Whether it’s facing our fears or achieving our New Year’s Resolutions, there is strength in numbers.

Don’t just trust us. The data backs it up.

Consider one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions year after year: getting healthy/losing weight. Studies have shown that having a gym buddy can drastically improve your results.

A survey conducted by the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University tracked married couples who joined a health club together. Those that worked out separately had a 43% dropout rate over the course of one year. The couples who went together, even if they weren’t focused on the same exercises, had only a 6.3% dropout rate.

That’s why we committed to facing our fears, while also encouraging our readers to conquer theirs. It’s the whole purpose of our theme for the blog this month. We’re all in it together, so there’s a greater chance of success.

The Buddy System

We reached out to some of our favorite marketers using Benchmark to ask them about their fears with email marketing.

In exchange for being a bit vulnerable and admitting to some of their fears, we told them we’d give them some advice on how to overcome them. Since the chances are less than slim that they’re the only ones facing that fear, we’ll help many of our readers along the way.

See? The buddy system!

Overcoming Fear of the Promotions Tab

Facing Fears

Luis Gil has used Benchmark for nearly three years to promote his life coaching business Inspira y Avanza. Despite seeing open rates and click-through rates that meet or exceed industry standards, there are still fears to which Luis holds on. We reached out to several of our favorite marketers using Benchmark. Luis was one of the brave ones willing to open up about his fear:

Benchmark: Did you have any fears when you began email marketing about getting started or that potentially delayed you getting started?

Luis Gil: My main fear was that the emails didn’t arrive in the main folder of the contact. Many of them went to “promotions” or “trash.”

Should You Fear the Promotions tab?

The simple answer is no … and yes.

Ok. Maybe it isn’t so simple. Let’s break it down.

When Gmail first introduced the Promotions tab, Return Path determined the tabs users enabled. At the time, 77% were using the Social tab, 46% took advantage of the Promotions tab and 46% had the Updates tab.

That means that for more than half of your subscribers who are using Gmail, it’s a nonissue. However, we never want the list of people who want to receive emails from us halved.

So, let’s look at the pros and the cons of the Promotions Tab.

Putting the Pro in the Promotion Tab

When you boil it down, all the Promotions tab does is help your subscribers organize their inbox.

In fact, according to a ReturnPath study of three million Gmail users, the Promotions tab increased deliverability, open rates and even reduced spam complaints.

Not only that, but the Promotions tab trained subscribers on how to shop in the inbox. To explain that concept, let’s think outside of the inbox for a second. Even if you’re a Millenial, you probably remember receiving catalogs in the mail. You may browse through a catalog, just to look at the pictures. However, when you’re ready to shop those catalogs are the first place you’d look. The Promotions tab is the new stack of catalogs.

Today’s inbox is crowded. It’s easy to get lost in all the noise. In the Primary tab, you’re also competing with emails from friends and family or even work. However, when your subscribers click over to the Promotions tab, they’re there looking for something. Readers with a purpose are more likely to engage with your email campaigns.

Let’s also not forget that as many as 75% of your subscribers are opening your emails on mobile. The Gmail app doesn’t even have tabs to begin with.

So What are the Cons of the Promotions Tab?

It’s mostly optics that make the Promotions tab feel like a con. The data proves it to be the opposite.

So what’s the real con of the Promotions tab?

It puts the burden on email marketers to create great content. It holds us all accountable to do our jobs better. Subscribers will seek out great content, no matter the tab.

If that sounds intimidating to you, perhaps you’re missing the point of email marketing. The reason email marketing boasts such a high ROI is that it provides so many opportunities to do customer-centric marketing. You’re delivering value directly to your subscribers where they want to receive it. Your sales will increase thanks to email marketing, but only if you’re finding a way to foster quality, ongoing customer engagement. That is done by services your subscribers’ needs and not your own. Your positive outcomes will be a natural byproduct of good, customer-centric marketing.

Still not sold?

ReturnPath also discovered that campaigns to get your subscribers to move your emails into their primary tab proved largely fruitless. They studied those “move me” campaigns and found that only 61 of the 65,507 emails sent landed in the Primary tab. That’s less than 0.1%. Asking your subscribers to whitelist your emails or to move them to their Primary tab simply does not work.

For more information on ensuring your emails are hitting the inbox, regardless of which tab, and not the spam folder check out our latest guide The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox.