Permanently Add Sender to Gmail Primary Tab (2022)

Permanently Add Sender to Gmail Primary Tab (2022)

Messages on Gmail’s Primary tab are the first ones you see when you log in to your email. You take action on these emails, while those on the Promotions and Social tabs get ignored most of the time. If you want to better understand how messages are sorted, you may read this post by Zero Bounce. To make sure you won’t end up ignoring an important message from your favorite brand, you may want to permanently add the sender to the Gmail Primary tab.

There are several ways to do this. In this post, we’re going to share with you five methods for adding a sender to your Gmail Primary tab. These are:

  1. Dragging and dropping emails to the Primary tab
  2. Adding the sender’s email address to your contacts list
  3. Creating a filter
  4. Marking the email as Not Promotions
  5. Disabling your Promotions or Social tab

The step-by-step processes for each method are below:

Method 1: Drag and drop emails to the Primary tab

When you see emails on the Promotions or Social tab that shouldn’t be there (or even if they are marketing emails but you really want to see them, i.e. from LGS), you can simply drag them from the current tab and drop them into the Primary tab. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Long press on the message you want to move until the Move 1 conversation alert appears


2. Drag the message and drop it to the Primary tab by releasing the mouse button

Move message to Gmail primary tab by dragging


3. Click on Yes at the bottom of the screen to permanently add the sender to your Gmail Primary tab

Move future messages to Gmail primary tab


Method 2: Add the sender’s email address to your contacts list

A person sending you emails may end up in the Promotions tab, especially when they use their company email address. You can add them as your contact in Gmail so future messages will automatically appear in your Primary tab. Follow the steps below to add a sender to your contacts list:

1. Open the sender’s message


2. Hover over the person’s name until a box displaying more information about the sender appears


3. Click on the Add to contacts icon

add a contact in Gmail

Method 3: Create a filter

Another way to permanently add a sender to your Gmail Primary tab is to create a rule or filter for the particular email address. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Show search options button located on the search box

Gmail search bar


2. Type in the sender’s email address and click on Create filter

Gmail create filter button


3. Mark the Never send it to Spam and Categorize as Primary checkboxes

Categorize as primary in Gmail


The dropdown button on the Categorize as checkbox allows you to select different tabs. If you want to apply the filter to past messages from the same sender, you may also mark the last checkbox labeled as Also apply filter to.

4. Click on the Create filter button to save the new filter


Method 4: Mark the email as Not “Promotions” or Not “Social”

Gmail gives allows users to remove emails from their current tabs by marking them as Not “Promotions” or Not “Social.” This method is only a three-step process:

1. Go to the Promotions or Social tab


2. Open the email you want to move to your Gmail Primary tab


3. Click on Not “Promotions” (if you are in the Promotions tab) or Not “Social” (if you’re in the Social tab)

Mark as not promotions in Gmail Mark as not social in Gmail


This action will remove the message from its current tab and move it to the Primary tab, but may not be enough to tell the Gmail algorithm that you want future messages from the same sender to be sent to the Primary tab.

Method 5: Disable your Promotions or Social tab

Your last resort is to disable your Promotions or Social tab. However, we suggest you do this with caution since disabling the other tabs will cause all emails to fall under the Primary tab, regardless if they are truly promotional or social. To disable other Gmail tabs, follow these steps:

1. Click on the gear icon beside your thumbnail and click on See all settings

See all settings in Gmail


2. Select Inbox to go to your Inbox settings

Gmail Inbox settings


3. Uncheck the Social or Promotions tab

This is where you can manage your tabs or categories. You can choose to disable or enable them from the Inbox settings.

Disable tabs in Gmail Inbox settings


4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page

Save changes in Gmail inbox settings


How to Whitelist, Add Safe Sender, Add Contact in Gmail (2022)

How to Whitelist, Add Safe Sender, Add Contact in Gmail (2022)

Have you ever waited for an email from someone only to find out that their message has gone straight to your Gmail SPAM folder or Promotions tab? Email marketing platforms like MailChimp try to help with this by inserting a link that supposedly adds the sender to your safe list, but it doesn’t always work, and it can be a bit confusing depending on your mail app (desktop and/or mobile). Gmail does not have a safe sender list but there are still ways to whitelist or mark a contact as safe so that you never miss another email from them. We’re going to talk about the 3 different ways of doing this in 2022.

  1. Mark the email as Not spam
  2. Create a filter
  3. Add the contact in Gmail


Mark Email as “Not Spam”

If you received an email and it went to the spam folder, the easiest way to make sure it always gets delivered to your inbox is to mark it as “not spam.”

1. Go to the spam folder and look for the email

(Please note, I had to put my own email into spam for demonstration purposes.)

2. Right click on the email and click on Not spam.

mark as not spam method to whitelist a contact in Gmail

You can also select the checkbox next to the message in the spam folder, and click the “Not spam” button, or open the message and find the “Not spam” button in the message option toolbar as well. Either of these 3 options will work.

This action will automatically move the message to your inbox and tells Gmail that you are interested in this type of message.

Create a Filter in Gmail

Gmail lets you create a rule to keep emails from specific senders from going to your spam folder. To add a filter, follow these steps:

1. Go to, login to your account, and click on the Show search options icon on the search box

Gmail search bar


2. On the search form From field, type in the sender’s email address

Gmail create filter form


3. Click on the Create Filter button at the bottom of the pop-out form

Gmail create filter button


4. Tick the Never send it to Spam checkbox and click on Create Filter to save the new filter

Gmail mark as not spam


Another option is to open the message, click the 3-dots next to the “reply” arrow, and select create a filter from there. Then follow all previous steps.

Gmail create filter from message

Related: Copywriting tips to stay out of the SPAM folder.

Add the Contact in Gmail

Adding a person’s email address to your contact list tells Gmail that you want to receive messages from that sender, effectively allowing you to whitelist a contact in Gmail. The easiest way to add a sender as contact is within Gmail itself, and this is how it’s done:

1. Open an email from the person you want to add as a contact


2. Hover over their name until a box with more details appears


3. Click on the icon with the plus sign at the upper right corner of the box

add a contact in Gmail


4. Once added, the icon will change to the Edit contact icon showing an image of a pencil

contact added in Gmail


Add Contacts in Google Contacts

If you plan to add multiple contacts to your Gmail contact list, your best option is to add them through Google Contacts. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Go to

Like most people, you may have different Google accounts for personal and work or business use. Adding contacts to one account will not automatically create them in the other, so make sure that you are logged in to the correct Google account.


2. Click on the Create Contact button at the upper left side of the screen

Gmail Create contact button


3. Select Create multiple contacts to add more than one sender to your contact list

If you only need to add one contact, you may proceed to Step 6.

Gmail create multiple contacts button


4. Type in the email addresses you want to add, separated by a comma, and click on Create

multiple contacts added in Gmail through Google Contacts


Take note that you may also import contacts by uploading a CSV or vCard file.

6. If you only need to add one contact, you can select Create Contact 

Whitelist a contact in Gmail by adding contact in Google Contacts


7. Fill out the details on the form and click on Save

You can upload the person’s photo and add relevant notes, aside from his or her contact information.

Google Contacts Create Contact Form


Let me know if I’ve missed anything, and I’ll be sure to update this post.

Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow For Massive Conversions in 2022

Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow For Massive Conversions in 2022

The abandoned cart automation (also called a flow, customer journey, or sequence depending on your email marketing provider) is among the three essential automations any brand needs to implement if you’re selling things online. Recently, someone asked me how long it takes to build one of my abandoned cart flows, but the real question is, how do I optimize my abandoned cart flow for conversion?

It starts with hyper-targeting segmentation, and Klaviyo makes this incredibly easy.


Pro Email Copywriting Tips To Stay Out Of The Spam Folder (And Get More Email Opens)

Pro Email Copywriting Tips To Stay Out Of The Spam Folder (And Get More Email Opens)

You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to stay out of the spam folder (although it does help), but there are some things that are particularly important to pay attention to help you stay out of the SPAM folder. 

In the previous post we discussed email list hygiene and how your list could be sending you to the spam folder. But, this post is all about you, and I’ll be sharing some of my email copywriting tips that can improve your email open rates and get you in front of your audience.

Don’t want to be in the spam folder? Just ask

It’s becoming common practice to ask your subscribers or customers to ‘whitelist’ you in their inbox to avoid going to the spam folder. You don’t ask, you don’t get! The best places for you to position this are not always your emails themselves, but can be: 

  1. On ‘Thank You’ landing pages after someone has subscribed or signed up
  2. Messages at checkout 
  3. On social media

You can also use the ‘P.S.’ section of your first couple of emails in your sequence to remind your audience to whitelist you. The message, no matter where you add it, should be clear and simple, something along the lines of: 

“Thank you for your purchase/subscribing. An email is on the way to you now so keep an eye out in case it lands in your spam or junk folder. If it does, move it to your inbox and add us to your approved senders list so you don’t miss out on anything!”

And just like that, you’ve asked your audience to do it for you. This also has benefits for your reputation and credibility because the more people that do this, the more reputable you become to their email provider! 

Pro Tip: Ask your subscribers to move your emails from the “promotions” tab to the “primary” tab in Gmail so that you know they will be front and center when you send them. 

Gmail Promotions and Primary Tab email copywriting tips

Your subject line matters most

Your email’s subject line alone can mean the difference between an email open and the spam folder. In fact, 69% of email recipients reported an email as spam due to the subject line alone. So, with a lot riding on your subject line, how can you stack the odds in your favor?

Avoid spam trigger words

Certain words in your copy or subject line may make it more likely your email will be flagged as spam. This happens because these trigger words are used most often in phishing or spam emails so filters automatically classify you along with them.  

Some examples of these include:

  • For free
  • Get paid
  • Amazing offer
  • Save now
  • Limited time only
  • Work from home
  • Nigerian prince has money for you 

Also, even if you don’t use trigger words, incorrect punctuation and capitalization makes you look unprofessional and suspicious. A subject line that looks like this: “TH1S iS n0t sPaM!” won’t increase the chances of your email being opened.

Pro Tip: Here’s a more comprehensive list of spam trigger words for you to look at. Just be aware that this list is constantly evolving so make sure you stay up to date if you see a dip in rates. 

Using emojis can help (sometimes) 

You would think that using emojis would be a spam trigger, but it’s actually the opposite. Many companies have A/B tested emojis versus no emojis in their email marketing and found that emojis came out on top with their audiences. 

Emojis, when used sparingly, can make your email stand out in the inbox, easily convey emotions, and draw the attention of the person reading. 

Pro Caveat: Emoji success heavily depends on your audience, as well as your own branding. Is it in keeping with your brand voice to use an emoji? Will your audience understand, or even appreciate them? The answer to both of these questions needs to be yes for it to work as a strategy for you. 

Clickbait is dead

By now pretty much everyone should know what clickbait is, where you have an enticing subject line but the email content does not deliver. The long and the short of this is, don’t do it. Clickbait loses the trust of your audience, and the point of your email and nurture sequences is to build trust not break it! Plus, audiences are starting to become desensitized to clickbait which means it’s not going to be effective anyway!

Poor spelling and grammar can make you look like a bot

Automated bots, hackers, they all have one thing in common. Their spelling, grammar, and formatting is a dead giveaway. The problem with this is, the more mistakes and wonky your email is, the more likely you’ll be labeled a spammer or be hit with complaint reports as well.

So, if you’re not a natural writer and often make mistakes, use an email builder that allows you to format your emails properly and create templates to save time and effort in the future.

Pro Tip: Use a tool like Grammarly which can help with spelling and grammar across a variety of platforms and even offers suggestions to improve your writing and tone if it’s not your forte.

Test and compare what works best for your audience

While I can give you a lot of email copywriting tips, and make this a much longer blog post, the truth is, you also have to figure out what works best specifically for your business and your audience. That’s where A/B testing comes in.

Normally this involves having different subject lines to improve open rates, or different layouts and content in the body of the email to see which one makes more sales. It’s then a matter of tweaking what works, and what doesn’t, to get the best results.

Email copywriting really is an art form and takes practice, patience, and often a lot of testing, particularly when it comes to email opens and staying out of the spam folder, but hopefully, this post has given you an excellent place to start.

If you need email copywriting tips specifically for your business or help optimizing your email campaigns, drop me a message and see how we can work together. As a MailChimp Expert and Klaviyo Master with over 8 years of experience and countless happy clients, this is what I do! 

Ready to get started?

David Sandel, Founder

David Sandel, Founder

Low Gravity Solutions

LGS provides full-service automated digital marketing for seven-figure businesses, including strategy, technology management, copy, and design. Your passion is your business. Ours is marketing and automation.

Email List Hygiene: Is Your Audience Causing Your Emails To Go Into The Spam Folder?

Email List Hygiene: Is Your Audience Causing Your Emails To Go Into The Spam Folder?

In my last article, I shared how to make sure your domain is set up properly so that your contacts’ email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL etc.) recognize your email as valid and safe. But, it’s not just your DNS settings and emails that can get you sent to the spam folder, it also has to do with the quality of your list. 

In the case of email list hygiene, bigger lists are not always better! Having a huge contact list that gets you sent to the spam folder is much more damaging to your brand than a very small, engaged list. After all, it’s not about size, it’s what you do with it. 

What makes for poor email list hygiene? 

Audiences with: 

  • A lot of old/out-of-date email addresses
  • High abuse/spam complaints
  • High bounce rates
  • High unsubscribe rates
  • Lack of engagement like low open rates and click rates
  • Blacklisted emails/IPs

Will get noticed by reputable email providers for all the wrong reasons. This can get your account removed, paused, or simply just won’t let your emails through, rendering your email marketing efforts pointless. To avoid this, you need to improve the quality of your email list. Here’s how: 

Start With Permission 

There’s nothing worse than having unsolicited emails in your inbox, and it turns people off if they suddenly start hearing from you if they haven’t given you permission to email them. In fact, a survey by Cisco in 2019 found that 32% of people would switch companies over data sharing or privacy concerns. 

This means that anytime someone ends up on your email list, they should have decided to be there. Not only is it now a law for EU citizens under GDPR, and Californian consumers under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) but consent (or lack of) plays a huge role in abuse complaints.  

Pro Tip: Both MailChimp and Klaviyo use a double opt-in method so that you have proof that they gave their permission for you to email them. It also helps your mailing list to be free of inactive or fraudulent emails. 

Turn On MailChimp Double Opt-In 

To make sure your double opt-in is active in MailChimp

  1. lick on ‘Audience’ from the tab on the left side of the screen, then > ‘All contacts’.
  2. Once on that screen, click the ‘Settings’ drop-down menu in the navbar in the middle of the screen and select ‘Audience name and campaign defaults’.
  3. Scroll down a bit to “Form settings” and select ‘Enable double opt-in’.
MailChimp Double Opt In Settings

Turn On Klaviyo Double Opt-In

  1. Navigate to the list you want to enable double opt-in
  2. Go to ‘Settings’
  3. Scroll down to ‘Opt-In Process’ > Confirm you’ve got double opt-in selected
  4. Scroll down further to save and update your settings.  
Klaviyo Double Opt In Settings

Pay Attention To Your Bounce Rate

Even though ISPs and email providers don’t publicly publish their bounce limits, what we do know is that high bounce rates are a factor that can flag and cause you to go into the SPAM folder. 

Soft bounces should be ignored for the time being because these can be temporary issues like a technical connection problem, email size issues, full inboxes, and other things that tend to resolve themselves. But hard bounces are what I’m talking about. This is when the email is completely undeliverable because the address cannot be identified. 

The most common reasons for hard email bounces include: 

  • Spelling errors in emails
  • Non-existent emails (email accounts that have been closed or fake accounts that were submitted by bots) 
  • Expired email addresses (e.g. very common in B2B if an employee moves on and their email is closed) 

Go through your last email campaigns and take a look at the hard bounce statistics and remove any email addresses that you find. If you’re looking to benchmark what your bounce rate should be, as of April 2021, the average bounce rate across all industries was around 10.28%, however you should be aiming for as small a bounce rate as possible.

Pro Tip: MailChimp and Klaviyo automatically remove hard bounces for you, so you shouldn’t have to do this manually.

Scrub old lists before you upload to your platform 

If you have a large list from another platform like a CRM, changing email platforms, or you haven’t integrated yet and you have an excel spreadsheet, consider using a list scrubber like ZeroBounce to make sure the emails are still valid before uploading. This saves you time and effort later when your emails don’t seem to be going through!

ZeroBounce Email Verification

Pro Tip: Make sure to maintain your current list and scrub it every 2 – 3 months, or more frequently if you send a lot of emails. This makes sure your campaigns are likely to get the most engagement.

Don’t purchase email lists 

Purchasing email lists was a big craze years ago, particularly before we had legalities in place to protect people’s right to consent to marketing and privacy. But, aside from the dubious practices that most firms use to mine these emails, there’s a more pressing problem with paid lists. 

Most paid lists aren’t your target customer, and these people aren’t interested in your products. They’ve never heard from you before, and even if they are active emails (which a lot of them are not), they aren’t going to buy from you. So why waste time having them on the list and hurting your list health and stats? It’s pretty much a waste of money. 

Reduce Complaints

Complaints are raised when users report your email as spam. This is one of the biggest issues because it’s coming straight from the consumer which is directly affecting your brand.

Types of things that commonly result in complaint reports, and things you should avoid are:  

  • Misleading subject titles (clickbait)
  • Changing the “From” information when you resend campaigns
  • Using spam trigger words
  • Not having consent
  • Old audiences/lists
  • Hiding opt-out/unsubscribe buttons

Ultimately, proper email list hygiene is about ongoing maintenance. It’s something that you’ll have to do regularly rather than just once. So before you start sending out more campaigns, go through and improve your current audience lists today.

If you need a hand with your contact lists, or to boost engagement with your email campaigns, drop me a message. As a MailChimp Expert and Klaviyo Master I’ve got over 8 years of experience helping countless businesses with their eCommerce email marketing and making sure their emails hit the inbox. 

Ready to get started?

David Sandel, Founder

David Sandel, Founder

Low Gravity Solutions

LGS provides full-service automated digital marketing for seven-figure businesses, including strategy, technology management, copy, and design. Your passion is your business. Ours is marketing and automation.

Setting Up Your DMARC, SPF, and DKIM In MailChimp & Klaviyo to Avoid the Spam Folder

Setting Up Your DMARC, SPF, and DKIM In MailChimp & Klaviyo to Avoid the Spam Folder

Making sure your domain is set up properly is the first step to avoiding your emails ending up in the spam folder. The three things you really need to be concerned with if you’re planning on using MailChimp or Klaviyo are your SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and then you can publish your DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). 

In this post, I’ll be discussing what exactly each of these things are, why you need to set them up, and how to do it in MailChimp and Klaviyo.

Full disclosure on this post: it’s fairly technical, and while I do walk you through step by step, if you’re not comfortable getting set up, LGS can do it for you.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Why you should care about SPF:

SPF records tell a receiving email server that your domain is legit and that it’s okay to accept your email to their inbox. Without setting this up, your domain can be spoofed (someone can pretend to send emails as you) and damage your brand and reputation. 

It’s like going to an invitation-only event and not having one or any other kind of identification. Then the bouncer looks at you, laughs, and tells you to step aside and go home.

Setting up SPF in MailChimp

MailChimp have removed SPF, and instead use two layers of DKIM which I will talk about a little further down.

How to set up SPF in Klaviyo

In Klaviyo, setting up an SPF record means creating a dedicated domain for sending out your email. The steps below outline how to do this in Klaviyo.

1. In Klaviyo > Go to your account name > open the Account page

2. Go to Settings > “Domains and Hosting” > Click on ‘Get Started’ under Dedicated Sending Domain 

Klaviyo dedicated sending domain

3. Input your domain and subdomain name > click “Continue” and a new pop-up will have a list of all the DNS records needed to create/edit your DNS. 

Klaviyo set dedicated sending domain

4. Go to your DNS hosting provider > Create new DNS records that match the ones given to you by Klaviyo

Note: In Klaviyo you need to set up your DKIM during this process before you can verify your domain, so I’ll move onto that now. 

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

What is DKIM?

Your DKIM is like stamping a unique signature on your email to verify who you are. Just like a fingerprint. It does this by creating two authentication keys: a private one in your SMTP (Sender Mail Transfer Protocol), and the other in a public DNS zone.

So, when you send out an email, it’s sent with your email domain’s private key. Once your receiver gets your mail, they verify the authenticity of your key by comparing it to the one on the public server. Once it’s verified, with no falsifying or tampering, you’re allowed to go to the inbox. 

If you don’t set up your DKIM, much like SPF, someone can pretend to be you and spoof your account. 

How to set up DKIM in MailChimp

  1. In MailChimp go to ‘Website’ > ‘Domains’ > Click authenticate

This will give you the domain information you need in a pop-up window. Including the CNAME records you will need to create. 

    MailChimp Domain Authentication 2021

    2. Open your DNS records for your domain on your hosting > Create a new CNAME record > Add the MailChimp values provided 

    3. Now, go back to the Domains page of your MailChimp account and click “Authenticate Domain” It may take up to 24 hours to propagate through the internet, but in my experience, it’s fairly immediate. 

    MailChimp Authenticated Domains

    Need more help? If you are stuck on authenticating your domain in MailChimp for BlueHost and SiteGround, I’ve got walkthrough guides here:


    How to set up DKIM in Klaviyo

    The DKIM set up for Klaviyo follows the same process as its SPF and you’ll need to copy the DNS information you’re given from Klaviyo into your domain hosting. 

    Once you’ve done this, go back to Klaviyo and click ‘Continue to Verify Domain’ > Once verified, click ‘Apply Domain’.

    Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)

    What is it?

    A DMARC protocol (or sometimes called a report) is essentially a way to improve your email’s reputation by saying ‘I have set up SPF and/or DKIM’. Publishing your DMARC establishes a set of rules on how to handle emails that pass or fail either or both of the SPF and DKIM protocols. 

    For example, emails that fail the verification protocol can be sent to spam or rejected outright. What makes DMARC important is that it provides a more secure way of sending and receiving emails. Plus, it helps to protect your domain against spoofing, and phishing by hackers. 

    How to publish a DMARC record

    DMARC works with SPF and DKIM records, so it’s a requirement to have these both set up first in your DNS hosting provider to publish it. 

    Note: DMARC is set up in your DNS and not in MailChimp and Klaviyo so you only have to do this once from your DNS platform. 

    1. Go to your DNS management platform > Select the domain (website name) that needs a DMARC record
    2. Add a new TXT record with the following: 
      • Name –  _DMARC
      • TTL – leave as default
      • Value – “v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ON THE SAME DOMAIN; adkim=r; aspf=r”
      • Save
    3. You can leave it there or use a free DMARC checker to make sure it’s been set up correctly like DMARCIAN
      Siteground DMARC record

      Pro Tip: For the techies in the room, you can modify how DMARC handles emails that fail the verification and authentication process and even how strict you want the SPF and DKIM records to be.

      Ultimately, spending the time to get your domain set up properly can save a lot of heartache when it comes to sending campaigns and wondering why none of them are being delivered. So, if you haven’t set them up yet, I highly recommend doing that as a priority first. 

      If you want to set up your DMARC properly to avoid the spam folder, you have to start with your SPF and DKIM in MailChimp or Klaviyo. If you don’t have the confidence with changing DNS records, or you need a hand from a MailChimp Expert and Klaviyo Master with over 8 years of experience, get in touch below!