With more than 1.8 billion active users, Gmail is the most used Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the world. There is no way to escape its deliverability issues when you are in charge of email campaigns. Whatever the size and composition of your databases, you are bound to face the headache of deliverability on the Gmail side.
With sometimes complex and restrictive rules, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear two conflicting pieces of information about Gmail deliverability in same day.
Fact or fiction: let’s dive in to 4 misconceptions about Gmail deliverability.
sFist popular belief :
“My deliverability rate just went down. Gmail changes its algorithm every day!”
Gmail does use complex algorithms that evolve daily depending on the sender. One of its main assets is Gmail’s automatic learning system which allows it to adapt to spammers’ practices. This is why it is important that mailings, regardless of the router, be consistent.
Moreover, Gmail’s filtering system is not only based on this mailbox service.
Gmail does belong to Google
Google is able to cross-reference data from its search engine with its mailbox service. That’s why your online reputation can have consequences on your deliverability.
If you have deliverability trouble with your Gmail audience, it’s not necessarily due to your email strategy. It can be linked to your SEO actions, your netlinking strategy if it is rejected by Google, or many other reasons.
Analyze your results before thinking you can’t do anything about Gmail algorithms !
Second popular belief:
“My emails are not going through. No problem, just change the domain.”
This solution won’t work with Google’s smart and complex Google algorithms. Their filtering tool is an advanced system. It doesn’t just check your presence on IPs and domain blacklists.
Moreover, you might use more than one domain in a single campaign :
- The sender domain
- The domain that allows the tracking of the links
- Possibly, a domain that redirects the links inserted in the campaign
- Image hosting domains
This strategy will damage your sender reputation. Sometimes, it will bring you the results you want in the short-term. But Google, and Gmail, learn fast. You will be penalized if you use this strategy.
nl thtThird popular belief:
“I don’t have a single complaint on Gmail. Everything is fine.”
Actually, it depends.
Through its Google Postmaster Tool (GPT), Gmail takes notice of the number of complaints per IP. It is not based on the Feed Back Loop (FBL) method, that collects the email addresses that complain.
The goal is to identify email addresses that complain, so you can take them out of your list for your next campaign. This data identifies trends about the complaint rate.
Without the Feed Back Loop, this information can be useful, but it’s not a reflection of your sender reputation. Not having complaints doesn’t mean your messages aren’t going to the spam folder.
That is why you have to keep analyzing your KPIs: clicks, opens and reactivity. The GPT data is only one side of the analysis.
Fourth popular belief:
“I don’t want my campaigns to arrive in the “Promotions” tab. No one will see them.”
The promotions tab is dedicated to specific messages. When the user checks it, they are aware of what they will find and are attentive.
Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) have this Promotions tab. It actually didn’t generate a decrease in performance, but a comfortable reading experience for users.
So just make sure to
- separate transactional emails from your newsletters
- use a dedicated environment and a specific subdomain
- adapt your communication, so it will arrive in the main mailbox.
Ready to seduce Gmail? Challenge accepted
To sum up, the almost-magic solution to get to Gmail inbox includes 7 ingredients:
- Use a database where consent has been clearly collected
- Make sure that the authentication principles (SPF/DKIM/DMARC) are respected
Psst: your router manages them in most cases, don’t hesitate to ask them
- Send relevant content to your recipients, with which they will interact
- Make sure the emails you are sending are constant in volume and frequency
- Use statistics and Google Postmaster Tools
- Focus on assets
- Manage your marketing pressure