All Collections
Advanced FAQs
Gmail promotions tab: How to avoid it – Step-by-step instructions
Gmail promotions tab: How to avoid it – Step-by-step instructions
Tim Badolato avatar
Written by Tim Badolato
Updated over a week ago

Gmail was updated in 2013 with multiple tabs for primary, promotions, social, updates, and forums.

Gmail’s email open rates have been significantly affected by this update.

It is important for users to see the most relevant information at the top of their inbox when reading through their emails.

In this way, every email that comes into Gmail passes through the filter, which checks to see if it is a promotional email. If this is the case, the email will appear in Gmail’s promotions section.

However, you can easily avoid Gmail’s promotions tab.

As explained in this article, the Gmail promotions tab and how to prevent emails from going there have been explained.

What is a Gmail promotions tab?

In simple words, a Gmail promotions tab is where all the marketing, promotional, or other bulk emails land.

Gmail promotions tab

If a user wants to go through some deals or offers, they can directly open the promotions tab.

With the update, Gmail now has 5 tabs. Let’s take a quick look at what each tab is meant for.

1. Primary inbox: This is for personal emails and emails from people you know.

2. Social media tab: To receive updates from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, etc.

3. Promotions tab: This is where marketing emails are stored.

4. Updates tab: Emails related to transactions, such as shipping confirmations and order confirmations.

5. Forums tab: To receive emails from forums like Reddit.

Why do emails get delivered to Gmail promotions tab?

Gmail uses intelligent algorithms to scan every email. This is the reason why your emails go into the promotions box.

So without further delay, let’s dive into how to avoid Gmail promotions tab and reach the primary inbox instead.

6 best practices to avoid Gmail promotions tab in 2023

1. Avoid too many links

The most significant difference between a marketing email and a conversational email is links.

To land in the primary inbox, you need to make sure that the links are minimum.

If you jam your emails with too many links, there are high chances that your email goes to the promotions tab.

Example of email with less links
Example of email with lot of links

2. Limit the Text to HTML ratio

If you are sending an email that has too much HTML and not enough text, there is a low chance of your email landing in the primary folder.

To make sure your emails avoid the Gmail promotions tab, keep the text to HTML ratio to 60:40.

The plain text email with minimal links and images gives higher chances of getting delivered in the primary folder.

3. Avoid spam trigger words

There are plenty of words that will trigger the Gmail filters and send your email in the promotions box.

Here are the most common spam trigger keywords:

  • Free

  • Sale

  • Offers

  • Discount

  • Best prices

  • Clearance

  • Be your own boss

  • Expect to earn

  • Get paid

  • No credit card

You can read a whole list of such words and make sure you avoid them as much as possible. It will also ensure high email deliverability.

4. Use correct formatting

If you use a lot of fancy-looking fonts in your email or have a variety of formatting at different places, the filters might identify you as spam.

Keep your emails professional-looking and use different fonts only if essential for the design.

Our ecard template is simple by design and follows this rule but html added by you may be an issue. It is recommended to run your email through a email analysis test tool to make sure everything looks good.

6. Ask your friends

In Gmail, moving email from promotions to primary is the most full-proof way to avoid the Gmail promotions tab.

Send an email to all your co-workers and friends, asking them to move your emails from the promotions tab to the primary tab.

When the user moves it to the primary box, all your emails will be delivered there. Regardless of what content you share.

But make sure you do not overuse this luxury by sending spammy content. You can also ask your friend to save your contact. This will help you land in the primary tab of the inbox.

This image shows how to move emails from promotions to primary tab.

5. Test your emails

Use Mail Tester to do an analysis of your email’s content and html markup to make sure that is not the issue. Simply open Mail Tester, grab the email address, then send an ecard to the email address and then view your report.

6. Whitelist all eCardWidget emails

It may make sense to whitelist our sending email address or your custom whitelabel email address within your Google Organization. This would make sense for customers use eCardWidget for employee recognition where all of the recipients are using the company Gmail accounts to receive emails. Here’s a guide that will tell you how to do this.


You need to consider the above-mentioned strategies to avoid the Gmail promotions tab. It is essential to land in the primary inbox to get the best result.

Due to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, you would find new strategies and tips to understand why emails are landing in the promotions tab.

Till then, make sure you get all the steps correctly and stop wondering why my emails go to promotions.


1. How do I stop emails from going to the Promotions tab in Gmail?

Some best practices to avoid the promotions tab are:

  • Avoid too many links in your email

  • Avoid using spam trigger words

  • Avoid sending email blasts

  • Avoid sending lengthy emails

  • Keep text to HTML ratio 60:40

2. How can I disable the promotions tab in Gmail?

Go to the gear shaped icon (settings) in the top right corner. Disable the promotions option in setup inbox.

Adapted article source: saleshandy

Did this answer your question?