Learn Why Messages Go to Spam in Gmail

Google recently made a few enhancements to their Spam folder in Gmail, providing end-users with information on why messages land there. As an email marketer, email deliverability is essential to success. You need to have confidence that your emails are making it into your prospect’s email inboxes. If your emails are being caught in the spam folder it’s important that you understand why messages go to spam in gmail and what you can do about it.

Google has cranked up the anti-spam dial, which can unfortunately affect legitimate email senders too.

Ask any person who uses Gmail about the spam emails they receive in their inbox and they will likely reply, “What spam?”. That’s Google’s gmail spam filter in action; it’s really good.

That being said, there’s another side to that story that Gmail users aren’t usually aware of – Sometimes good messages silently land in their spam folder without them noticing.

Lets dig in and see what information we can find to help you understand why emails get caught in gmail’s spam folder.

Login to your gmail account, go to your Spam folder and select one message in your Spam folder. You’ll see a yellow notification located just below the subject line and sender information that looks like this:

Message from Google on Why a Message Was Placed in the Spam Folder

That “Learn more” link included in the spam email notification will most likely take you to this webpage that explains why messages are delivered to the Spam folder and provides a few recommended solutions.

I won’t be the first to admit that the reasons included aren’t quite as technical as us email marketers would prefer, but the explanations do offer action-oriented advice you can implement to improve email deliverability.

Are YOUR Messages Getting Caught In the Spam Folder?

To see what Google thinks of the messages in your marketing emails, create a separate Gmail email address and add it to your email marketing database. Include this This email account will be used to test your email broadcasts and allow you to carefully monitor where your messages land. If it lands in the Spam folder, you will know that other @gmail.com email addresses in your email broadcasts aren’t getting your email to your inbox.

A good idea to improve your Gmail inbox placement is to politely ask your recipients on transactional emails, post-purchase or initial double-opt-in email messages to click “Always show images from [you].” This will allow future emails from you to be delivered and raises the level of engagement they have by showing images and improves open-rate tracking.

You can keep up with changes and learn more about why messages end up in your Gmail spam folder, on the official gmail blog.

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About the Author

Joseph Manna is a contributor to the Big Ideas Blog and shares helpful insights about social media for small businesses. He's the Sr. Content Strategist at Infusionsoft. When he's not blogging here, he blogs for the Infusionsoft Blog and can be found on Twitter.

  • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

    Nice post, Joe. Thanks for the link love! My biggest concern with some of these changes is that Gmail seems to be classifying a lot of legitimate email as spam … without much explanation as to why. That makes it tough for legit email marketers to fix things, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jshatch Jordan Hatch

    Great article Joe… If you’d like more info on this – check out the Mastermind Webinar I did on the topic – http://help.infusionsoft.com/training/live-training/mastermind/archive/engagement-filter

  • http://www.sitetrafficcontrol.com/ Site Traffic Control

    Thanks for the info, Joe. Certainly an issue that everyone who uses email marketing faces. This is another example of Google overcompensating for a few shady marketers out there.

  • http://christianopowershifter.com/ Charlene Christiano

    I just had an issue today with someone sending me important emails which I couldn’t find. The over-reach is getting ridiculous when you can’t even get the emails you need. 

  • http://christianopowershifter.com/ Charlene Christiano

    I just had an issue today with someone sending me important emails which I couldn’t find. The over-reach is getting ridiculous when you can’t even get the emails you need. 

  • http://www.businessforsaleuk.co.uk/ Business for Sale UK

    This article is really helpful for Email Marketers. Thanks for sharing it Joe.

  • http://www.kpib.co.uk/pay-per-click-ppc/ PPC Management Company

    Thanks for sharing this information. I am checking on that right now. It would have been better if google expounded on the technicalities of it so email marketers can make sure that their emails don’t get tagged as spam.

  • http://www.statistician-consultant.com/be-an-expert-in-your-chosen-speciality/ Data Consulant

    Thanks for knowing about Gmail issues for Email Marketers. Recently one of my account was locked for sending emails. I am afraid if Google thinks my account to be spam. 

  • http://www.givejonadollar.com/ Give Jon a Dollar

    I was reading in another article not to use capitals or exclamation points in your subject. This is something I worry about as I often get low responses when I check everyone, BCC them, and then email myself. Is it better to email them one by one or does that trigger the system as well?

  • Cheryl Lines
  • Tony andico

    Thank you so much for the explanation.