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What’s the Deal with Gmail?

What's the Deal with Gmail?

We get a lot of questions on Gmail and how someone can have an excellent "reputation" or a high "Sender Score" and still have issues with Gmail.

Let's back up for a moment and talk about the history of spam filtering.

It's always been essentially a game of whack-a-mole.

ISPs will put a "fix" in place. Spammers figure out a way around it. ISPs find a new way to block the spammers. And so the cycle goes round and round.

Back in the 90s, and early 2000s, ISPs were relying heavily on IP addresses. So spammers would then go and get dozens, even 100s of IP addresses to minimize how much mail was coming from a single IP address. Then, ISPs started to look at content and specific words and phrases. And IP resources started to become more scarce! If you've been around the Internet for a while, you may remember services like e-filtrate or the earliest versions of spam assassin.

And here we go again! Spammers look for loopholes and the ISPs get more sophisticated.

By the time Gmail entered the scene in 2004, they were looking more and more at content. But keywords weren't enough. It became a sophisticated game. On top of that, the other major players were starting to get more sophisticated as well.

Gmail has been the one provider that has continually built upon actual message content over the years. They've added to that... engagement, complaints, domains, read metrics, and more over the years. IP blocks are very far and few between. And troubleshooting almost ALWAYS comes down to content...

NOTE: If Gmail is blocking your IP, then you've done something to REALLY tick them off!

Unfortunately, it's not simply keywords! They've built sophisticated algorithms that look at ALL of the content including domains (in the messages, headers and redirect links), certain phrases, certain patterns, and more. In fact, we've seen Gmail get as specific as blocking a specific from address. For example, bob@abc.com goes through, but mike@abc.com gets filtered to the spam folder!

So... we talk about content being critical, but with Gmail it is the single biggest factor with engagement and other metrics layered on top.


For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today, she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.

If you're still having issues with Gmail even if your sender score is high, you better read this http://www.emaildelivered.com/whats-the-deal-with-gmail/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.

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August 15, 2017


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