Guest post: Improving Reputation Ahead of new Gmail/Yahoo Changes

TrueAccord's Josie Garcia is a good friend and very savvy deliverability wizard who has helped many senders address inbox woes and data hygiene issues throughout her career. Currently she's helping a debt collector improve their sending practices -- very much a challenging industry from a deliverability perspective. When she told me of her recent successes, I asked her if she would be kind enough to put something together to share with the world, and she was kind enough to do so, leading to today's post. Take it away, Josie.

When a sender's email program assigns different engagement levels to groups based on specific criteria, naturally, some groups will perform better than others. This can, at times, be challenging. Adding to the challenges, Gmail and Yahoo have recently implemented stricter requirements for bulk senders, set to be enforced in 2024. If you use Gmail Postmaster Tools, and one of your domains develops a poor reputation and generates high complaint rates, here's an experiment you may want to try if you're looking to rebuild domain reputation and come into compliance by 2024.

The strategy we used included:

  • Incrementally adding traffic from groups with higher engagement
  • Closely monitoring reputation fluctuations
  • Adjusting traffic and volumes as needed
  • Daily monitoring of Gmail Postmaster Tools until we achieved optimal balance
  • The domain had been sending the same traffic for a long time, so we weren't sure if there would be any impact.

The improvement we saw was directly tied to the small, incremental increases in traffic from our highest performing groups, so we knew we were onto something. We were still able to deliver to our less engaged groups, however, we kept increasing volume from our best groups week over week until we found our sweet spot. The result was an IP/Domain reputation flip from bad to high, and a significant reduction in spam rate.

This experiment underscores the importance of understanding that the process of repairing a domain's reputation involves time and patience. It serves as a testament to the potential success you can achieve with strategic interventions and a thoughtful approach.

Final Results:

As you can see, complaint rates are down, IP reputation is greatly improved, and crucially, domain reputation is now “high,” setting these sends up for deliverability success today and keeping ahead of the upcoming changes to sender requirements.

Complaint rate continues to be a challenge (not everybody wants to hear from a debt collector, even if they did sign up for the mail!), but it’s something we’ll continue to monitor and work on over time.



  1. Insightful as always Garcia, I miss working with you.L.I.


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