6 Strategies That Will Help Boost Your Gmail Marketing Campaigns

When it comes to email marketing, one of the biggest challenges you'll face is successfully getting your email campaigns into the inboxes of your recipients. If you're one of the many individuals who finds themselves confused while navigating the often tricky world of email campaigns and marketing, the following information may be precisely what you need to clear the fog.

1. Be careful with your unsubscribe practices

Up until recently, Gmail has given users the ability to unsubscribe from mass marketing emails when you, the sender, include an unsubscribe option in the header of the email message. In order to do so, all that had to be done was to place an unsubscribe URL or email address in the header which allowed the recipient to unsubscribe and to identify the emails as spam. Now, however, Gmail has introduced a new way for users to unsubscribe from bulk email campaigns you send. This new method utilizes an "unsubscribe" button that appears at the top of the marketing email. While the result is the same as before, this new option does not identify the email as spam, but simply as an email which the recipient no longer wishes to receive. This is ideal as you do not want your number of unsubscribes to affect your inbox placement.

While the available options for unsubscribing from emails has changed, the strategies largely remain the same. For one, make sure that you don't continue to email individuals once they have unsubscribed, as this is sure to negatively impact your reputation and that of your business. In the past, it was recommended that marketers use a Gmail web form to facilitate "unsubscribes", as opposed to an email address, since recipients were able to pick and choose which campaigns they wanted to receive and it eliminated the need for several variations in the email's header. However, stay posted; now that the options for Gmail have changed, the recommendations may change along with them.

2. Avoid URL shorteners, such as Bit.ly

Since many phishers and spam artists utilize URL shorteners as a means of hiding spam links and the like, Google and other search engines may end up blocking many of your campaigns that use them.

3. Use your business' primary domain when using publisher marketing

Publisher marketing is never a tactic that Gmail recommends. However, if you do choose to utilize publisher marketing as part of your outreach, you'll want to make sure that you use the business' primary domain in your email.

4. Be aware of spam complaints

Since Gmail primarily analyzes any and all spam complaints on an email-by-email basis, it can often be quite challenging for you to keep track of the complaints as they come in. However, to do so is not impossible, and must be done to ensure best practices. To stay abreast of those you have unsubscribed from your emails, you can either pay close attention to those who have clicked on the list-unsubscribe option in your email or, as many marketers do, you can rely on third party platforms to track those who unsubscribe from your campaigns. Remember, know that nothing can be gained by continually emailing an uninterested party who has marked your campaign as spam; doing so can have dire and permanent consequences, including increasing the likelihood that Gmail will immediately identify your future emails as spam.

5. Know that "SPAM-lists" certainly do exist

Although the use of SPAM-lists is not something that Gmail widely discusses, it's important for you to understand that having your domain name listed on a SPAM-list, such as URIBL or Spamhaus, greatly increases your email's chances of winding up in the "spam" folder. Being placed on a SPAM-list can happen for a number of reasons, including lack of permissions, a high number of spam complaints, and not properly maintaining your email lists.

6. Understand the pros and cons of the "promotions" tab

First of all, understand that very few recipients are going to be moving your emails from their "promotions" tab to the primary inbox. This has both its advantages and disadvantages. While emails appearing in your primary inbox will be more likely to be seen, promotional emails in this inbox are also far more likely to be identified as spam. It's important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there are likely many other items you'll need to consider when generating and analyzing marketing campaigns. However, these six steps and strategies are sure to help take you in the right direction.