Google Workspace mail going to spam or bulk? 5 Tips

Are emails sent from your G-Suite/Google Workspace corporate email account going to the spam folder (particularly, at Gmail or Microsoft-hosted domains)? Here's possible reasons why and what to do about it.

  1. Make sure you, or your IT person or domain administrator, has fully configured DKIM email authentication for your domain name in Google Workspace. Keep in mind: this does not guarantee inbox placement, but you'll struggle mightily without it. Outbound email messages need to be authenticated with a DKIM signature specific to your domain name.
  2. Ignore the blocklistings. Here's the scenario: You looked up your Google sending IP address and you see that it's on the SPAMCOP, SPAM EATING MONEY, SORBS, or UCEPROTECT blocklists. That means it must be related to this spam folder placement, right? No, it is not. Short answer; except for possibly Spamhaus, Google and Microsoft do not use blocklists to determine spam folder placement. There are hundreds of thousands of other domains sending mail from Google Workspace and most of them are getting to the inbox in spite of the same IPs being listed on the same blocklists. You're barking up the wrong tree. I promise you. Blocklists matter, but not here.
  3. Cold leads using your corporate domain will cause spam folder placement because cold leads have very low engagement. If you were sending a lot of cold lead mail and then you started seeing spam folder placement; it is very probably related and will probably continue until the cold lead mails stop and your domain reputation recovers.
  4. Be careful with CRM plugins and mass mailing tools that plug into your Google Workspace accounts to send mail. These can often lead to the same “cold leads” problem described above. Legal or not, if the mail sent is low value and gathers few interactions, it'll eventually interfere with the ability to get mail to the inbox.
  5. What makes your email go to the inbox, instead of to the spam folder, is high levels of positive engagement. Meaning that when people are interacting with your email messages at a high enough frequency, it improves your domain reputation and it makes your mail more likely to go to the inbox. Nobody publishes engagement rates, so I can't tell you just make sure you have at least an X% click through rate, but I can still tell you that if you can figure out how to suspend mailings to subscribers who aren't interacting and focus on the ones who are, you'll be in a better position when it comes to domain reputation and inbox placement.

And finally, if your mail is going to the spam folder at Microsoft, know that Microsoft can be a particularly tough nut to crack when it comes to inbox placement. If you found and fixed underlying issues (DKIM, engagement, stopping a bad practice, etc.) you'll probably see Google Workspace/Gmail inbox placement improve in maybe 30 days – Microsoft it could take 2x or 3x as long – and placement could continue to wobble back and forth between Junk folder and inbox. Sometimes, the best you can do there is just make sure you're doing everything right and wait for Microsoft to figure it out.

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