According to ReturnPath, less than half of all Gmail users ever open the “Promotions” tab in their email.  

This is bad news for marketers.  

Before Gmail’s added the “Promotions” tab, businesses could send content to their email subscribers and only have to worry about avoiding their “Spam” filter – which they pretty much mastered.  

But now, marketers everywhere are desperately trying to figure out how their emails can get past that dreaded “Promotions” tab and into their customers’ inboxes. And to make matters worse, Google hasn’t exactly made it clear on how we can do that.  

But don’t freak out yet!  

After A/B testing thousands of different emails, we’ve discovered three simple ways that you can bypass the “Promotions” tab and get your emails into your customer’s inboxes.  

1. Cut down on the links.

When businesses send promotional emails, then tend to stuff them full of links.  

Links to products, links to social media sites, links to coupons, links to blog posts – just about anything you can think of. And when Google realized this, they started to throw any email with more than 3-4 links embedded into the “Promotions” tab.  

You don’t want to end up there.  

So before you send out your next sales email, double check that you aren’t using too many links! We recommend having a max of 4 per email just to play it safe.  

(p.s. that includes you unsubscribe link and social media links. It’s best to remove any social media buttons from your emails to save room for more important links.)  

2. Don’t use too many images.

Images can make an email look great.  

But at the same time, we’ve learned that including too many images inside of your emails can actually hurt the chances that they’ll stay out of the “Promotions” tab.  

So try your best to keep a majority of your emails in plain text. A good rule to live by is to never include more than 2 images.  

3. Avoid promotional phrases in your subject lines and email copy.

By now, you’re well familiarized with certain keywords that will make your emails go to the Spam folder.  

Yet, in the same way that “spammy” keywords can cause an email to get sent to spam, “promotional” keywords can cause an email to get sent to the “Promotions” tab. What are “promotional keywords”, you ask?  

Those are words like:  

  • Free
  • Sale
  • Money
  • Leads
  • Work from home
  • Coupon

…and many more. Your goal as an email marketer is to stay away from these keywords at all costs.  

But with so many bad keywords out there, how are you supposed to know if your emails are ever going to end up in the right place?  


With Redcappi’s “Deliverability Score Checker”, you can ensure that every email you send goes straight to your customer’s inbox. Want to try Redcappi for yourself?  

It’s completely free for accounts under 100 email users. Sign up today to start sending amazing emails to your subscribers.