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Email Deliverability for Promotions: Unlocking the Advantages of Gmail Promotions Tab
Anna Dawal
Anna Dawal
April 27, 2023
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Email Deliverability for Promotions: Unlocking the Advantages of Gmail Promotions Tab

Today, everything is moving towards digitalization and automation, including correspondence. In 2023, 347.3 billion emails are sent and received daily. Undeniably, emailing is one of the most critical forms of customer engagement; therefore, your marketing communication should be impeccable. 

One significant factor influencing the performance of your promotional emails is email deliverability – a measure of how effectively emails are delivered to recipients' inboxes, as opposed to being diverted to spam folders or rejected altogether. Email deliverability also concerns the email inbox placement – whether it lands in the primary inbox, the special tab (for example, promotions), or the spam folder, which is the worst outcome.

In this blog post, I will explore the importance of email deliverability in the context of promotions and delve into the advantages of Gmail's Promotions Tab

Why does email deliverability matter in promotional marketing?

Email deliverability directly affects your promotional emails’ visibility, engagement, and effectiveness. High deliverability rates can lead to improved discount campaign performance and, as a result, better ROI. When your email deliverability is impaired, it can result in reduced open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, ultimately lowering your customers' engagement.

Engaging with your recipients is essential in promotional and discount marketing. If your emails do not reach the inbox and are not opened, recipients will not be able to engage with your offers, and your email promotional campaign will become a total flop. 

How to make your promotional emails avoid the spam folder?

Avoiding the spam folder and ensuring that your promotional emails land in the inbox of your recipients requires following best practices for email marketing. Here are some tips to help you improve your email deliverability and reduce the chances of your promotional emails being flagged as spam:

1. Obtain explicit consent

Ensure that you have obtained explicit consent from recipients before sending them promotional emails. Use a double opt-in process to confirm that recipients have willingly subscribed to your email list and are interested in receiving promotional emails. Avoid purchasing or renting email lists, as they often contain outdated or low-quality email addresses, which can harm your deliverability rates.

2. Optimize email content

Craft relevant and engaging email content that is personalized, targeted, and aligned with the expectations of your recipients. Avoid spammy language, excessive capitalization, and multiple exclamation marks in your subject lines and email content, as they can trigger spam filters. Include a clear and easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism in your emails to allow recipients to opt-out.

3. Monitor engagement metrics

Regularly monitor and analyze key engagement metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, to understand how recipients interact with your emails. ISPs consider engagement metrics indicators of email quality, and emails with higher engagement are more likely to land in the inbox.

4. Segment your emailing list

Segment your email list based on recipient preferences, behaviors, or demographics to ensure that your promotional discount emails are targeted and relevant. Sending personalized and targeted emails to specific segments can increase engagement and reduce the likelihood of emails being marked as spam.

Learn more about effectively using customer attributes for promotional marketing by exploring Segment and Voucherify integration here

5. Maintain list hygiene

Keep your email list clean and updated by regularly removing inactive and bounced email addresses. High bounce rates and low engagement can negatively impact your email deliverability rates. Regularly review and segment your email list to send relevant content to engaged recipients, and consider re-engagement campaigns or list pruning for inactive subscribers.

6. Follow email marketing regulations

Ensure you comply with email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act and the GDPR. Include a physical mailing address, a clear and conspicuous unsubscribe mechanism, and accurate sender information in your emails. Follow the opt-out requests promptly and respect recipients' preferences for receiving promotional emails.

7. Do not avoid email classification

Remember that having your emails delivered to the receivers’ promotion tab instead of the primary inbox is an advantage. The recipients of your emails will have no reason to be upset that some brand emails are taking up space in their inboxes and distracting them from important messages. Instead, your customers (or potential customers) will consciously decide to access the promotion tab and willingly look at your email.

What is Gmail’s Promotions tab?

Gmail's Promotions Tab is a separate inbox tab that automatically filters promotional emails, making it easier for Gmail users to manage their inboxes and find desirable content. 

Gmail Promotions Tab

Since its release in May 2013, the Gmail Promotions tab has been plagued with bad press. These misconceptions are live and kicking 10 years later. So, what is the cause of the problem? Marketers might think their messages are top priority, but mailbox providers prioritize the recipient's experience above everything else. Considering how most people check their emails, the Promotions tab actually makes a lot of sense. Despite all the negative press over the years, it has been consistently helpful to both senders and recipients. Even though the email landscape has changed quite a bit in the past decade, the Promo tab has remained a valuable feature.

How to avoid Gmail’s Promotions tab (and should you)?

It is important to remember that the Promotions tab is not a marketing deadzone. Over half of Gmail users land there daily looking for deals. But if you are hellbent on showing up in the primary inbox, here are some tricks you can use:

  • Ask subscribers to add you to contacts:  This can signal to Gmail that your emails are important to the recipient and increase the likelihood that they will be delivered to the primary inbox.
  • Avoid using spam trigger words: Using certain words in your subject line or email content can trigger spam filters and cause your email to be routed to the Promotions tab or the spam folder.
  • Keep your subscribers list short and sweet: You should try to keep the recipients list as short as possible. To avoid email blasts, send messages gradually – avoid sending thousands of emails simultaneously, as such actions increase your chances of landing in the Promotions tab or, worse, spam. 
  • Use named accounts: Avoid using generic company email addresses like To give your email campaign a human face, it's important to use personalized email addresses like instead.
  • Personalize your emails: Personalized emails have higher open rates and engagement levels. By including personalized content, you may be able to improve your email deliverability.
  • Send relevant and valuable content: If your subscribers find your emails valuable, they are more likely to engage with them, which can increase the likelihood of future emails being delivered to the primary inbox.

Overall, it is essential to focus on creating engaging, relevant, and valuable content for your subscribers while also following best practices to ensure your emails are delivered to the primary inbox. If you have already implemented those points to no avail, then maybe instead of beating them, simply join them?

A benefit of having your marketing emails in Gmail's Promotions tab is that recipients will anticipate that the coming emails will be promotional in nature. Therefore, if someone is actively checking this tab, it is safe to assume they are interested in receiving offers. You can use this to your advantage by offering sales, discounts, trials, events, and other promotions with clear and direct subject lines. This strategy may even improve your email open rates, despite the emails being in the Promotions tab.

Why should you embrace Gmail’s Promotions tab?

The Promotions tab can be valuable for engaging your customers with your promotional email campaign. Over 50% of Gmail users who use tabs access the Promotion tab daily, and those who do have higher chances of converting. 

“The Promotions tab is definitively not the spam folder. It is the coveted inbox. If your marketing mail made it to the Promo tab, pat yourself on the back. You successfully evaded spam filters and have proven to Gmail that your mail is valuable.” 
Alison Gootee, Compliance and Deliverability Enablement Principal at Braze
How often do Gmail tab users access the Promotions tab?

What are the benefits of using Gmail's Promotions Tab?

  • Enhanced user experience: Promotions tab provides a dedicated space for promotional emails, allowing users to access and review promotional offers at their convenience. This can improve the overall user experience by providing a clean and organized inbox and avoiding the risk of essential emails being overlooked.
  • Increased email visibility: Although promotional emails are filtered into the Promotions tab, they are still visible to users and can be easily accessed with a single click. This ensures that promotional emails are not hidden or marked as spam, making them easily noticeable by recipients and potentially leading to higher open rates and engagement.
  • Facilitated brand exposure: Promotions tab provides a prime opportunity for brands to showcase their promotions and offers in a visually appealing and organized manner. With well-crafted subject lines, sender names, and preview snippets, brands can entice users to open their promotional emails and engage with their offers.
  • Better conversions: Emails sent to the Promotions tab tend to have better conversion rates as customers who intentionally open the tab have a higher buying intention. If your promotional content is combined with a flood of personal and social updates from friends and family, your message will likely get overlooked or deleted faster. 

Although the Promotions tab may have gotten negative press lately, it is a valuable tool for complying with your customers’ preferences. It must be remembered that the promotions tab is NOT a spam folder. Oppositely, when your emails land there, you prove that their content is valuable and legitimate. 

Furthermore, Gmail rewards senders whose emails reach their subscribers' Promotions tabs by offering Annotations. The Annotations are additional information or visual enhancements that can be added to the subject line and preview text of emails in the inbox. Gmail Annotations can provide additional context or CTA to recipients – for example, surfacing coupon codes – allowing receivers to engage with your messages without opening them. 

Therefore, instead of avoiding Gmail’s Promotions tab, embrace it and take advantage of features prepared to make your email promotional campaigns more engaging.  

Gmail’s Promotion tab features that will make your promotional email campaign effective in 2023

Annotating emails in the Promotions tab, with which Gmail rewards senders, can essentially take two forms: 

1. Deal annotation

Deal annotation is a feature in Gmail that allows marketers to add special annotations or tags to their promotional emails to highlight deals or discounts. These annotations are displayed prominently in the subject line or preview snippet of the email, making it easier for users to quickly identify and understand the promotional offer without opening the email. 

Deal annotations may include information such as percentage discounts, coupon codes, or time-limited offers and are designed to attract users' attention and entice them to open the email to learn more about the deal.

Without a doubt, taking advantage of this feature is a great way to encourage your customers to participate in your promotional campaign – the deal can be visible to them right away, and they do not need to open the email to use the promo code you are sending them!

Example of email annotation
“Leveraging Annotations so that mail stands out in the Promo tab is your opportunity to provide the right message to the right place, further refining your customer's experience. Instead of trying to beat Gmail's classification, embrace it. Your subscribers already have.”
Alison Gootee, Compliance and Deliverability Enablement Principal at Braze

2. Product carousel

A product carousel is a visual and interactive element within a promotional email that allows marketers to showcase multiple products or offerings in horizontal scrolling

Product carousel example

Each product is typically displayed as a card with an image, title, price, and a CTA button, and users can scroll through the carousel to view different products. Email receivers can click on the CTA buttons to access more information or purchase directly from the email without having to navigate to a separate website or landing page.

This feature allows you to display many products within one email and encourage your customers to shop for things they may not have needed.

When brands implement both of these features into their promotional campaigns, the inboxes of their customers remain organized. Customers have easy access to promotional emails, thanks to their landing in the Promotions tab, and can right away see the details of the best deals awaiting them. 

There are some things worth remembering while creating a Gmail Promotional setup. Let’s take a look at those below. 

What are the best practices for setting up Gmail Promotions?

1. Customize your carousel

By setting up promotional cards within your carousel, you can include up to 10 unique image previews. You are also able to add customize variables, for example, the prize or name of the products that you are advertising. What a great way to catch the attention of your shoppers!

2. Take advantage of the graphics

Gmail has observed that incorporating powerful visual elements that are relevant to the email's content has been highly effective. However, beware of using a design that only consists of text since the preview space is intended for visual communication, which is crucial in email marketing. Also, be creative and do not serve your customers with repeated images in various campaigns. They will appreciate the variety.

3. Properly describe offers within annotations

Gmail advises against using phrases like "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" or "Discounts on All Leather Bags" in the preview space, as they may get cut off and lose effectiveness while also competing with the subject line. The annotation area should be utilized only to capture customers' attention with your message. Avoid using phrases like "Open this email now" or "Click here for deals." Additionally, pay attention so you do not repeat your subject line. 

Want to learn more about setting up Gmails Promotions? Visit our partner – Braze’s documentation.


Email deliverability matters in promotional marketing because it directly impacts the visibility and performance of your email campaigns. By ensuring that your emails do not land in spam and embracing Google’s Promotions tab, you can ensure that your promotional and discount emails reach your recipients' inboxes and lead to higher engagement, conversions, and overall campaign success.

In the end, as long as you focus on providing valuable content and the best deals to your customers via email, they will appreciate that you do not disrupt the organization of their inboxes and will more consciously engage with your messages. 

Suppose you already know all about email deliverability after reading our post and are looking for a solution to create some unique coupon codes, flash sales, BOGO promotions, or other promotional campaigns that you can carry out via email. In that case, Voucherify is an ideal option for you.

Our API-first, headless promotion engine can ensure easy management and effectiveness of your promotional campaigns. Our email distribution feature can also allow you to send emails with, for example, promo codes to your shoppers without any external source. And our ready integrations with Braze and other communication providers allow you to reach customers at the right time and place. 


Do not wait any longer. Create your first promotional campaign with Voucherify.

Get started for free


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