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The world’s best all-in-one Gmail Inbox Actions guide

Inbox Actions have been around for a while now. If you use Gmail, or Google Apps for email at work, you’ve seen Inbox Actions at work. These buttons show up inline with messages and are controlled with markup.

Examples of Inbox Actions taken from a Gmail inbox.
If you use Gmail, you’ve probably noticed Inbox Actions.

Gmail is the only major mailbox provider supporting Inbox Actions right now, but enough folks are using Gmail and Google apps to make building these actions worth your time. You’ll want to check your own usage statistics, of course, but it’s a pretty safe bet you have critical mass.

There’s just one big challenge: where do you start? There is a ton of documentation from Gmail about implementing Inbox Actions, but it can be daunting to unpack exactly what you need to do to use Inbox Actions for your domain from multiple articles and other resources. Instead of going back and forth between documents, we’ve done the research and built an all-in-one guide on Gmail Inbox Actions to help you get started. It pulls together all the things you need to know from Google’s documentation into a single, logical workflow you can use to set up everything you need to start using Inbox Actions.

What can I do with Inbox Actions? #

There are four types of Inbox Actions you can use: One-click, Go-To, RSVP, and Review. These actions make it easy to complete something normally embedded in the body of an email without having to open the message.

To give you an idea, you can make it easy for someone to track an order from your store with one click, or reset their password without opening an email. We cover each type of Inbox Action in greater detail in the guide, but this gives you an idea of how you might use them.

First things first #

You should make sure your domain qualifies to use Inbox Actions. We cover this in detail in the guide, but here are the big things your domain needs to use Inbox Actions.

  • Your domain must have a consistent history of sending at least 100 emails per day to Gmail addresses over the last couple of weeks
  • Your domain must have a low spam complaint rate. 
  • You should only setup Inbox Actions for transactional emails.

You need to register with Google and make a request for your domain to be whitelisted. This is a step Gmail uses to prevent abuse. It can be frustrating to set up the markup for Inbox Actions and not see them appear with your new messages, so it helps to know if your domain meets these requirements before doing a bunch of work to add Inbox Actions.   If you aren’t sure about how much you’re sending to Gmail mailboxes, or what your spam complaint rate is, Gmail Postmaster Tools can help answers those questions for you. You might check out Gmail Postmaster Tools and find you don’t have enough volume to register your activity with this tool just yet. Bookmark this guide and come back to it once your volume increases.

Meet the requirements? Dig into the guide. #

If you meet all the requirements, you can jump right into the guide. Since and Inbox Actions are open standards, you don’t need to use Postmark to use our guide. It covers everything from markup to testing, to securing action requests, to in-depth examples of each type of action.

Have you tried to set up Inbox Actions in the past? Take a look at our Inbox Actions guide and let us know if there’s anything we didn’t cover or could explain in more detail. We’ll be keeping this guide updated and would love to hear from you.

Shane Rice