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Trends Gmail is the dominant email domain, but what should you do about it?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Every Tuesday for nearly five years, we dug into the data and shared a unique resort marketing insight. We called it Tuesday Trends. But the focus was on the data, not the action. This post is part of a new series that picks up where those datasets left off. One-by-one, the Inntopia Strategic Team will resurface our favorites and simply ask, “Okay, now what?“

Good ol’ Gmail

One of the datapoints we’ve watched closely over the years is the changing dynamics of email domains. For example, in 2013 Gmail was the 2nd most common domain in resort and hotel databases at 15%. Today, they’re #1 by a hefty margin.

So Gmail addresses are dominating your guest database. But what should you do about it?

Now what?

To find an answer, I checked with our resident email geek and deliverability expert, Kristin Connors, for the scoop.

“We’ve talked about things like DKIM/SPF, IP warming, etc. in the past, and those are still an important foundation to your email marketing efforts, but they play less of a role in Gmail simply because spammers can have good authentication as well. Instead, Gmail’s filters are trained on behavior. Things like:

  • Did you delete an email before reading it?
  • Did you “star” that email?
  • Did you move it to the primary tab?

That list could go on, but you get the idea: Gmail is watching what you do much more than the technology you use to do it.

So with Gmail playing an even more important role (and don’t forget, 30% doesn’t include the emails on other domains that are being checked from a Gmail account), reaching the inbox depends on a few things.

First, send quality, engaging content to a segmented list. Second, always be sure you get explicit consent to send bulk emails. Implicit consent for transactional emails is OK. Third, and perhaps most importantly, don’t try to fool Gmail. For example, don’t try to sneakily get your marketing emails into the primary tab. Gmail is smarter than you, and it won’t work.

So, bottom line, send good emails to people who are expecting to get emails from you. That will help you reach any inbox, but especially so with Gmail.”

Kristin Connors
Email Marketing Manager

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