your emails are delivered effectively. Here’s a detailed explanation of the mentioned best practices:

  1. Avoid Purchased Email Lists:
    1. It’s crucial to build your email list organically. Purchasing email lists may seem like a quick way to reach a large audience, but it often results in more harm than good. Many purchased lists contain invalid or outdated email addresses, which can trigger bounce rates and affect your sender reputation.
    2. Additionally, recipients on purchased lists haven’t given explicit permission to receive emails from your brand. Sending unsolicited emails can lead to high spam complaint rates and damage your email deliverability.
  2. Ensure Your Subscribers Have Opted In:
    1. Permission-based marketing is a fundamental principle. You should only send emails to individuals who have explicitly opted in or subscribed to receive your emails. This can be done through sign-up forms on your website, at events, or other opt-in mechanisms.
    2. Opt-in subscribers are more likely to engage with your emails and less likely to mark them as spam. Their consent demonstrates interest in your content, making them valuable contacts.
  3. Provide a Clear and Easy-to-Find Unsubscribe Option:
    1. Every marketing email you send should include a visible and easy-to-locate unsubscribe or opt-out option. This option allows recipients to stop receiving emails from you at any time.
    2. Ensuring an accessible unsubscribe link is not only a legal requirement (under regulations like CAN-SPAM and GDPR) but also a sign of ethical and responsible email marketing. This improves your reputation and demonstrates transparency.

By following these best practices, you maintain a clean and engaged subscriber list, reduce the risk of spam complaints, and uphold ethical standards in email marketing. This ultimately contributes to a positive sender reputation and more effective communication with your audience.

Now it’s your time to SHINE!

Don’t let your email campaigns get lost in the Promotions tab this holiday season. By following these strategies, you can significantly improve your chances of landing in the Primary tab. Keep your content engaging, authentic, and user-focused. And remember, if you ever need expert support to optimize your email campaigns, our team is here to help! We’re dedicated to ensuring your messages reach the right audience effectively and efficiently. Say goodbye to the Promotions tab blues and hello to higher engagement and conversion rates!

Ready to run your holiday campaign but don’t have the time? We’ve got you covered! Click the button below to schedule a personalized call with our team and let’s make this last quarter blow your financial goals out of the water!