Optimizing Your Campaign for Gmail

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With over 400 million users worldwide, there’s a pretty big chance many of the subscribers on your email list are reading your newsletters in Gmail.

Just like it’s a good idea to optimize your emails for people reading them on mobile devices, optimizing your emails for specific clients can help you stand out in the inbox. Readable emails that display the way you design them makes your marketing much more effective.

With the new tabs in Gmail inboxes, it’s more important than ever to make your emails attractive. Let’s talk about how to tailor your emails to make a better experience for those subscribers.

Finding Out Who’s on Gmail

Before you start optimizing your campaign, you need to know if your Gmail subscribers are in the majority. It’s easy to find that out.

Go to your recent broadcasts in your AWeber account and open the most recent message you sent. This brings up the analytics for that message. Click on the “Domains” tab to view a pie chart breakdown of the web domains your subscribers are using:

domain percents

Are a significant percentage of your subscribers using Gmail? Then it’s time to optimize your campaign for those subscribers.

Creating Gmail-Friendly Emails

Gmail has some special features you can easily take advantage of to get your emails delivered to the inbox and opened more frequently.

Inbox Tabs

Gmail’s new inbox tabs automatically organize users’ inboxes into categories each Gmail user chooses from a selection of five: Primary, Updates, Social, Promotions and Forums. Emails are sorted into those categories based on keywords and past interactions.

According to feedback from some of our readers, subscribers who read your emails regularly may see them under their Primary tab, which loads by default. Otherwise, your emails likely land under “Updates” or “Promotions” and may be missed if your subscribers ignore those categories.

What to do about it? Of course, the obvious answer is to create emails people want to read. But busy or distracted subscribers still may not bother to look around for your messages, so here’s another suggestion: On your thank-you page (where new subscribers land after filling out your web form), add a note to Gmail subscribers to check each tab for your confirmation email, then drag it to a tab they check regularly so they’ll see all emails they’ve requested from you. (Much easier, actually, than adding you to their address books!)


One more feature to consider: how Gmail previews messages. As demonstrated in an earlier post, Gmail displays a “snippet” of text following the subject line to preview the first few words of the message body.

Many marketers overlook this golden opportunity to elicit an open, allowing their standard preheader text to be the first message preview a subscriber encounters:

Not very enticing, is it? Compare to this example from that uses an extra headline to tease the message content for more opens:

Check out this post for more ways to use snippet-effective previews.


Rapportive is an app that connects with Gmail and displays social media information about your Gmail contacts. Rapportive also integrates with your AWeber account to show which of your mailing lists your contacts are subscribed to.

When integrated with AWeber, Rapportive lets you see which mailing list a particular contact is on, whether they’ve unsubscribed, how long they’ve been subscribed for and the last message they received from you.

For marketers and business owners who have some overlap between their professional and personal communications, Rapportive is a helpful tool for painting a fuller picture of your subscribers as you communicate.

How Many of Your Subscribers Use Gmail?

Will you optimize your campaign in light of the recent news? Or is your campaign already improved for Gmail? Have you seen better results using these tools and techniques?