• Force24
  • 17th July 2015

Gmail Alert: Are you landing in the inbox?

Gmail Alert: Are you landing in the inbox?

Time and time again our clients turn to us for support with their inbox placement for Gmail and it pains us to tell them that there’s very little we can do about it…

Until now.

The answer to all our prayers, Gmail has just released Postmaster Tools, a tool to help senders understand potential issues in their email deliverability, which will allow them to take the relevant steps to improve it. It includes detailed analytics dashboards reporting on everything from spam rate to IP and domain reputation and even delivery errors.

What's the story?

Gmail is widely regarded as the “black box” of email, because Google doesn’t like sharing data with third parties. So we have always found it difficult to report on deliverability to the Gmail inbox. Plus the Gmail filters are very robust, they state that “less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and the amount of wanted mail landing in the spam folder is even lower, at under 0.05%.” That's pretty incredible.

You might remember that last year, Gmail introduced the new "tab view" for their web-based and mobile client programs to categorise emails depending on their ‘type’, such as Primary, Social or Promotional. This was a blow for email marketers worldwide. Immediately, the question was “how do I make sure my email marketing lands in the Inbox and not in the Promotions tab? And how do I track that?”

The new Postmaster Tools allows email marketers to see how Gmail is rating their email and therefore where emails are being placed; spam, promotions or the users primary inbox.

So what’s next?

You don’t have to worry about anything; Force24 has it covered. Hot on the heels of Gmail’s release, we have already implemented the new technology for all our as part of our ongoing service, and shortly we will be setting up your Postmaster Tools accounts for you, so you can sit back and relax.

As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on the performance of your emails and doing our bit to help you get out of the Promotions tab and into the Primary inbox.

If you’re not a Force24 client, you can read about Postmaster Tools here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6227174

And sign up for Postmaster tools here:
https://postmaster.google.com/?pli=1

How to land your emails in the Gmail Primary tab and avoid the Promotions tab

Google works in weird and wonderful ways. While no one can be exactly sure on the algorithm that decides whether an email is a “promotion” or is worthy of landing in the primary inbox, we do have some clues on how to improve Primary inbox placement. You can find full guidelines to bulk sending here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/81126#format (and as always, if you’re a Force24 client, rest assured that we have all of this in hand!) 

Here are some of our recommendations:

Subject lines
We always make a conscious effort to come up with subject lines that are engaging but if it sounds too much like a marketing email, it will be treated as such, so it’s important to keep a friendly, personal tone.

Bayesian algorithms
Emails containing words that have been previously reported as Promotional, or worse, SPAM, could cause it to be treated as non-urgent. We keep a close eye on trends to avoid this.

IP health and authentication
Taking care of your sending IP is crucial for trusted, authentic emails. This includes keeping valid reverse DNS records, signing messages with DKIM, publishing SPF records and DMARC policies. We take care of all of this for you.

Schema mark up
Quick wins such as adding your logo through a Google+ page and including ALT tags for your images can result in better inbox placement.

HTML density
There is a strong correlation between the density of HTML in emails vs. their plain text versions. We always recommend sending a plain text follow-up after a HTML version, as this is more likely to enter a users Primary inbox than their Promotions tab. 

By adhering to these general guidelines and with Gmail’s new update, you can rest assured that your emails are in safe hands with Force24.

If you have any questions on the new Gmail Postmaster Tools, or regarding your email deliverability in general, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Further reading

Read about Postmaster Tools here:
https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6227174

Read Gmails bulk sender guidelines here:
https://support.google.com/mail/answer/81126?hl=en

Sign up for Postmaster tools here:
https://postmaster.google.com/?pli=1

More on email authentication here:
https://support.google.com/mail/answer/180707 

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