Google’s products aren’t really products. They’re portals. Just like a highway isn’t really a product even if it’s a toll road run by a private corporation.

The real product is access. Google gives access to information. Gmail gives access to communication.

How does Google make money from these things? Ads.

For a while, e-mail marketing was a free-for-all game. If you did it right, you could avoid spam filters and you were golden.

New Rules to Play By

Google changed the game. As a user, I’m thrilled. I get to choose when promotional e-mails pass before my eyeballs because Google automatically shuffles my e-mails into categories. But as a marketer, I’m not so thrilled.

Conventional e-mail marketing is 40 times more effective than social media at acquiring new customers. But will that be true in the age of the Gmail tabulation system?

You can circumnavigate this new system. Let’s look at how that’s possible.

1. Use List Segmentation To Get People’s Attention

It’s utterly tempting and easy to send out generic e-mails. You could capture a wide audience this way, right? Wrong.

If you send out the same e-mail to all your customers and leads, chances are you’ll minimize your impact. This is where segmentation comes in. You’re creating personalized lists for customers of various types and targeting each group.

Google will move your e-mails out of the promotions tab if your customers click on an e-mail and interact with a link. You’re more likely to get customers to do that if you’re using the list segmentation technique.

2. Avoid Promotional Language

In traditional marketing, words like “free” are old standbys. People gravitate toward things that are either free or will save them money. If you’re going to avoid the Gmail promotional tab, you’re going to disavow this habit.

Gmail’s filter uses similar technology to the Google search engine. It can determine context and it can “read” your e-mails. Starting with the subject line, eradicate any promotional language.

Make the subject line as personal as possible. Even if you weren’t avoiding the promotions tab, this is just good e-mail marketing.

3. Don’t Change Your Identity

If you’ve already registered with Google, they will know your e-mail address and know it’s connected to a business. Repeat after me: “That’s OK”

The promotional tab isn’t the only place business e-mails might end up. Social and Updates are two categories more likely to receive engagement than the promotional tab.

If you do change your name and e-mail address and attempt to re-register, you’re only doing harm. If Google figures out you’ve done this, kiss your e-mail marketing goodbye. You’ll be stuck in Spam bin hell forever and ever, amen.

4. Links in Moderation

E-mail marketing is the new SEO. You have to craft the perfect e-mail to get past Google’s sniffers. This means no more link stuffing in your e-mails.

One clear CTA with a link attached is all you need.

Also, be sure to avoid linking to your social media pages at the end of the e-mail. Nobody does that except marketers.

Conclusion: Less is More

Essentially, e-mail marketing hasn’t changed much since the promotions tab came into existence.  Less is always more and it always has been.

If you’d like to know more about marketing, check out Shoemoney’s Shoeintology.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.