Gmail: It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.

Author: AnswersWanted

Date: May 14, 2020

Common Gmail Content Flags:

  • It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.
  • It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages.

If you have seen this message, it’s probably driven you mad! Is it my email authentication? Is my email domain banned?

What’s going on?

Why does it test OK? Mail-tester, Glock apps, the Postmark app, Isnotspam or whatever… said it was GOOD!

First, why did this happen?

This isn’t actually Gmail’s ‘kiss of death’ message. That’s different, and I’ll write another post about that sometime. This is strictly a content issue. The contents of your emails contain words that are instant spam triggers AND Gmail hasn’t seen enough of you.

See, Gmail’s algorithm favors engagement. I could write a whole post about what kinds of engagement, but for now, just imagine replies, clicks, and opens as the important ones. Until it has seen a significant amount of this from YOUR domain, (IP address is irrelevant these days – unless you’re a spammer) you’re probably going to have to be careful at first, and slowly build reputation.

That’s another thing, you have to be super careful NOT to keep mailing when the engagement drops. What I mean is, when you mail say, 2,000 people, and the first 1,000 sends are opening at 12-14%… If you start to see that drop, you’ll want to stop and not let it keep mailing. If you get to the point where you’re seeing 2-3% open rates or lower, you know you’ve triggered their abuse flags. You’ll also want to be careful about speed of sending… but that’s not your issue here, so I digress.

Want a proven test to see if it’s your content or not?

Grab a few paragraphs of the bacon ipsum, and test that by sending to a gmail account. If it inboxes, you’ve got go back and re-write your original email. If you’re not familiar with lorem ipsum, and wondering what the heck bacon ipsum is… Well, back in the day someone borrowed a 1400’s poem to use as text filler on websites they were building. Of course, the lorem ipsum is used so much now that even spam filters know it’s junk.

OK let’s stop here for a moment. You probably don’t realize the value of the gem I’m dropping here. Most new mailers and marketers don’t have a nice cache of copy or content they KNOW will inbox; something they can copy, paste, and know always inboxes. If this inboxes, you know it’s your email and not your system. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Why would my email be considered spam?

I could steal a bunch of content from all over the web and put it in this article but (obviously) I won’t do that.

Hubspot has good industry guidelines for common keywords that will automatically throw you to spam. They include words like free, discount, money, while you sleep, etc. They’re common things Google knows are spam. If you use a ton of these words you will not inbox. If you have a strong reputation you MIGHT be able to inbox a few hundred of these, but if your engagement score drops… well you get the idea.

So, relax. Go re-write your email and get that promo out the door!

Warning, this could cost you

Don’t get fooled by a false positive!

Have multiple Gmail accounts to test that email you’re sending on. Each of these ‘test’ Gmail accounts are known as “seed accounts” in the email industry. Don’t spoil your seeds by accidentally creating engagement. By removing them from the spam box, replying to them, or clicking on the links you may accidentally teach YOUR Gmail account that you want this content.

That’s great for you, but you’ll stop seeing what cold Gmail accounts see!

If you’re looking for email advice, you might consider a training session. I’m pretty busy, but you can schedule a call through Clarity if you want specific advice.