Why are my Emails Blocked by Gmail?
Have you been running frequent campaigns and noticed that your email metrics have suddenly dropped? Chances are that your emails are being blocked by Gmail or being sent to the spam folder, disabling you from messaging Gmail users.
But why is Gmail blocking your mail server if you’ve been following email deliverability best practices and the bulk sender guidelines?
How do I Stop Gmail Blocking Emails?
Being the world’s biggest email service provider with over 1.8 billion Gmail users can sometimes result in emails being miscategorized as unsolicited mail. However, there are a few reasons why Gmail blocks emails or sends them to the spam folder.
Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure your emails make it to your Gmail subscribers.
- Implement Email Authentication
- Reduce Gmail Spam Reports
- Clean Your Email List
- Check Your DMARC Reports
- Request Removal from Gmail’s Blacklist
Include your Server’s IP Address in your Email Authentication
Email authentication is critical to running a successful email marketing program. Setting up SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI will not only improve your email deliverability, but also increase your email security, and show spam filters that you are a reputable email sender.
When setting up authentication, it is important to define every sending server’s IP address that will send mail on behalf of your own domain by creating a Valid SPF record with your service provider. You should authorize your own sending IP address, third-party IP addresses, and any new IP address before sending future messages.
Note: Emails sent from G Suite or Gmail use a shared IP address which may impact your email deliverability.
Contact your domain administrator or learn more about how to set up your email authentication with these articles:
- What is SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and How to Set it Up
- What is DMARC: Email Security with DMARC, SPF, and DKIM
- What is BIMI: Ultimate Guide to BIMI in 2022
Incorrect DNS settings are an immediate red flag for any spam filter and can lead to email blocking. Review your DNS records to ensure your emails are properly authenticated before sending your next email campaign.
Avoid the Spam Folder by Reducing Gmail Spam Reports
Spam complaints influence your IP reputation and Gmail inbox placement. If you have a high number of spam complaints, spam filters may think that you have been sending spam emails to their Gmail users.
You can avoid spam filter issues by proving to your recipient’s email service provider that your mail servers are not sending spam.
Start by reducing your email volume and sending frequency. Keep track of your email volume to see if your daily sending quota exceeded the Gmail limit of 2,000 (500 for trial accounts). If your email quota exceeded that number, Google may add you to an IP suspended list.
You can also decrease the number of people who report spam by sending them more relevant and personalized marketing emails. Make sure you are using double opt-in to ensure that people actually want to receive mail from you instead of thinking your messages are unsolicited mail.
Check your Recipient’s Email Address by Cleaning Your Email List
Another reason why Gmail may be blocking your emails is due to poor list hygiene. If you purchase an email list (which you SHOULD NOT) or you haven’t cleaned up your list in a while, some emails on your list may have typos, misspellings, or might be unused.
These abandoned emails are sometimes recycled by email service providers and used as spam traps. Internet providers assume that an email message sent to spam traps or invalid email addresses is most likely unsolicited mail. If you accidentally message either of those, your email may bounce, which negatively impacts your email account, email deliverability, and tarnishes your IP reputation.
Therefore, you should use double opt-in when people sign up to your newsletter to ensure your recipient’s email address and recipient domain are not misspelled. If your recipient’s email address contains a typo or does not belong to them, they will not be added to your list and it will not impact your email marketing reputation.
Another way to practice good list hygiene is to include an unsubscribe link in all your marketing emails. It’s better for your domain reputation to have unengaged subscribers opt-out of receiving mail from your email marketing campaigns instead of marking you as spam and hurting your domain reputation. Unsubscribe requests should be removed from your list immediately to avoid hurting your IP address reputation.
You can learn more about list hygiene in this article: List Hygiene: How to Maintain an Engaged List
Find Unsolicited Mail Originating from your Domain with DMARC reports
After setting up DMARC, DMARC reports are sent to your email address as an XML file every time you send out an email campaign.
It’s important to proactively monitor your DMARC reports to analyze who is sending emails on your behalf. It will also help you pinpoint unsolicited mail originating from your domain.
DMARC reports tell you:
- Who’s IP address is sending emails that fail DMARC
- How many messages from your domain pass DMARC
- What server’s IP address is sending mail for your domain
- What action (none, quarantine, or reject) a mail server takes when it receives an unauthenticated mail message from your domain
Use a DMARC report analyzer to help you manage, store, and analyze these DMARC reports more easily.
A DMARC report analyzer helps you quickly pinpoint any problems affecting your IP address reputation. In order to find unsolicited mail originating from your domain, search unauthenticated emails that fail DMARC with the DMARC analyzer tool.
Learn More about Using a DMARC Analyzer: DMARC Report Analyzer – Improve Email Deliverability
Request Removal from Gmail’s Blacklist using Gmail’s Sender Contact Form
Because email marketing has become so popular for spammers. Google has raised its security measures to protect any person with a Gmail account. Thus, Google published the Bulk Sender Guidelines to define best practices email marketers should follow when they send mail to a Gmail user.
If you are sending mail to Gmail contacts and you find your email account on Gmail’s Blacklist, it’s best to stop and review the tips above.
Once you have completed all the steps above, check to see if you are following all of Google’s bulk email senders guidelines before you submit a removal request. Failure to do so may cause you to end up on Gmail’s Blacklist and result in your mail sending denied as well as your mail relay denied.
What is Gmail’s Sender Contact Form?
Google’s Sender Contact Form is a way you can appeal to Google to reconsider blocking your messages or placing your emails in the spam folder.
A few things to note when submitting a removal request:
- Google will not respond to your request, but they will review your ticket.
- Although it may take a couple of weeks, you may see your Gmail inbox placement improve.
- There is no status update or follow-up process to make the process faster.