deliverability

Gmail's New Promotions Tab

promotions-2

Gmail Folders. Why all the hype?

By now, you’ve probably heard about the new 'folders' that Google rolled out in Gmail to help email recipients manage the vast quantities of messages that flood their inboxes on a daily basis. There is a debate going on right now as to whether these changes are affecting open rates or not. Some people even say that it’s improved their open rates.

First, why did Google make this change?

Think about the number of emails you get every day and all the different places and people that send them. Without an organized system of filters and inboxes, it’s very easy to lose track of the important emails that demand your attention. So Google created a basic version of that system for you that automatically sorts your emails into one of three folders: Primary, Social, and Promotions.

Sounds helpful...why all the fuss?

Many email marketers are concerned that if their emails end up in the promotions folder, they’ll be less likely to get opened since the promotions folder is less urgent to most people. But as the article I linked to above states, even across a sample size of over 1 billion emails, there was only a 0.5% drop in open rates in the weeks immediately after the change.

Now, that’s not to say that you don’t want to be in the Primary folders of your Gmail readers, but it does raise the question of how to get there.

Email is about relationships, especially the Primary folder

If you’re concerned about whether your emails are getting overlooked in the Promotions folder, sending an email to ask isn’t the best way to find out. Instead, I’ll proceed with the assumption that you’ve built your list based on relationships with your customers, contacts, and associates.

If you had something urgent to tell a friend, how would you do it? Would you send them a text? Would you call them? Perhaps send a card? Well, why not choose one or more of those options to ask your contacts to move you from the Promotions folder to the Primary folder? After all, this is pretty important stuff. You’re trying to make sure that the people who want to read your email are actually getting them. So what do you do?

1. Find out how many gmail users you have on your list

If someone’s email address doesn’t end with @gmail.com, this issue may not affect them. They could be forwarding their email into a Gmail inbox, but if their address is @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, or @outlook.com, for example, they will not be affected. ExactTarget estimates that less than 4% of inboxes will be affected by this change.

2. Send a text

What you’re asking people to do is fairly simple and you could do it with a simple text. Just tap out this message:

“Hi! Some of my emails are ending up in some gmail users’ Promotions folders so you may be missing them. If you’re finding this to be the case, would you please move one of my emails to the Primary folder to make sure you get them from now on? Thank you!”

3. Call or meet in person

You’re already meeting with your customers and the rest of your network on a regular basis. Why not use this as a conversation starter? Ask the gmail users you meet if they’re still getting your emails, and then ask them to move one from the Promotions folder to the Primary folder. Heck, offer to show them how to do it if you’re face-to-face. Conversations are always valuable, and this is an especially valuable one to have.

4. Send a printed card

If you’ve got some people you haven’t spoken to in a while or live outside of your area, you can always send a customized printed card through your account. For $1 per card, you can reach this portion of your list very easily.

There’s a lot of information out there about Gmail folders, and some of it can be pretty alarming. But there’s no need to panic along with everyone else when there are simple, cost-effective, relationship-based solutions at your disposal.

 

Email Delivery Boost Not Working? Password Might Need Updating!

If Email Delivery Boost isn't working in your Ace of Sales account, you may simply need to update your email account password (that is all most people will need to do). Don't know your Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!Mail, AOL, Apple Mail, Hotmail, etc email account password? Here's help discovering it...

AOL If you're not sure about your AOL email account's password, go to http://www.aol.com and click "Sign In" in the upper right corner. Click the link for "Forgot Password?" to reset your password. Then enter this in Ace of Sales to activate "Email Delivery Boost".

Apple Mail You'll need to check with your IT or network administrator to get your password or any other info you may need to fill in for Email Delivery Boost. They'll be able to make sure you are set up correctly.

Comcast If you're not sure about your Comcast email account's password, go to http://www.comcast.com and click "My Account" in the upper right corner. Click the link under the "Sign In" button for "password" to reset your password. Then enter this in Ace of Sales to activate "Email Delivery Boost".

Gmail If you're not sure about your Gmail account's password, go to mail.google.com and click the link for "Can't access your account?". Follow the prompts to reset your password. Then enter this in Ace of Sales to activate "Email Delivery Boost".

Hotmail If you're not sure about your Hotmail account's password, go to http://www.hotmail.com and click the link for "Can't access your account?". Follow the prompts to reset your password. Then enter this in Ace of Sales to activate "Email Delivery Boost".

Microsoft Office365 You'll need to check with your IT or network administrator to get your password or any other info you may need to fill in for Email Delivery Boost. They'll be able to make sure you are set up correctly.

Outlook You'll need to check with your IT or network administrator to get your password or any other info you may need to fill in for Email Delivery Boost. They'll be able to make sure you are set up correctly.

Yahoo! Mail If you're not sure about your Yahoo! Mail account's password, go to http://www.yahoo.com and click "Mail" on the left side of the screen. Click the link for "I can't access my account" Follow the prompts to reset your password. Then enter this in Ace of Sales to activate "Email Delivery Boost".

If your email program is not listed here, please check with your network administrator to make sure you have the correct information for "Email Delivery Boost". They'll make sure you're set up correctly.

Avoid Spam - 4 Point Crash Course!

Spam dumpster spam folders dump you in the trashSpam filters are the gatekeepers of email. 

Are you up-to-speed on how they work?

Spam filtering software runs inside your recipients’ email programs (Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail for example) and on email servers (like Google, Yahoo, or a company network). The filter’s job is to examine every inbound email to identify whether or not it’s spam or a legitimate email. Filters check email subject lines, body text, HTML, sending source, and many other criteria to determine whether to allow email through...or zap it!

Anyone can get zapped by a spam filter. So how do you avoid them?

First, ask yourself if you’re spamming!

The definition of spam is any unwanted email. Ask yourself this question – if you send an email to 100 of your contacts, would more than five ask you to stop emailing them? If so, you are most likely spamming. 

If you send your ezine to customers who have bought from you in the last 24 months and to prospects who would welcome an email from you, chances are your recipients won’t consider you a spammer. Follow this guide: only send to recipients who both know you and would welcome your email.

Next, how do you avoid those vigilant spam filters?

Here’s a solid 4 point crash course: 

1. Avoid repetitive characters. 

Adding three exclamation marks or the 3 w’s in a web address is a fast way to end up in the spam box. Even ellipses (3 dots in a row) can raise flags.

2. Never type in all caps. 

Spammers love all caps because they believe it helps them stand out from the rest of the garbage in your inbox. Therefore, spam filters are attentive to subject lines with all caps. It’s alright to capitalize the first letter of a word, or even every word in your subject line. It’s not alright to use acronyms, without adding a period after each letter (A.A.A.).

3. Don’t use “spammy" words in your subject lines.

Terms like free, click here, call now, discount, and promotion, can get your email canned. If you need to say free, use the term “no cost" as an alternative. Here are 24 common subject line terms to avoid.

4. Tricky misspellings of “spammy" words don’t work either. 

These terms are absolute evil to spam filters! Here’s a few ugly examples of spam keywords.