Delivering to Gmail


Gmail is a challenge for even the best senders these days.
With the recent Gmail changes there isn’t any clear fix to getting open rates or inbox delivery back up. Some of it depends on what is causing Gmail to filter the mail. Changing subject lines, from name, from address may get mail back to the inbox in the short term, but it only works until the filters catch up.
What I am seeing, across a number of clients, is that Gmail is doing a lot of content reputation and that content reputation gets spread across senders of that content.  That means you want to look at who is sending any mail on your behalf (mentioning your domain or pointing at your website) and their practices. If they have poor practices, then it can reflect badly on you and result in filtering.
From what I’ve seen, these are very deliberate filtering decisions by Google. And it’s making mail a lot harder for many, many senders. But I think it is, unfortunately, the new reality.

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  • Hi Laura,
    for recent changes do you mean the “tabs”, “image caching” and the like or something maybe I’ve missed.
    Gmail has always been tricky, but following some best practices I was having good results, if newer changes have arisen it would be interesting to know.
    Thank you for your post!

  • Jose,
    Laura is referring to recent Gmail algorithm changes which has hampered inbox delivery for lot of brands.
    Its a change observed a couple of weeks back.
    We also see Gmail doing a lot of Content reputation mapping for campaigns based on all their communication to existing customers and more importantly even the prospects.

  • One thing I’ve noticed is that Gmail is diverting messages that link to certain URLs straight to spam. There appears to be no logic to these, but I’ve done lots of testing from multiple sources to nail down spam-vs-inbox results on specific URLs. This week’s example? Even if I sent a simple plain text mail from one dummy Gmail account to another, if it included a URL on, it went to Spam.
    So it seems Google is doing a lot of stuff with regards to URLs, but quite what makes it consider one domain bad over another isn’t entirely clear, since is clearly a major, respected site.

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