Nowadays, most of the leading providers are using different inbox tabs which is functionality to organize emails into appropriate folders depending on their character. Inbox service providers have introduced tabs to systematize incoming messages and so – newsletters and messages of a marketing nature fall into “Promotions”, while service-transactional messages and private correspondence – into the main folder “Primary” or “Updates”. This solution, initially introduced by Google, has also been used by many other providers and has gained acceptance among users. Unfortunately, for many email senders, this is yet another obstacle before the message reaches the recipient. Have you ever had a situation where your transactional messages containing a link to reset a password or an invoice ended up in the “Promotions” tab and the recipient reported it missing from his inbox? What can you do in this situation?
Redirecting emails into the appropriate tab is well accepted in Poland. After the introduction of changes by Gmail, also our home providers such as WP, o2, Onet, and Interia were tempted to implement this solution. Although initially the recipients may have felt a bit lost, currently each of us automatically clicks on the appropriate tab looking for messages of a given characteristic.
We know from experience that the classification of messages is crucial. If you send transactional emails, they must arrive in the “Primary” tab or the “Updates”. Transactional emails that are classified into the “Promotions” or “Social” category are very often omitted. Therefore, if you don’t want to run into problems with your automated customer service, make sure your emails are properly classified.
Specialized filters and algorithms are responsible for classifying emails at inbox service providers, which take into account several factors. Among other things, the IP address, sender address, name, subject, and content of the email are considered. The final allocation of messages to “Received” is therefore decided by the provider itself, taking into account the quality and type of messages sent. Let’s take a look at the various factors that can affect their classification:
Is the IP address (which you send messages through) dedicated only to transactional messages or does it handle both transactional and marketing traffic? If both types of mailings are being distributed by the same IP address, there is a good chance that all messages will fall into Promotions.
Even if you are only sending transactional emails, are other users of the same IP address also only sending those types of messages? If you are using a shared IP address, you can never be sure about the actions of your “neighbors”. Very often, sends from other users harm servers’ reputation and classification.
Make sure you have a dedicated IP address for transactional messages. Don’t let other senders influence the classification of your emails!
Do you send notifications and transactional emails from the same email address as your marketing ones? If so, there’s a good chance that all of your messages will miss the Primary tab.
A very similar situation to what we experience with email addresses. Algorithms that classify emails into different tabs learn quickly and if they notice that mass email campaigns are being run from the same sender name, they may start classifying all emails into the same tab.
The sender name usually has less impact than the sender address, but it’s a good idea to choose a different one for different types of messages to separate it as well, just to be safe.
Many times the subject line of your message can be responsible for misclassification. Using words commonly associated with marketing can cause your messages to not fall into the Primary tab.
For transactional messages, you should let the user know what is in the email. If it’s a registration confirmation, add the subject line “Registration Confirmation”; if you’re sending an order confirmation, add the subject line “Order Confirmation”, etc. It’s a good idea to avoid words associated with marketing – such as a newsletter. So if you are sending a newsletter sign-up confirmation, it is better to title the message as “Sign-up confirmation” or “Registration confirmation” and omit the word newsletter.
If you include marketing content in the body of a transactional email, you also run the risk of the message being considered an advertisement.
Avoid including marketing content. Any words like promotion, discount, rebate or percentage (along with the “%” sign) can be fatal to your emails.
Marketing emails, by definition, should be directed to the “Promotions” tab and it’s hard to get them to end up in the main “Primary” tab – especially when we are talking about frequent high volume campaigns. Provider’ security is becoming more and more specialized and filters are becoming more sensitive to advertising content. Remember that a marketing message in the main tab can contribute to an increase in the number of Spam markings or redirection to the Trash without having opened it first.
In the case of marketing messages, it is worth focusing on the real goal, i.e. stabilizing deliverability to tabs such as “Promotions” or “Newsletters” – an email in the advertising category does not mean that it will be missed by the customer.
The appropriate classification of transactional messages is crucial to the effectiveness of these emails. The awareness of subscribers has increased significantly – email users are more and more willing to use tabs, check folders, clean their mailbox or forward messages. Remember to regularly test the classification of your messages (e.g. using a seed list) and analyze factors such as IP address, email address, sender name, subject, or email content if problems arise.
Thanks to our agreements with Polish ISPs, all transactional emails sent from dedicated IP addresses in EmailLabs are directed to the appropriate tab for this type of traffic (Primary or Updates). If you are experiencing similar problems with the misclassification of your messages in Gmail, our specialists will surely find a solution for you.
If you’d like to see how we can help, be sure to register for a free EmailLabs account and take a free trial (with a Startup plan).
Looking for support with your email deliverability? Contact our Customer Service Specialists and let us know, we’ll be happy to help!
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