If you’re like most email marketers, Gmail blocking your emails is a problem.
Regardless of your industry or business, emails have become people’s go-to or fall-back means of communication. And using Gmail in email marketing is such a big help as it is one of the biggest email providers, with over 1.8 billion Gmail users worldwide as of February 2023.
So, it only means that Gmail blocking your bulk emails can be alarming.
You may ask, “Why is this suddenly happening?” or “Did my email get through?”. You may even think, “But my emails are not spam.”
Rest assured, there are ways to solve this issue.
This article aims to provide tips on how to stop Gmail from blocking your bulk emails. However, it would be best to determine the problem first so it is easier to correct the situation.
Why Is Gmail Blocking My Emails?
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1. Your Server’s IP Address Is on a Blocklist
Networks use IP blocklisting, formerly called IP blacklisting, to block IP addresses they believe are sending out spam or malicious messages.
However, landing on a blocklist doesn’t happen randomly. Some ways you can end up on a blocklist include a huge growth in email list size, having a high spam-complaint rate, sending mail that contains viruses, and your email lists are not maintained.
2. Your Content Looks Spammy
Gmail filters emails with spammy-looking content. Here are some items that Gmail filters may flag as spam:
- Too much usage of large font size
- The subject lines are in ALL CAPS
- Having misspelled words or typos in the subject line
- There are numerous sales and promotional offers
- Too prevalent bold text in the content
Gmail filters likewise consider the links that you include in your email. While it’s normal to add a link to an email to generate traffic to a webpage (even if these links are safe and trustworthy), it doesn’t mean that Gmail filters won’t flag it as spam.
Therefore, experimenting with the links you include in the bulk email is best. Try a single link or multiple links and see which emails get flagged. In your A/B test, try putting different links as well to see if one link may cause the email to be marked as spam.
3. You’re Sending Large Volumes of Email
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Another reason Gmail blocks your bulk email is there’s a spike in your email volume overnight. Once Gmail notices that you’re bombarding its users with newsletters without an email warm-up routine, it flags your messages as spam emails.
While some businesses are forced to increase their sending limits, the best approach would be to do it gradually, especially if you’re sending from a new IP address. This way, Gmail won’t view your campaigns as possible unsolicited emails.
4. Your IP Address or Domain Has a Poor Reputation
Gmail commonly blocks emails from IP addresses that are publicly blocklisted. Using a domain or IP address that’s blocklisted or suspended will also increase spam complaints and bounce rates.
This will negatively affect your brand reputation and open rate. However, finding an email service provider with a good reputation will be worth the effort.
IP reputation measures the level of trust mailbox providers place on a sending Internet Protocol address. The IP address is a numerical identifier for every network or device that connects to the internet.
For instance, imagine your business domain is mybusiness.com. Then, you send your emails to subscribers and clients from email@example.com. The mail server you use to send messages has an IP address of 188.8.131.52. Upon sending an email, the server creates a connection with your recipient’s servers and checks the DNS record for mybusiness.com.
Meanwhile, a domain reputation is the level of trust mailbox providers, and anti-spam services have on the domain. IP and domain reputation also help mailbox providers decide whether emails should land in the recipient’s inbox or reject them and put them in the spam folder.
5. You Neglected Email Authentication
When your email account is authenticated, it tells the mail services that you’re the real deal and that your emails deserve to be in inboxes because they are legitimate.
This is why if you neglect email authentication, Gmail will block your emails Considering the consequence, we recommend you consider working with DNS records.
DNS stands for Domain Name Server or Domain Name System, which connects domain names to web servers. Each time you connect to the internet, you are using DNS records. DMARC, SPF, and DKIM email authentication methods are incredibly important too.
For instance, DMARC reports tell you the action a mail server takes when receiving unauthenticated mail from your domain.
Therefore, authorizing your own sending IP address, any new IP address, and third-party addresses before sending future messages is the solution.
Read also: SPF, DKIM, DMARC explained Infographic
6. You Have High Spam Complaint
The spam complaints you receive damage your sender’s reputation and consequently affects the delivery rate of your campaigns.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which refer to major email providers, first consider your sender’s reputation when filtering emails.
7. You’re Sending Emails to Invalid Addresses
Your email deliverability will be compromised if you constantly send too many emails to invalid addresses. Gmail may also categorize you as a spammer because of it. Therefore, it’s vital to keep your list clean and send your emails only to valid and deliverable addresses.
How To Solve This Problem [11 Tips]
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1. Do a Blocklist Check
This process is easy because there are various sites where you can check your IP or domain against blocklists and whitelists.
There are also public sites for free to do a blocklist check. You can use tools like multirbl.valli.org and MXToolbox to check if your domain name or IP has been placed in one of the blocklists.
Once you hit search, these sites will run your IP or domain through several lists, including exploit blocklist, policy blocklist, and spam blocklist.
2. Secure the Opt-in
Another best practice that solves Gmail blocking your emails is to encourage your recipients to opt-in to your messages rather than checking boxes by default.
In fact, Gmail strongly encourages opt-in or confirmed opt-in. The word opt-in refers to people voluntarily signing up or opting in to receive communications from your brand or company.
The two opt-in methods you can try are single opt-in and double opt-in. Single opt-in is when a person joins your email list or submits their email IDs in one step. It’s an easy process and makes growing your list from scratch easier.
Meanwhile, double opt-in is where a user signs up for email marketing, and you send them a separate confirmation email. This method also increases the interest level of the user.
You can send them an email saying, “Hi [recipient’s name], thank you for joining our email community. To continue, please confirm your address now.” Don’t forget to add a button next to verify the recipient’s email address.
Or you can simply email them a verification email with the message, “Please confirm the new email address for your account.” Then, add a “Confirm Email Address” button. These emails will also automatically be added to your Gmail contacts.
3. Use Google’s Postmaster Tools
You can track your domain reputation score using Google Postmaster Tools. It also provides you with aggregate statistics or insights on your deliverability, performance, encryption, IP reputation, authentication, and spam rate.
You simply need to have a Google account (Gmail address or Google Workspace) to use the Postmaster Tools. Then, log in to https://postmaster.google.com, where they will ask you to add your domain.
There, you will see the TXT record provided by Google. Access your DNS configuration and add that TXT record. Once you’re done, go back to Google Postmaster and verify.
4. Avoid URL Shorteners
URL shorteners, as the name implies, reduce your URL length. It also minimizes web page addresses into ones that are easier to track and remember.
However, it is one of the most common ways spammers hide a link. So, avoid URL shorteners if you don’t want Gmail to block your bulk mailings.
5. Dodge the Spam Filter
An email spam filter detects unwanted and harmful emails and sends them to the spam folder. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and other email providers use these filters to ensure unwanted emails won’t harm their users’ emails with viruses or clutter their inboxes.
As a marketer, being concerned about the spam filter is essential so your emails won’t be blocked. Getting a reliable email marketing tool or software can also help you avoid the spam filter.
6. Maintain a Predictable Pattern and Volume of Emails
Gmail, like other email providers, prefers predictability. So, sending consistent patterns and volume of emails is a must.
In addition, avoid large increases in email volume. Any unusual sending behavior will cause Gmail to consider your reputation and be more cautious about future emails. It may even send you a message saying its system has detected your message is likely unsolicited mail.
So, if you really need to send a large group of subscribers to your list, it’s better to send them gradually, not all at once.
7. Ensure the Opt-Out Process Works Properly
One of the reasons Gmail blocks your bulk emails is having a high spam complaint. A fix to such an issue is making sure your opt-out process works properly.
There’s also a chance that your recipients are simply confused about your opt-out procedure. As a result, they may have clicked the “report spam” button because it’s easier than finding the unsubscribe button.
8. Create Quality Email Content
Gmail spam filters check your email content. Therefore, keeping your email content short and to the point is best. The headers should also include the correct information, such as the “From,” “To,” and other required fields.
Furthermore, if you’re sending HTML emails, ensure they don’t exceed 102 KB because Gmail shortens email messages with a larger threshold.
9. Encourage Interaction
Encourage interaction to get your bulk emails delivered to your target recipients and get opens and clicks. Doing so helps even if you land in the primary tabs. One way to encourage your subscribers to take action is to make it easy for your readers to scan and use responsive design.
10. Run A/B Tests
Measuring your campaign’s success by running A/B tests help you determine those that resonate best with your recipients. Then, you can optimize your campaigns for better performance.
11. Monitor and Protect Your Email Sender’s Reputation
Your email sender reputation is a combination of your IP and domain reputation. Gmail assigns you an email sender reputation score based on your sender activity. So, it’s important to check and protect it regularly.
Some key metrics that affect your email sender’s reputation are:
- Spam traps – These are email addresses set up by blocklist operators and ISPs to determine senders who are not following the best email practices. They also look like another email account, but sending them to one may get your account on a block list.
- Spam complaints – The number of recipients reported your marketing emails as spam. These happen even to legitimate email marketers. However, the more frequent the reports are, the worse it’ll be for your email reputation.
- Bounce rate – This rate tells the ESPs that your emails don’t land in your target recipients’ inboxes for different reasons. It could also be a soft bounce or a hard bounce. Hard bounces harm your sender score and email deliverability more because they mean you’re not managing your list properly.
- Sending history – This refers to the emails you sent in the past, including the frequency and volume of your emails. It’s a red flag for ESPs and causes them to prevent your emails from landing in the inbox if they see you have a history of sending many emails in one day.
- Unsubscribe rate – This rate tells you how many readers have unsubscribed, which hurts your reputation. ESPs assume you’re emailing people who didn’t subscribe to your mailing list if you have a high unsubscribe rate, which implies you’ve been sending spam emails or purchasing your list.
- Engagement – This refers to the actual performance of your campaigns in view of metrics like open and click-through rates. Low open rates mean your recipients aren’t engaged and would be less likely to open your email. As a result, ESPs may start sending your emails to the spam folder.
You can monitor your sender reputation with Google Postmaster Tools. It’s a free online tool that provides you with aggregate statistics on your deliverability, domain reputation, performance, security, and spam rate. Open up postmaster.google.com to learn how to set up Google Postmaster tools.
Moreover, Postmaster tools only offer you reports if you send a sizable volume of email traffic daily, and these emails fit certain requirements. So, if you want to create a successful email marketing campaign strategically, use email deliverability tools like InboxAlly.
Why Use InboxAlly For Bulk Email Sending?
Here at InboxAlly, we recognize the importance of bulk emailing for many businesses. However, we also know that mass emails are not automatically successful. Creating a successful campaign also requires well-designed templates and a solid marketing strategy.
And you can do that easily by using an email deliverability tool, which helps grow your business.
When using Gmail for bulk email sending, you won’t be able to tell how your recipients respond to your emails. Moreover, you can measure important metrics, such as bounce, conversion, click-through, and open rates.
With an email-sending service, especially InboxAlly, you won’t have such problems. Aside from allowing you to send mass emails without fear of landing in spam, InboxAlly can also repair and increase your campaign’s deliverability on any IP or domain on any platform.
Other key features of InboxAlly are the following:
- Create multiple sender profiles to accommodate all IPs/domains
- Set your reporting timezone
- Set your sending schedule
- Use proprietary use case-specific engagement profiles or your own
- Track your progress on a dashboard, and
- Use your content in the emails you send
Start Improving Your Bulk Email Campaign
We hope you find these tips useful so you can finally successfully send bulk emails to your Gmail subscribers.
By continually learning about email marketing best practices and your audience, you drive better results for your campaign and your business as a whole.
Make your bulk email marketing cost-effective and successful. Use InboxAlly today.
We are confident it can help you make a truly impactful email strategy that Gmail and other email service providers (ESP) won’t block.