Gmail has about 1.8 billion active users who receive and send dozens of emails every day. The channel is still a popular marketing tool for businesses, but not all emails reach the addressee. Algorithms block about 10 million messages daily, although only 0.1% of them are really spam.
Emails not delivered to users result in wasted marketing budgets, lost revenue, and reduced customer loyalty because they don't receive important information on time. Companies need to work on the correctness of campaigns so that the spam folder does not become a destination for emails.
Google's algorithms change frequently and make things difficult for marketers, but the general rules are known. Let's figure out why emails end up in Gmail spam and what to do about it.
Why emails end up in Gmail spam
If emails sent by your company are already in spam, start by looking for the reasons. Emails are not reaching your prospect's primary inbox because of incorrect settings, poor communication with users or irrelevant content. If Google marks too many messages as spam, it will dramatically lower the open rate of your newsletters. This is the first sign that it's time to analyze your email campaigns.
Here are the reasons for getting into spam:
Stop words in emails. Gmail filters know how to get rid of spam. They are able to identify the vocabulary often used by spammers. Gmail is unlikely to approve "earn", "earnings", "income", "bitcoin", "sale", "cash", "ad" and other similar words.
Gmail's custom filters block content on a topic that the user has previously specified. In addition, there is an algorithm that remembers which emails the user has marked as spam and redirects further emails on the same subject to the junk folder.
Rapid increase in the contact list. This looks suspicious for Gmail. You can't send 2,000 emails today, and suddenly 30,000 tomorrow. Such changes lead to the conclusion that the contact list is bought or emails are sent without the consent of users.
Decreased domain reputation. This happens when a company sends emails to people who didn't opt-in. The ISP checks the legitimacy of sending messages through spam traps (fake emails). If there are many such email addresses in the database, Gmail will consider the sender a violator of mailing rules. Another reason why a domain's rating can drop is because users mark your messages as spam.
Sending emails too often is also a possible reason why Gmail won't let your emails into your prospect's inbox.
How to bulk send in Gmail without getting spammed
You should follow the rules for sending emails in Gmail. Although this does not guarantee protection against getting into spam, it significantly reduces the risks.
1. Set up DNS records
Reverse DNS record, or PTR is used to compare the sending IP and the IP address of the hostname. If the addresses are different, Gmail thinks the emails are from a spammer. Use intoDNS to check if there is such a record for your IP.
You also should select a separate mailbox for each type of email: promotional, transactional, announcement and so on.
2. Email authentication
Emails from third-party senders are also at risk of ending up in Gmail spam. There is no guarantee that such messages will definitely reach your recipient, but it is possible to include a third-party email sender in the SPF record of the domain. This setting marks all recipients who have the right to send emails on behalf of your company's domain.
DKIM and DMARC are also critical for email authentication. A DKIM signature verifies that the message came from the domain owner. A DMARC record is used to block email spoofing.
3. Limit the number of emails
Gmail has limits on the number of messages sent per day. Exceeding these limits sometimes results in a spam folder, sending restrictions, and even account blocking. Use Gmail's recommendations and common sense. If the system does not block the company for an excess of messages, then the user will do it. He just needs to click "Report spam".
In addition, a sudden change in the frequency of sending will damage the reputation of the domain and increase the risk of getting into the spam folder. Grow your contact list gradually, especially if you don't regularly send campaigns.
4. Track domain and IP reputation
The reputation of the domain and shared IP address affects the deliverability of emails. Exaggerated limits, suspicious content, sending from a different domain are likely to result in blacklisting. The reputation score is made up of the actions of all senders that use the same sending IP address. That's why you need to keep an eye on the reputation of the shared IP.
Where to check domain reputation:
- Safe Browsing site status by Google. If there are hacking attempts, the system tells you about this.
- Postmaster Tools generates a report on the reputation of the domain and IP address, and also provides information about the reasons for undelivered messages and the number of messages marked as spam.
- Blacklists of domains and IP addresses. If your data is included in such a database, there is a high risk of ending up in spam.
5. Solve issues
Analyze reports on undelivered email after campaigns to figure out why emails don't land in Gmail inbox. Use Google's troubleshooting tool if you can't fix errors.
6. Communicate with users
Instruct users in advance when subscribing. If they do not receive the email, they should check their spam folder and mark it as "Report not spam". Tell your users about this. Ask them to add the company email address to their contact list. You can also suggest creating a filter for such messages so that future messages do not fall into spam.
Do not forget the unsubscribe button. If users can't find a way to unsubscribe, they mark your messages as spam. The same happens if you annoy users with advertising content and constantly change topics. In this case, subscribers choose a quick way to get rid of spam. They complain and block your address, which negatively affects the sender reputation.
7. Design your email template
Thoughtful design of content in messages affects getting into spam. Start with a user-friendly sender name and a relevant subject line that doesn't conflict with the content. Gmail monitors open rates and clicks. That's why it is important to make links in the message body prominent, easy to read, and with appealing CTA.
Don't overload emails with HTML, URLs and heavy design. A lot of media files for Gmail algorithms is a sign of advertising content.
Don't use AMP emails until you've warmed up the domain. Before sending such emails, it is recommended to complete additional registration with the mail provider. AMP is currently supported by Gmail, Mail.ru, and Yahoo Mail. Prepare an AMP email and send it to:
You need to send an email from the mailbox that will be used for AMP in the future. Next, fill out an application for registration as a sender of AMP emails and wait for confirmation from mail providers.
8. Test emails
Check emails before sending a campaign. Make a list of addresses to test emails. There is no guarantee that real recipients will see messages in the same way. But some mistakes can be corrected.
There are services that will help in testing. For example, free Postmaster Tools checks not only the domain, but also emails. Other paid and free tools include Send Forensics, SMPT.BZ, Glock Apps and Email on Acid.
There are no perfect methods to keep emails from going into Gmail spam. However, compliance with mailing rules, technical requirements and work with clients increases the chances of delivering messages to recipients.
To avoid the Spam folder, set up a reverse DNS record, SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Stick to Gmail limits and do not drastically increase the number of emails you send. Regularly check the reputation of your domain and IP address, monitor the deliverability of emails through special services.
Ask users to add your address to their contact list, send only content that is relevant to the stated subject of the newsletter and do not forget the unsubscribe link in the emails.
The article was originally published here.
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