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Gmail Best Practices

If you missed the first part in our email best practices series, check out our AOL best practices article. This time, we’re shifting our focus to the big dog and talking about Gmail best practices.

Gmail is arguably the most popular and sophisticated mail provider out there. They don’t mess around when it comes to protecting their users from unwanted content. If you pay attention to the Gmail best practices outlined here, you can eliminate the guesswork and adjust your sending practices to match what they’re looking for.

Send campaigns for each mail category.

Gmail can be tricky, since they categorize their emails by type. Your email can go into Primary, Social, or Promotions, and the recipient can choose to change the default for any message. Although all three folders are technically the inbox, subscribers may miss messages if they don’t regularly check every category.

Tailor different creatives to match the Social and Promotions folders (not just Primary). This shows your versatility and willingness to make changes based on what your subscribers want. Consider offering a discount code occasionally, or sending an email telling your subscribers how to connect with you on social media. The important thing is to do so regularly, instead of just once or twice.

Remove users with multiple soft bounces.

Even if they’re standard soft bounces with “try again later” messages, multiple bounces from the same Gmail subscriber can hurt your reputation. It’s better to delete them from your list altogether than risk the damage to your standing with Gmail. Remember, though, that if all of your messages to Gmail, the problem is not with the subscriber but with how many emails you’re trying to send to their customers at one time.

Remove subscribers after one hard bounce.

There’s no sugar-coating it: if Gmail sees you continuing to mail to a subscriber they’ve told you doesn’t exist, it will hurt your reputation. Make sure to regularly check your data for hard bounces, or even have it cleaned by a professional service. If you do pay to have your data cleaned, make sure the company removes hard bounces!

Use Gmail’s guidelines for bulk sending.

Gmail has an extensive article with tips on how to keep your emails from being blocked or going to spam. Add it to your bookmarks and check your sending practices against it regularly to make sure you’re meeting their requirements. If you’ve done everything in their guide and still have trouble, they even have a troubleshooting tool to help you figure out what’s going wrong.

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