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My Emails Are Ending Up in Gmail Recipient's Promotions Folder, Please Help.
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I have an App in the Android Play store. As part of creating an account, we ask users to verify their email address with a standard (email verification) email. We have noticed that many potential users are not completing the sign up, and through investigation see that our email (which does follow the Google recommendations on transactional email formatting), our email are ending up in our user's Promotions folder about 50% of the time. That is 50% of our brand new users are not receiving our first email communication to have them complete the sign up process that they requested.

Because Gmail gives the Promotions and Social folders as a default view ... many people don't change it to a single inbox folder. Many people don't even know they have an inbox folder and therefore never check for an expected email verification to appear anywhere but their inbox. That is the normal behavior of those types of emails so they wouldn't think of looking anywhere else but their spam folder. When they don't see our email in spam they are lost as to why (they believe) we didn't send them an email to verify their email account. It completely erodes trust in our app ... even if we were to get them back. 

We have tried many things to fix this issue. We've hired a trusted agent to help verify the IP that we are sending our automatically generated emails from, and created a dedicated IP for reverse DNS lookup. We have filled out all the postmaster forms for investigation and other things already. 

Has anyone else had this problem and solved it? Can you share how you did that?

There are apps I sign up to all the time and their (email verification) emails always, always make it to my inbox.
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Hi Sean, what domain are you sending from and what SMTP server are you sending the messages through?
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@KeithR and Gmail community_

We are sending from TradeTipsApp.com and we’re using an AWS email service. 

We also have a dedicated IP and we’re set up for a reverse DNS lookup, by gmail.

Our reputation is good as far as I can tell. I’m just unsure of what is causing our emails are going into user Promotions folders 50% of the time.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

Sean_
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Thank you KiethR, for your response. Perhaps our domain may sound like a sales marketing promotions type of communication. If our emails were always heading to the Promotions folder I would think our name may be the issue. 

We are seeing the very same emails and domains going into the inbox 50% of the time and Promotions 50% of the time. You can almost set your watch by how the same email goes into a user inbox and then the very next email sent to another user goes into their Promotions folder. Then the next it goes to a third user’s inbox, and then next to Promotions.

It almost looks like a load balancing exercise (1 over here and 1 over here, etc.) I don’t believe it is load balancing, I am just using “load balancing” as a metaphor.

It is like some gmail mail handlers deem us an inbox candidate and others deem us Promotional, and we are ping-ponging between both.

We are publishing our mail SPF records and we use a transactional email verification service called  SendGrid. They are a service that helps business with verification of their IP as a non-spammer. We have reverse DNS set up and we are not going into spam or junk as we might have prior to signing up with them. 

The real and true issue now is the confusing behavior of gmail putting us in the inbox half the time, and switching us to Promotions half the time.

Since your last post KiethR, I am trying to take TradeTips out of the subject line and our first line of body content of the email. 

If we were to change the sending domain (we could make a subdomain or another domain just for sending these emails) are there any tips and tricks or to do documents about naming the domain specifically for better inbox categorization delivery that you would know?

I know other companies use “do-not-reply@“ and really odd looking email address formats, that still seems to make it to the inbox folder.

Thanks for your help.

Sean_
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...are there any tips and tricks or to do documents about naming the domain specifically for better inbox categorization delivery that you would know

Unfortunately not.  As I wrote before, Google doesn't publish information about any of their algorithms.  I don't think there is anything more I can offer.
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