Gmail tabs: Tips to find the Inbox, how to get to the Primary folder

You may know already that gmail have rolled out their new tabs interface the end of May.

Post roll out we have all heard a lot of commotion with the reports of return path and litmus about what it will do for consumers as well as for those sending bulk email.

Much ado about nothing?

Although gmail has their own intentions of including the tabs for such ‘promotions’, it’s important we work with what we’ve got, and to adapt if we need to, do we need to?

It’s important to remember that:

  • A lot of gmail users won’t have the tabs if they are using smart phones or tablets
  • The tabs render differently in Android environments
  • If a member wants your email or you are using targeted segmentation this is key
  • Less emails are being classified as spam and now end up in the ‘Promotions’ folder
  • Perhaps your email is in the best place already, depending on your audience and user behavior
  • Increase engagement rates and ensure to use valuable content

Top tips to get your emails to go to the Primary folder

The following are some examples that I have seen to have worked, like all things deliverability you’ll need to test:

  • Add a pre text header which gives the user an instruction or gets their attention
  • Try and encourage your members to drag your email into the Primary folder
  • Encourage members to star your emails this will help to bypass to the Primary folder
  • Use adhoc subject lines for those inactive members, eg ‘Gmail user we have something to say: insert normal subject line in pre header’
  • Add to safe sender line including the sender from address
  • Create a campaign especially for inactive gmail members, with instructions

fig.1 pre text header as seen in gmail

gmail tabs



fig.2 pre text header as seen in the email






Perhaps you have some other ideas about this, i’d be interested to hear them!
Are we likely to see other top ISPs following suit? who knows, time will tell.

Stay tuned for more insights, good luck with your next gmail campaigns!
Cheers, Anthony Mitchell

By Anthony Mitchell

Anthony Mitchell is a Deliverability Consultant with ten years of experience in all areas of E-Mail Deliverability & Abuse Management.
A Blogger & Youtuber, discussing all things email

5 replies on “Gmail tabs: Tips to find the Inbox, how to get to the Primary folder”

I simply want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and honestly enjoyed you’re blog site. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You definitely have terrific articles. With thanks for sharing your blog.

thank you for your kind words Luigi, once you have your blog up and running drop me an email, is it in deliverability also? be interested to know. good luck, you’re welcome anytime cheers

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.