If you’ve ever wondered which of Gmail’s categories your email will end up in when you press send, you’re not alone. In the interest of improving inbox tidiness, Gmail implemented a series of categories for emails, so that users can choose which email bucket their email messages will go into.
While there’s a lot of science that goes into where (and why) your emails get sorted, we’ve made it simple with this easy Gmail category test tool. Just send a copy of your email to the address below, and find out which Gmail category your email is likely to appear in.
If you have more questions about this mystery called Gmail categories, we have answers. (Hopefully. Maybe?) Read on to find out!
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Why does Gmail categorize my marketing emails differently?
If your email messages aren’t ending up in the tab you want them to—you can do something about it! While Gmail works in mysterious ways, there are many ways you can get Gmail to categorize your marketing emails in the way you want. If your emails were in the Primary tab but now they’re in the Promotions tab, for example, you’re likely using a different sender name than you were before, added HTML or images in a way that changes Gmail’s perception of the category, or something similar.
What factors determine emails landing in the Promotions tab?
So, the short answer is that it’s complicated. The long answer is that Gmail uses a complex machine learning classification system that determines where to sort our emails based on what they simply call “a variety of signals”. Things you can consider include the sender of the email, the type of content, and how other Gmail users have chosen to re-sort similar messages. It’s an always-evolving process!
Can I influence Gmail to deliver to the Primary tab?
Yes, you can influence Gmail to deliver to the Primary tab.
Do Gmail settings affect email placement?
Individual users can customize their own inboxes by choosing how many of Gmail’s categories they want to utilize. So if a user chooses not to use the Promotions tab, for example, all email messages that would have originally ended up in the Promotions tab will go to the Primary tab. Users are also able to drag and drop emails into the category they prefer to see those emails within.
Fun fact: some research suggests that only about a third of accounts even use separate Gmail tabs!
Can Gmail categories affect open rates and success?
Yes and no. If your email ends up in the Promotions tab, it can impact open rates. However, those who interact with it within the Promotions tab are likely more interested buyers. On the flip side, if an email ends up in the Primary tab and a subscriber doesn’t want it there, you run the risk of an unsubscribe or being reported as spam. But you might get more opens. In general, we advise you aim for the correct tab for your content!
Does Gmail’s categorization impact email deliverability for other email providers as well?
Not directly. Gmail’s categorization is strictly for Gmail users. However, if you get spam reports because your emails are appearing in what a subscriber considers the wrong category, that can hurt your sender reputation and your email deliverability across all email providers. So, making sure your emails appear in the right category is important!