This is a note to let people know that if you’ve felt like you’ve been missing emails from CodePen, and you use GMail or Inbox, you might wanna check the Promotions tab/bundle. It might be The CodePen Spark, social notifications, or even something like a password reset email or a reply to a support request.
If you like that, that’s totally fine!
If that causes you grief, one sure way to fix it is adding “email@example.com” as a contact, as emails from your contacts always end up in the primary tab.
We’ve only been noticing this the last few months, so we must have tripped a trigger somehow, likely with our weekly newsletter The CodePen Spark. We send that out through the from email as everything else: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be looking at “fixing” this in the coming weeks and months. It’s likely we’ll take a crack it by separating the from address for various types of emails we sent, although we aren’t entirely sure that will fix it or not.
I’ve been reading about it around the web. Seth Godin has trouble with his readers who subscribe by email:
It seems like a great idea. That spam-like promo mail, all that stuff I don’t want to read now (and probably ever) will end up there. Discounts on shoes. The latest urgent note from someone I don’t even remember buying from. The last time I checked, you’ve moved more than 100,000 messages to my promotions folder. Without asking.
Alas, you’ve now become a choke point. You take the posts from this blog and dump them into my promo folder–and the promo folder of more than a hundred thousand people who never asked you to hide it.
It was MailChimp that notes the Google Contacts fix:
Emails from a subscriber’s Google Contacts always go to their Primary inbox. In confirmation pages, welcome emails, and campaign content, ask your subscribers to add your From email address to their Google Contacts.
Constant Contact tries to tell people it’s no big deal:
Gmail introduced three Inbox tabs, Primary, Social, and Promotions, to help improve deliverability, open rates, and help decrease spam complaints for their users. Email sent through Constant Contact typically end up in the Promotions tab because we are an Email Service Provider (ESP). There’s no need to fear the Promotions tab, though. You can think of these tabs as additional Inboxes.
I would think if people never check the Promotions tab, there is certainly a reason to fear it. It might as well be spam.
It’s been estimated by email deliverability expert Chris Lang that Gmail has somewhere between 450 and 550 different indicators of quality that help decide the fate of each email that’s delivered to Gmail.
Don’t try to “game” the system. Google is smarter than most of us, and if you’re trying too hard to make a promotion look like something else, Google will catch you.
Once they move [the email over to the Primary tab], they can opt to receive all messages in the Primary tab.
That might be another tactic for moving them back, if you actively want to.