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Avoid these 6 sins for a better Gmail deliverability

With more than half of your subscribers still loving Gmail, hitting right in the inbox is extremely important. Most email marketers find it very difficult to make this happen and win the gigantic share of opens from the email campaigns. Returnpath recently analyzed hundreds of emails and the findings were amazing. According to them, you should ideally take care of the below mentioned things for a better deliverability:

1. URL shorteners are a sure shot way to go spam

Gmail has eagle eyes when it comes to the URL shorteners. With more and more marketers spamming the subscribers with short URLs, the emails that comes with more and more URLs will be most likely blocked by Google. Avoid using shorter URLs.

2. Unsubscribes are easy now

Gmail makes unsubscribe really easy. Users will be able to see the “Unsubscribe” link right at the top of the promotional messages. Follow the common best practices and approach the subscribers as per their preferences set-up in the preference centers. Also, strictly do not send the emails once subscriber has unsubscribed. Look out for some of the Google’s best practices on the unsubscribes in the coming times.

3. Take a note of rising spam complaints

Gmail evaluates the email campaigns and analyze the complaints on case to case basis. Measuring spam complaint at Gmail is difficult, however it is not impossible. As marketers, track the unsubscribes ratio coming out as an indirect complaint or track it through the third-party panel data. With more spamming ratio, your domain reputation might hurt and all your emails whether the subscriber has marked spam or not, will land into the spam.

4. Affiliate Marketing is a big no!

While Gmail mentions affiliate marketing as a tactic to avoid, if you must send affiliate marketing, use the domain of the primary business and sender.

5. Gmail smells the ISPs blacklists

While Gmail doesn’t have a blacklist filter, it does smell the blacklisted domains easily. That said; if your ISPs have you on their blacklist, chances are that Gmail automatically puts you in the spam folder, no matter if you follow Gmail best practices or not. With more and more email marketers sending emails without permission and not maintaining a list hygiene it is easy to fall in the trap of blacklisting.

6. Watch out the promotions tab!

As very few subscribers actually move emails out from the promotions tab to the primary folder, there is no point of asking subscribers to do that repeatedly. If you have rising spam complaints, you will be moved to the promotions tab directly. Normally messages with offers, social updates and discounts land in spam easily. Why does a typical message go to promotions tab isn’t still very clear though.

Wrapping it all up, gmail is becoming increasingly conscious about the kind of emails subscribers receive. It keeps a track of all your emails and hence, Monks advise you to ensure that your email marketing is really out of the box and the campaigns follow general email marketing and Gmail’s best practices.

(Source: Tom Sather’s article on Marketing Land)

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Kevin George
Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices at EmailMonks Blog.

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2 thoughts on “Avoid these 6 sins for a better Gmail deliverability

Comments (2)

  1. Jose Argudo

    Very good points, most of these are quite obvious for experienced email marketers, however the first one, about URL shorteners is less known I think.

    Maybe it’s based in the same principle of image only emails, in image only emails it’s harder (or it was in the past harder) to know what the content is, from an email client perspective.

    Using shortened URLs is the same, the email client can’t know which page is that link sending the user, and as it can’t be know if the link is used for SPAM / Phising reasons, it’s easier sending the campaign to SPAM folder.

    1. Email Monks

      Hi Jose, thanks for your comment. 🙂 Yes you are quite right about the small URLs! Email clients raise their eyebrows often as the small URLs have the potential to be spam links.