Guide to Transactional Email Deliverability: how to avoid being classified as Promotional

Elena Moccia

“Your password has been successfully changed.”
“Your payment has been successfully processed.”
“Your package will be delivered today.”
We often receive emails like these, the transactional emails.
If they are missing or misplaced in the Promotions tab, customers of an e-commerce or booking site face significant inconvenience.
Users expect and request transactional emails. They confirm actions and reassure users that everything proceeds as planned.

Many clients report that their transactional emails (such as password reset requests from their e-commerce) end up in the Promotions tab.
Why does this happen?

Understanding the difference: Transactional vs. Promotional Emails

Email providers’ algorithms, like Gmail, do not always clearly distinguish between promotional and transactional emails. They automatically filter and categorize incoming emails.

Gmail’s inbox structure

Gmail’s inbox structure includes Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums tabs. This helps users organize their emails better.
When we discuss transactional email deliverability, we aim to ensure that recipients receive communications in their Primary tab without mistaking them for promotions or, worse, spam. Although we cannot directly control where emails end up once sent, we adopt effective deliverability strategies to influence their path. As a result, these strategies improve the chances of emails reaching the intended inbox

Tips for ensuring Transactional Emails reach the primary tab

Avoid promotional elements
Gmail’s algorithm tends to classify emails with heavy graphics, multiple call-to-actions, or aggressive sales terminology as promotional. Limit transactional emails to necessary and essential information, keeping the format simple and direct.

Personalization and precision
Make emails highly personalized and relevant to the recipient. Additionally, this not only makes the email more useful but also reduces the risk of email providers filtering it as promotional.

Maintain a good sender reputation
Use authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to establish the legitimacy of your email communications and improve overall deliverability.

Encourage users to adjust settings
Educate your customers on how to manually move emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab. Do this through direct communication or by including instructions in the emails themselves.

How Qboxmail ensures Transactional Emails avoid the Promotions Tab

Qboxmail uses an optimized algorithm to ensure transactional emails reach the Primary tab. We need the sender to specify the type of messages they intend to send. This allows us to optimize sending, assign the correct pool, and calculate your reputation.

Robust Authentication Standards
Qboxmail authenticates all emails sent through its platform using standards like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). These protocols confirm the authenticity of sent emails, reducing the risk of classification as spam or promotional. Implementing these standards also helps protect the customer’s domain from potential abuses, such as phishing and other forms of email-based attacks.

Continuous Monitoring of Sender Reputation
We never underestimate the sender’s reputation. Qboxmail constantly monitors parameters such as bounce rates, spam reports, and user responses to sent emails. This vigilance allows for quick intervention in case of potential problems that could damage the sender’s reputation. Maintaining a positive reputation is crucial to ensure that mail servers accept and forward emails to the intended recipients.

Dedicated Sending Pool for Transactional Emails
When you send transactional emails from the same provider as promotional emails, Google’s algorithm may think the message is also a promotion. The algorithm does not look at the exact content of the message but bases its decision on the likelihood that the same sending system always sends the same type of email.

So, if you send transactional emails from the same IP address or provider as your newsletters, it is normal for the promotional ones, which are usually fewer in percentage, to be classified as promotional.

Qboxmail’s Email Delivery uses dedicated sending pools and specific DKIM signatures for transactional emails to prevent these messages from ending up in Gmail’s Promotions tab.

Activate our new Email Delivery service to optimize email delivery directly from your Control Panel. If you are not yet a Qboxmail customer, contact us for details on Email Delivery and our solutions.

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