We all talk about the little tweaks we can do to help increase our inbox placement rates at the major ISPs like Gmail. But what if you are having trouble getting into the inbox at Gmail at all? What if we asked the question “how can I DOUBLE my inbox placement rates at Gmail”? AND, what if I further asked “why can’t Loraine at our office not keep a simple Ficus tree alive?” Well it is possible to answer the first two questions, anyway. If you are willing to incorporate some personalization tactics that specifically target Gmail subscribers with their own campaign (and yes, this means doing some extra work), then you may be successful. If you aren’t willing to do any extra work, then I’ve got a great piece of advice for you–> read someone else’s blog : ).
Double your Gmail inbox placements
If you have been paying any attention to your inbox placement rates at the ever-fickle Gmail, you have noticed a decrease which means your readers aren’t reading your email anymore.
Two B2C retailers that depend on their email newsletters getting through to the inbox are ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries. The Magill Report witnessed these retailers start sending out personalized emails intended just for Gmail subscribers. The subject lines of these emails were things like “Gmail Users Weekend Sales Event: 59% off a Gift Mom will Remember Forever”. The results from these highly targeted campaigns were quite impressive. ProFlowers’ Gmail inbox placement rate jumped from 35.9 percent to 71.8 percent (eDataSource). And, in subsequent campaigns, the inbox rates were at 95%! Shari’s Berrys also provided graphical instructions on how to report the email message as Not Spam (see the graphic below).
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If you are having trouble sending to Gmail
First set up a few free Gmail test accounts to monitor what happens when your campaign are sent there and then try the below:
- Remove any subscriber from your list that has not opened/clicked one of your messages in the last 90 days
- Be sure your email service provider doesn’t send your emails too quickly to Gmail. A good ESP will know the appropriate speed.
- Use email authentication
- Use a spam check tool prior to launch to help spot problems
- Check with your ESP to ensure they participate in feedback loops*
- Check your Gmail test accounts and be sure that the emails are received, and that images are displayed. If emails are not in the inbox, stop! Don’t send the rest of the campaign until you know what the problem is. You may be able to narrow down the problem:
- Send your campaign in small segments, dividing the content into two parts.
- If both sections of your content fail to reach the inbox, continue dividing the content into smaller pieces and resend. Repeat this process with subsequently smaller sections of content until what content is driving the spam filtering issue.
If your campaigns are still not reaching the inbox at Gmail, consider engaging the tools and services of inbox placement companies such as Litmus, Email on Acid (yes!, that’s actually the name of their company), Return Path, and Pivotal Veracity (IBM Unica Email Optimization). They can help you see exactly what is happening with your emails and provide advice on what else you can do.
Read next: Gmail gives marketers a second chance
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* Feedback loops are where the ESP receives the complaint list from the ISP of any recipients that clicked the Report Spam button. These subscribers should be automatically removed from your list. Gmail does not participate in feedback loops, but this is an important fact to know about your ESP.
ESP- email service provider
ISP- internet service provider