Google Relies on Gmail User Behavior to Define Spam

Google has no clear definition of spam. Rather, Gmail relies on its users to help define what is (and is not) spam. In other words, if their audience believes in your organization, then Google will not stand in the way of your Gmail recipients getting your emails.

Overall, Gmail primarily uses a sender reputation rating system to determine how email should be delivered. If you do the right things, then your reputation will increase. Numerous factors affect Google’s sender reputation scoring. Gmail algorithms leverage a combination of personalization and reputation factors – as well as a wide spectrum of user behavioral feedback – to determine how email is delivered. So essentially, if users are not taking negative actions relating to your email, you’ll have good deliverability.


Google Deliverability Tips

Consider the following tips for optimizing deliverability with Gmail subscribers:

  • Right acquisition – Use best practices for building your lists of subscribers, which include always getting explicit opt-in to ensure a permission-based email-marketing program.
  • Right engagement – Understand your subscribers and send compelling, relevant email campaigns that motivate engagement.
  • Right measurement – Leverage performance metrics to effectively track engagement and determine if people like and want to receive your email.
  • Right adjustment – Warm up slowly during the first month with a new IP address. This is important because spammers typically mail heavily on new IP addresses without any warm-up. In addition, make adjustments to your email campaigns in response to engagement metrics and analytics.
  • Right opt-out – Make it very easy for subscribers to opt out – such as including a prominent unsubscribe link – so they don’t hurt your reputation by marking your emails as spam.

In addition, it is important that not trying to get subscribers to move your emails from the promotional tab to their inboxes, which could end up hurting deliverability in the long run. Email marketers actually get better engagement with promotional email by keeping it out of the main Gmail inbox.


Links for More Information on Gmail Deliverability

To help ensure good Gmail deliverability, it is advised that senders must be authenticated and should use the Gmail feedback loop. If you create a feedback loop with Gmail, for example, you’ll get a copy of each complaint generated when a Gmail user reports your email as spam.

Here are some useful links to for more information about how to optimize your Gmail deliverability: