How to improve email deliverability en Gmail – 5 steps

ISPs have become smarter and more sophisticated in their fight against spam, and that means it’s getting harder and harder to stay relevant in users’ inboxes. In this guide, we’ll look at Gmail’s filtering system and discuss some strategies you can use to improve your delivery rates.

If you are looking to improve your presence in the inbox of gmail users and improve email marketing deliverability in general, you will definitely want to focus on the top ISPs in the country in question, in this case we are going to focus on Gmail. Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world and their spam filtering systems are incredibly sophisticated. Sending email marketing communications is an incredibly powerful tool because of the power of first part data but at the same time making sure emails are relevant is a must for all businesses.

In this article, we will discuss how to ensure that your email gets into the inboxes of Gmail users. We’ll cover topics such as user engagement and feedback, metrics that are important for Gmail spam filters, and more.

5 recommendations to improve deliverability in Gmail:

1. DKIM, SPF and DMARC authentications:
These days they are a must for any company that wants to maintain a good reputation. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a simple DNS record that conveys which IP addresses are allowed to send mail on behalf of your domain; it is also known as “DomainKeys Identified Mail”. DKIM is a bit more complicated. Your outgoing mail server (or that of your ESP) must support DKIM directly; it involves signing outgoing mail with a cryptographic key. You don’t see the signature of a message by default; it is stored in a hidden header. But the receiving ISP (in this case, Gmail) uses it to make sure that the mail really comes from the domain name it claims to be from.

2. Have TLS enabled:
Today, the Internet is a much more dangerous place than when we first started using email. Hackers can use emails to monitor communications or even steal sensitive information, but there are ways you could help protect yourself! We’re talking about having TLS encryption enabled on all messages sent over SMTP connections for better protection of data in transit and confidentiality, depending on how the security level settings are configured within an account setup that may include server certificates signed/generated directly by trusted certificate authorities such as Cisco System Inc, Microsoft Corporation, etc.

3. Don’t obsess in the Promotions or Updates tray:
Google wants you to strive to send what people want, so if they read this, go ahead and send them the desired messages no matter what tab it appears in. Below we highlight some solutions for falling into people’s inboxes:

Don’t focus most mailings with promotional content.
Authenticate your domain with DKIM and SPF records.
Personalize recipients by name
Do not have more than one link in the email.
Do not include many photos
Short e-mails
Don’t overuse HTML
According to a study by Mailgun, the Transactional Email API Service, notes that 35% of Gmail users have disabled tabbed functionality. They also warn that “gaming the system is not a great idea.” They go on to say that to improve your chances of landing on the Primary tab, “your best chance is to send your messages to the users you want (double opt-in to win!) and send high quality content related to what they signed up for.”

4. Don’t buy or rent lists:
Gmail is a very tricky ISP, if you send an email to a purchased list, surely a large number of people will mark that particular message as “unwanted” and Google’s filters will detect it, causing all your emails to be classified this way too! Cleaning up after falling into these traps can take time (and it’s not fun, we assure you).

5. Engagement, engagement and more engagement:
Gmail’s spam algorithm is heavily driven by engagement. If you’re struggling to get solid placement in the inbox, a common solution is to adjust who you’re sending to so that you’re only sending mail to subscribers who have opened or clicked within the last eighteen months. Do this over the next three to four weeks of mailings and that will likely result in you getting solid inbox placement, and should keep your mail out of the inbox. 

Another recommendation we make is that you do not try to look for the solution to the deliverability problem in technology issues, in our experience a high percentage of companies that are not delivering well in gmail is due to a general lack of engagement in the campaigns.

Google has a manual sender review process (, where you can go and send an error message, state your case and request that they reconsider placing (or blocking) your messages in the spam folder. First of all you have to be sure that you comply with all the aspects that we have discussed earlier in this publication. If you’re buying lists or trying to send emails to people who haven’t responded in years, you’re wasting your time. But if you’re doing everything right and you think Google is unfairly filtering your messages, they offer this review process.

Finally, Google Postmaster Tools is a great way to monitor the reputation of domains in Google. You can find out if there are any problems with it and what they might be, which will help you fix the problem before people start having bad experiences due in part to their own ignorance. Check out this tool for information on IP reputation as well and other deliverability errors in email marketing.




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