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, you want to know not only if your messages make it to the spam folder, but also most importantly, why they got there and what you can do about it.

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

Ask any person who uses Gmail about the spam emails they receive in their inbox and they will likely reply, “What spam?” However, there’s another side to that story that Gmail users aren’t usually aware of – the otherwise good messages that land in their spam folder, often silently and undetected.

Email marketing pro, DJ Waldow, points out that legitimate senders are being placed in the spam folder and shares a helpful tip for marketers to inspect their Gmail spam folder carefully for clues to improve their inbox placement.

Google’s Gmail product now includes short note explaining why affected messages were delivered to the Spam folder a link to recommended solutions. I won’t be the first to admit that the reasons included aren’t quite as technical as email marketers would prefer, but it’s important nonetheless. The explanations offer action-oriented advice to improve deliverability. You can learn more about this enhancement to Gmail on their blog.

If you go to your Gmail folder, select one lucky message, you’ll see a notice located at the top of it:

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

To see what Google thinks of your messages, add your Gmail address to your email marketing database. Then carefully monitor where your messages land. If it lands in the Spam folder, read the advice that Google provides to fix it.

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.


  1. says

    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?

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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. 

  4. says

    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. 

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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. 

  7. says

    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?

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