deliverability letter

Predicting Inbox Placement

Thoughts by Jesse Hanley • Founder Bento

Every now and then, we get a support ticket that basically asks, "... my emails keep ending up in the promotions tab! Can you help get them in the inbox?"

"しょうがない! (translated: it can't be helped)", we reply!

... but that's not entirely true.

In this post, we'll walk you through how to think of inbox placement and leave you with some steps to take action on.


When it comes to inbox placement, the number one thing to focus on is becoming a predictable brand to inbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc).

You want to:

Send via predictable addresses (and domains).

Send predictable volume through those addresses.

Send predictable content in that volume.

Afterall, inbox providers need to place your email within seconds of it hitting their servers, and they need your help to train them on where to place it.

Predictability is key.

Predictable Senders

The MOST significant signal we've noticed influencing inbox placement is the FROM address.

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Just by glancing at the above emails, I bet you can quickly predict where each of those emails would end up.

As you send volume through each of these different addresses, you're essentially training the classifiers to place your emails in specific tabs.

For example, if they see you send 1,000 transactional reciept emails every single day to users from [email protected] they'll reliably place you in the updates tab every single time.

Whereas if they see you sending your newsletter every Thursday from [email protected] then they know they can put those in the promotions tab.

But, what happens if you send all your emails from one address (i.e [email protected])?

... then that's when the classifier gets confused.

Usually, it gets confused and starts to put all your emails in the promotions tab because, by volume, you a probably mostly sending marketing emails from that address thanks to your newsletter.

This is also why if you use your personal email for all your marketing newsletters, you'll often have people you work with tell you they didn't get your email because it got lost in the wrong tab.

This used to happen to me a lot until I started sending different types of emails via different FROM addresses.

Recommendation: ensure you're sending each email from a dedicated inbox for each activity. Keep your personal usernames ([email protected]) for your most important emails, and use them sparingly for your newsletter or marketing mail.

Predictable Volume

Once you've set up your email inboxes for each specific type of email, you'll want to maintain consistency with your sending volumes.

This means sticking with the same address for your newsletter each week, and not switching it up with a different address.

If you need to send from a different user for a specific announcement (like a "Message from the Founder"), we suggest sticking with the same FROM address as always but just tweaking the name ("Jesse Hanley < [email protected] >). Bento allows you to have as many FROM addresses (called Authors in our platform) as you want.

Predictable Content

Last, but certainly not least, you'll want to make sure you're sending the same type of content as always from these addresses.

This will train the classifiers in such a way that they'll reliably put it in the right every single time.

While you can adjust the content to influence where your email will be placed, we believe it often gets overruled by how the FROM address has been classified.

For example, if you've trained the inbox classifier that emails from [email protected] are personal and belong in the inbox, avoid sending content that includes words like "sales", "promotion", or "deal".

This sudden shift in content may change how future emails are classified and could actually land you in spam.


Jump into your Bento account today, create separate FROM addresses (we call these "Authors" in Bento) for every type of email you are sending, and update them all.

We recommend using different usernames as well as different subdomains for each.

Any questions, please ask in our Discord!