How To Move Email from Promotions to Primary: 15 Tips

How To Move Email from Promotions to Primary

How can an email marketer help move an email from Promotions to Primary?

To help you move your company’s emails into the spotlight, we asked CEOs, founders, and other business leaders familiar with email marketing this question for their best recommendations. From audience segmenting to using A/B testing, there are several ideas that can improve your email content so much, it will excite your customers to receive each one.

Here are 15 tips for creating emails that jump from Promotions to Primary:

  • Segment Your Audience 
  • Ask Subscribers to Add Your Email to their Contact List
  • Craft Clever Subject Lines
  • Concentrate On Your Footers
  • Include a Clear and Concise Call-to-action (CTA)
  • Ask Subscribers to Reply to Your Welcome Email
  • Change MX Records to Google’s Servers
  • Avoid Promotional Words & Learn Timing
  • Be Careful About Using Mails Sent Via RSS
  • Sound Human & Helpful
  • Avoid Heavy HTML and Send Emails Manually
  • Optimize for Mobile
  • Deliver More Than a Voucher or Sale
  • Use Minimal Images and Links
  • Rely on the Data From A/B Testing

Segment Your Audience 

We widely understand that marketers can’t outsmart Google but must work with their algorithms. Therefore, segmenting lists to identify engaged audiences can help move your email from Promotions to Primary. 

Having your email land in the Promotions tab is often the result of trying to cast too wide a net, but brands can leverage data to optimize their content to help their emails stand out.

Through segmenting your engaged audience, you can more effectively optimize and personalize your emails. In addition, this process also allows you to create the appropriate content that has clear ideas and actionable information that can help reclassify your email. 

By leveraging your data to segment your audiences and send them more interesting content, you can reduce the chances of getting buried in the Promotions tab.

Greg Gillman, Chief Revenue Officer, MuteSix

Ask Subscribers to Add Your Email to their Contact List

If you want to ensure your newsletter winds up in your subscribers’ primary inboxes rather than their promotions inboxes, one way to do so is by asking them to add your company to their email contacts list. 

Doing this will make your messages seem more familiar to them and, therefore, less likely to be treated as spam.  

In addition, it’s essential to ensure that each email you send includes accurate contact information and a straightforward way for recipients to unsubscribe.  

Finally, send consistently high-quality content your subscribers will look forward to receiving to keep them engaged with your brand.

Michael Sena, Founder & CEO, SENACEA

Craft Clever Subject Lines

Many times, it’s an email’s subject line that determines its fate in our inbox. Will we move it to the trash, mark it as spam or even unsubscribe? 

Subject lines have the power to move people to take such actions, so be sure to entice readers in with a subject line that makes them want to not only know more but receive future communications from your brand.

Jae Pak, MD, Jae Pak MD Medical

Concentrate On Your Footers

It is easy to get focused on the body of your email when you are trying to avoid it being sent to the promotions tab, but it is just as important that you concentrate on your footers and declutter them if you want to get into the Primary tab. 

You have done everything to avoid having your email sent to the Promotions tab, from refraining from sending out blasts to specifying personalization. However, Google algorithms can still pick up a footer that contains a disclaimer and many business references.

Therefore, by decluttering your email footers, removing words that may trigger Google algorithms, and getting rid of your disclaimers, terms, and conditions, you can better your chances that your email will end up in the Primary tab.

By paying as much attention to your email footer as you do the main body, you can avoid the Promotions label and better reach your customer.

Matt Miller, Founder & CEO, Embroker

Include a Clear and Concise Call-to-action (CTA)

One thing an email marketer can do to help move an email from Promotions to Primary is to include a clear and concise call-to-action (CTA). 

This could be something as simple as a button that says “Open Now” or “Read Later.” Including a CTA will help to motivate the recipient to take action and move the email from Promotions to Primary.

Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO New York

Ask Subscribers to Reply to Your Welcome Email

These kinds of responses will often move the email thread to the primary tab and train Gmail that your emails deserve to be in the Primary tab. 

Responses can be entirely up to you. Ask for an emoji response, ask them to tell you about themselves, answer a question, or what they’re trying to achieve with your product.

Corey Haines, Founder, SwipeWell

Change MX Records to Google’s Servers

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been massively focused on sending outreach emails, and I’ve found it increasingly difficult to reach users’ inboxes from my email servers, especially my company domain email.

I have learnt the hard way that it’s all about maintaining an excellent reputation with large email providers, not just Gmail.

As much as people focus on emoticons, subject lines, and other tactics, simply put, immerse yourself into the technical aspect of emails such as MX records.

The game-changer for us as a company is switching our domain name servers from Namecheap to Google’s Workspace service servers.

This switch to Gmail’s servers has played a huge role in improving the deliverability of emails. The open rate is another discussion entirely.

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

Avoid Promotional Words & Learn Timing

Nowadays, email inboxes are flooded with promotions. As an SEO agency, our experience showed how we write our emails will determine whether it ends up on the promotional tab. 

The following phrases make your letter end up in the “unfortunate” tab, so you should avoid including these in your email: “now,” “buy,” “click here,” “register,” “free,” “offers,” “as seen on,” “money,” “avoid,” “Friend,” and “Hello.” 

It decreases the possibility of your email being marked as a promotion. But it doesn’t stop there. Be creative and avoid just selling your products to clients; instead, describe the benefits of your products and work on exciting consumers’ interest. 

Email timing is also vital; the better email timing you have, the more likely it is to have a higher open rate, resulting in a higher response rate. 

I’ve practiced this for a long time, and I assure you this will help improve your response and conversion rates.

Maria Harutyunyan, Head of SEO, Loopex Digital

Be Careful About Using Mails Sent Via RSS

RSS (really simple syndication) is XML-formatted text used for distributing web blogs, news, and content. Using it in the mailing is also a good option to get your stuff to the readers instantly. 

But still, a problem arises that these particles tend to generate practically identical emails. This automatically increases the risk of indicating as promotional. So again, don’t forget to personalize your email to avoid anything suspicious.

Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO & Director, Discount Reactor

Sound Human & Helpful

Gmail Algorithms are quite efficient in identifying those bulk emails which you send via a service provider. Be mindful to send such emails in fewer bulks rather than just going on with the entire list. Adding a touch of personalization confuses the algorithm witnessing those human-like email structures!

There isn’t any single thing that might end your emails in the primary box, trial and error do. The number of images and links, and their nature essentially determines your email’s pathway. For instance, if you add sales CTA’s and a lot of product images, you won’t ever end up in a primary box.

Since these are the most commonly used by email marketers, Gmail knows it all. Also, figure out a unique way so that the recipient marks you in their whitelist. 

For instance, have them sign up for regular blog posts and newsletters with valuable content. I’d even suggest using your own personal email ( instead of those generic business emails (

Hardy Selo, Property & Digital Marketing Expert, Property Guru

Avoid Heavy HTML and Send Emails Manually

Well-crafted HTML emails never make it to the main tab because Gmail considers these emails to be automated, i.e., sent by the robot. 

Gmail’s algorithms try to determine whether a human or a bot sent an email. They always mark heavy HTML emails as automatic. This error occurs when you use an email marketing tool to draft emails instead of typing them manually into an email client. 

The best way to avoid this is to send plain text emails, or at least “lightweight HTML emails”. Lightweight HTML is technically HTML (Mime type), but the content is mostly text without images, CSS, and minimal links. It’s important to keep links to a minimum, ideally only one or two.

Léa Soller, CEO, Digiberries Paris

Optimize for Mobile

Making emails more mobile-friendly is a simple way to get them out of promotions and into primary. 

Most people check their emails through their cell phones and, more often than not, the settings are more advanced by default. By making emails sleeker for mobile and more universally compatible across account types, the advanced filters will give them the highest priority.

Lyudmyla Dobrynina, Head of Marketing, Optimeal

Deliver More Than a Voucher or Sale

Treat your customers like people; send an email that’s more than a voucher. Offer insights, updates, a story, something that’s more content than promotion. It could be knowledge or a tip, or just something happening in your field or industry. Surprise them for their loyalty, rather than emailing for the nth time with a subject line that there is a voucher on offer or a sale.

Tristan Rayner, Tech Analyst

Use Minimal Images and Links

Do not overcrowd your marketing emails with images and links. This will make your email seem too sales-y to go into the Primary tab. 

Of course, you will need some images and some links, but when reviewing your marketing emails, try to eliminate as many of them as you can while still making your emails engaging enough to your subscribers.

Nancy Eichler, Senior Vice President of Marketing & eCommerce, iwi life

Rely on the Data From A/B Testing

Marketers always try their best to personalize emails. 

To make sure that no mail is spammed as a promotional one, many alternatives are available for a marketer. But, one of the best of all is using A/B testing, also known as split testing.

These tests are a process where you see which two versions of variables are more impactful on the target market. The variables are shown to different segments of subscribers. Then analyze which version is the most impactful.

Tia Campbell, Director of Marketing, Practice Reasoning Tests

14 Most Commonly Used Email Platforms Today

Most Commonly Used Email Platforms Today

What email platform do you use, and why?

To help you identify the email platforms that are most commonly used these days, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best choices. From Zoho Mail to Gmail to Convertkit, there are several email platforms that you would find most professionals using these days to run their day-to-day business.

Here are 14 email platforms these leaders prefer to use for their business:

  • Mailchimp
  • Zoho Mail
  • Kartra
  • Sendinblue
  • Aweber
  • Gmail
  • Klaviyo
  • MailerLite
  • Hubspot
  • ProtonMail
  • Drip
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Convertkit


Personally, my preferred email platform is Mailchimp. It’s simple to use, but incredibly effective. It does what it needs to without fuss or unnecessary complications. It has different pricing options depending on your needs, and the free plan is surprisingly generous. For many people, this is enough.

Upgrading provides access to more sophisticated tools, including A/B testing, if required. The user interface is clear and comprehensible, and it’s a straightforward process to track whether consumers are engaging with your content. Mailchimp makes it easy to identify which aspects of your email marketing strategy are successful, and where improvements are needed. It integrates effectively with other software platforms, and campaigns can be customized with ease.

The concise, consistent reporting helps me to optimize my outgoings. This is a perfect platform for small to medium businesses, freelancers, and those just getting acquainted with email platforms.

Mario Cacciottolo, PR & Branding Manager, SBO

Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is a fantastic email service for freelancers and home-based businesses. I run a little business, and this email service is all I need. Zoho is a great tool for both professional and personal email. The Zoho migration tool makes the switch from Google Apps or Office 365 to Zoho Mail quick and painless. It’s simple to sync with the rest of the Zoho suite.

Edward Mellett, Co-Founder, Wikijob


I use Kartra for email marketing because it is a powerful and easy-to-use platform. With Kartra, I can automate my email marketing workflow by creating automated campaigns that are triggered when someone takes a certain action on my website. For example, if someone signs up for my newsletter, I can set up an automated campaign to send them an email with helpful content. This saves me a lot of time and ensures that my emails are sent out on a regular schedule, even when I am not able to spend time managing my email marketing campaigns.

Another feature that I find especially helpful is the built-in email split testing tool. This allows me to test different subject lines, content blocks and call to actions, so that I can optimize my email marketing campaigns to get better results. Overall, I love Kartra because it makes it easy for me to grow my business and reach more people with the power of email marketing.

Amira Irfan, Founder and CEO, A Self Guru


I use Sendinblue because it’s the best email platform out there, and I’ve found that it’s intuitive and easy to use. I also love how customizable it is—it allows me to create a ton of different campaigns with different segments and audiences in each one which is super helpful when I’m trying to reach a specific audience with a certain message. It also comes with a lot of analytics and A/B testing tools for improving the performance of your campaigns. I get to see an overview of all my emails in one place, and then I can drill down into specific ones if I need to see more details or track things like clicks and opens.

Arkadiusz Terpilowski, Head of Growth & Co-founder, Primetric


AWeber is the most suitable email platform for small businesses, which has been assisting our business for the last four years to manage our email marketing tasks. It offers various ready-to-use email templates, email tracking, auto-responding, and many other useful features. Other features of AWeber are also effective for email marketing, such as list management, automatic RSS-to-email, and subscriber segmentation. The subscription cost of this software-based platform is also affordable, pricing starts from just $19 per month.

Karen Cate Agustin, Business Analyst, Investors Club


Gmail has become a staple for my everyday personal and business use for almost two decades. Since 2004 and have never had any issues with this platform. I have enjoyed the advancement of the added features such as Google Meets and Calendar. These features have helped me stay organized and made attending and creating meetings for work or personal occasions easier. Another bonus, I receive less spam because I stay on top of my account and consistently keep it up-to-date and refreshed.

Benjamin Earley, CEO, HOLT


For all of our Ecommerce projects we exclusively use Klaviyo for email marketing. It is one of the most advanced email platforms that’s built specifically for Ecommerce and Shopify, so it offers the deepest integrations and allows us to create highly segmented campaigns. All of this means we can email customers with messaging and promotions which are personalized to each user.

Another great thing about Klaviyo is that it allows our brands to run both email and SMS marketing from one platform, with a single monthly fee. This is helpful for running cross-channel promotions where we need to deliver a similar message via both and SMS simultaneously.

Ryan Turner, Founder,


I find that MailerLite’s drag-and-drop UI makes it really simple to construct the exact layout I want for my email campaigns. The goal of the company is simplicity, thus the interface is uncluttered and easy to use. If you’re looking for the most user-friendly platform, go no further than MailerLite. Email help is available for queries and troubleshooting if users run into any issues.

MailerLite has all the fundamentals of email marketing built in without overwhelming the user with unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s ideal for companies that want an email marketing strategy they can learn in a matter of days, not months.

Nely Mihaylova, The Content Editor, UNAGI Scooters


Hubspot is the ideal all-in-one marketing suite since it includes amazing tools and reporting for all of your marketing efforts across channels (website, social, email marketing, and more). With Hubspot’s customer relationship management system, you can keep track of all of your contacts and use tools like online lead forms, live chat, and advertising to build a clientele. Email marketing is just one of Hubspot’s customer relationship management (CRM) offerings. This is the best all-around marketing platform because it can manage your email, social media, and blog content.

With Hubspot, you can monitor the performance of your online advertising campaigns, social media campaigns, email campaigns, and website analytics in one convenient location. The platform also comes with an in-depth training platform that not only goes over the basics of using the system but also highlights best practices for running effective marketing campaigns.

Tiffany Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, iFlooded Restoration


ProtonMail is my email platform of choice because it’s secure, private, and user-friendly. I love that it allows me to send and receive messages without ever having to compromise security. I love that I can control what information is shared with whom, and that my data is always protected. It also offers some great features that make it easy to organize and store my emails in one place.

Graham Byers, Founder, Bestchoiceforseniors


With its comprehensive workflows and advanced list segmentation, Drip is, in my opinion, the greatest email marketing software for e-commerce enterprises. Together, these features allow you to send customers timely follow-ups based on how they interact with your emails and send customers tailored emails based on their shopping habits on your site.

Drip is the greatest eCommerce email marketing software since it was made with the user’s experience in mind. If you run into trouble while establishing the service or while using it, you can contact the service’s user support for assistance. Your ability to divide up your lists into several categories will help you provide the best possible service to your customers through your website and email notifications, which is something we really appreciate.

Daniel Foley, Founder, Assertive Media

Microsoft Outlook

Our organization makes use of Outlook for our email needs. This is because of the amount of flexibility within the various plans that allow us to granularly scale it with our operations as time passes.

Additionally, possessing direct integrations with Microsoft’s suite of programs made it an easy choice. With programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Teams, and more already forming the backbone of our operations, it made sense to utilize the email platform with the most direct out of box integrations with them. The nature of Microsoft 365 also allows these files to be shared seamlessly across team members, improving the flow of operations.

Jonathan Krieger, VP of Sales, Fabuwood


The email marketing platform we use is ActiveCampaign, which has a large number of characteristics that makes it attractive for any company. ActiveCampaign combines the power of email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM/sales automation. You’ll be able to create powerful automated sales and marketing processes that scale to create more loyal customers. You can also send exactly what your contacts want. Create newsletters, email campaigns and promotions that connect with your customers. Personalize your communication to offer exactly what they are looking for. 

Jessica Luna, Marketing Analyst, Influence Weekly


I’ve used dozens of email platforms over the years and ConvertKit is my favorite. They offer powerful tools with an easy-to-use interface. I can create visual automations that connect stunning opt-in forms with different sequences. I can quickly evaluate the quality and engagement of my subscribers. I also appreciate that they’ve evolved with the industry, offering new tools to help promote sales and monetization.

Nicole Thelin, Founder, Low Income Relief