Decode the Gmail Promotions Tab

Gmail has an incredibly smart filter that divides emails into Primary, Social and Promotions Tabs. The algorithms that go into determining the type of email uses multiple criteria which you need to look out for.

The Promotions Tab is pretty much a trash bin that hardly gets any attention. All your money that goes into paid subscription for email marketing tools will go to waste if you are unable to overcome Gmail’s promotions tab filter.

Here are the observed criteria that Gmail uses to categorize emails:


Personalised Names

If you greet your recipient by name, there is a higher chance that your email is a personal email rather than a promotional email. It is important to collect your subscribers’ names along with the emails so that you will avoid greeting them by their email ID which is a dead giveaway.


Pain Text

A personal email will normally use only 1 font type and size. After all, in my other post about Trends That Will Dominate Email Marketing, I mentioned that your readers are increasingly weary and cynical about email marketing. You should go for authenticity and plain text to lower your readers’ defences and speak personally to their emotions. Use up to 50 words per email only.

You will commonly find multiple font types in promotional emails due to their fancy formatting, but that is a huge red flag for Gmail.


Multiple Images

Besides using plain text, you need to use very few images to convey your message. Ensure that a single GIF or image is sufficient to illustrate your product.

Kill your company logo, fax icon, mobile icon, address icon etc. Avoid them completely. Make your email look completely like a personal email that you send to your friend.



Use only 1 hyperlink. There should only be 1 Call-To-Action link that leads to your landing page. Avoid all other links to avoid suspicion. Your “Unsubscribe” button should only be at the bottom of the email.


Sales Talk

Do not talk directly about your product. Instead share casually. The following phrases will immediately get detected by Gmail “Buy now and save 35%” or “Limited time offer” or “Click here to buy”.

You stand a better chance if you choose your words carefully, for example “Want to share this tool with you” or “I think this will help” or “consider this option”.

The whole idea is that you write like writing to your friend. Avoid pushing the sale, but present an option. The selling should be done on the landing page.



Gmail’s algorithm is always changing. There are some really intelligent guys at Google covering every single loophole in their algorithm. There is no permanent answer to this email marketing problem but we do have some tips!

DISCLAIMER: Even if you follow our guidelines, you may still end up in the Promotions Tab.



There a few options for you. It is increasingly difficult to find loopholes in the algorithm and I think it is not productive to do so. You can do A/B testing to see what works, but I have a better idea.

During your welcome email (which likely ends up in the Promotions Tab), ask your subscribers to click and drag your email into the Primary Tab.

Incentivise them by telling them that you will give out a free gift in the second email that is available only to the first 100 clickers. That will create a sense of urgency from FOMO (fear of missing out).

But beyond the second email, you need to provide real value to your subscribers. You need to give relevant insights in your blog posts, free gifts periodically and a tightknit community on your website that your subscribers feel belonging to.


Concluding Thoughts

Quite clearly email marketing is getting tougher with Gmail’s strict algorithm. But that only filters out your spammy competitors, keep providing value and striving to make a real connection and you will succeed… just keep trying!

But to keep trying, you need more leads and this makes email lead generation all the more vital yet it’s never easy… We know and that’s why we built a solution – If you want to find 200 email leads in 5 minutes, use TQ Prospector Tool for FREE!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

How To Deal With Disappointed Customers

Accepting the fact that you have disappointed a customer takes a great deal of humility. When you are in this difficult situation, your relationship with your customer is icy and the last thing you want is for your disappointed customer to become a former customer.

With so many online channels for customers to give you a crippling review, you need to treat them well. A single bad review can tear down your entire reputation, and it will be far worse if you handle it carelessly.

At the same time, disappointed customers present a great opportunity for you to show outstanding customer service. Admitting your faults will make your customer less agitated and possibly give you a chance. At the very least, you avoid going viral for the wrong reasons. If all goes well, you will not only keep your customer, but you will also get good reviews and referrals for your integrity.

Take care of your disappointed customers. Emphasize your empathy. Deliberately go to great lengths to reconcile. Do not take short-cuts. Here’s the full, no-nonsense guide to seriously amend your mistakes.


Admit Your Fault

I assume that you are indeed in the wrong. If you are right and your customer is trying to take advantage of you, the following steps are not for you. Instead, you should read _____________.

So, you admit it’s your fault. You need to be upfront and say that you are truly sorry. Do NOT say “I am sorry for this terrible inconvenience. We all make mistakes from time to time…” Do NOT ever trivialise your mistake. The fact that your customer complained, it is not trivial to him. Empathize with his situation.


Explain Your Mistake

Often a one-liner apology will be interpreted as not taking your mistake seriously. Take the embarrassing and humbling step of going through with your customer what went wrong. The key is to EXPLAIN your mistake, not justify or rationalize it.

When you take the time to show that you understand the entire process, you assure your customer that you understand his situation thoroughly. You show that you are being sincere and empathetic rather than dismissive.

However, please do not apologise for something that is not your fault. If your customer did have a part of the blame, you should also write it clearly and concisely.


Offer A Solution

Giving a compensation that is due your mistake is difficult because it is often not possible to quantify your faults. To you, the fault may not look big. But to your customer’s situation, it may matter a great deal. So do not under-compensate.

Sometimes overcompensating can actually do more good for the long-term relationship with your customer. You need to be discerning about the nature of the relationship and decide how much you value it.


Follow Up

After compensating, it is very tempting to immediately forget the ugly episode and move on. However, I personally recommend that you follow up with your customer to ask for feedback. Let your customer release all his opinions and not bottle them up against you. Remember to value the relationship over your ego.

Usually at this point, your customer would have sobered up from his anger. With the benefit of hindsight, your customer can reflect on the episode from a fresh lens. Usually, they will be forgiving. Sometimes, they will think “Hey, actually it wasn’t that bad. Thanks for going so far to look after my needs.”


With the respect you earn, your relationship has weathered a terrible storm and you have passed the test. Your customer will remember this episode vividly. Such humility and sense of responsibility are rare, and your customer might not even expect you to take so much effort to recover the relationship.

It sounds so simple, yet it is often a huge challenge for any of us to go the extra mile when we can just try to forget our mistake and hopefully it just disappears. But if we have courage, we might just be rewarded handsomely with a loyal customer that is hard to earn these days.


ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

Wining and Dining While Growing Your Business

“The trend to take clients out for wine and dine is only growing stronger with the move towards more relaxed work habits and the birth of the foodie nation. If you are working in a corporate environment, it is almost expected to occur regularly.” According to general manager Levi Aron, good food and good business go hand-in-hand. Many a lucrative deal has been done over a hearty meal and a few alcoholic beverages. Nailing the etiquette to entertaining clients can make all the difference when it comes to sealing the deal on new business. And it’s a skill likely to come in handy in the long run.

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6 Brand Strategies that Most CMOs Fail To Implement

What’s the first brand that comes to mind when you think of carbonated drinks? For most people, it would be Coca Cola. According to Business Insider, approximately 94% of the world’s population is aware of Coca Cola’s red and white logo. Such is the ubiquity of the Coca Cola brand, making it the world’s leading soft drink maker today.

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