Gmail and Slate Messages

Gmail is the most popular email provider in the U.S., and due to the volume of emails sent from Slate to Gmail addresses, this article will provide a few tips to getting emails sent through Slate delivered and opened.

Hiding "via"

Gmail may display a "via" label to the side of the "From" address when messages are sent from an "" domain through Slate. This is a normal behavior for all off-campus email delivery systems and does not necessarily affect deliverability. Institutions may prefer to remove this designation for aesthetic and marketing reasons, as well as for deliverability reasons.

To remove the "via" label, it is necessary to add DKIM configuration records on the "DKIM Configuration" page linked in the "Database" section of Slate. Please see Email Authentication (DKIM Configuration) for more details on configuring this within Slate.

More information on the "via" label is available from Gmail Help.

Avoiding the "Promotions" Tab

Some institutions may see their automated emails arrive in an end-user's "Promotions" tab within Gmail. This is the result of a Google algorithm that scans emails and assigns any that appear to be promotional in nature to this tab.

Google does not provide any way for senders to avoid this tab, nor do they provide any feedback as to which tab the message is delivered. The tab selection is made by Google on a message-by-message basis and may be different for different recipients and different messages.

Here are some general guidelines that may be helpful, but as with all modern message routing, there is no guaranteed way to direct a message to the Primary tab, since that is based upon an individual recipient's engagements with each message sender.

  • Configure DKIM (as detailed above).
  • Limit the number of links in the message.
  • Personalize the message using merge fields such as "Dear {{Preferred}}".
  • Plain text messages have a better chance of being delivered to the Primary tab as opposed to HTML messages.  When using HTML, try not to use complicated tables, large images, etc.
  • Keep the text conversational instead of promotional.
  • As always, test! Send test messages to a personal Gmail address to test the behavior of certain messages.
  • Consult with your marketing or communications office to ensure you are following institutional guidelines and best practices.

Additional Resources

The Email Deliverability tool in Slate allows users to enter an email address to view messages previously sent to that address along with a log of email-related activity and suppression list information.

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