Gmail Postmaster Tools: Domain Reputation and IP Reputation

Google Postmaster Tools is an excellent tool to monitor your daily spam ratio.  You definitely want this to be under 0.1%, otherwise there are going to be deliverability issues.  However, there are two other items that are reported that are seemingly important; Domain Reputation and IP Reputation.  While these two items seem to be vital, they don’t have a direct correlation to hitting the inbox.

We’ve taken some of our best servers, in terms of what Google Postmaster Tools is reporting; high domain reputation and high IP reputation.  These servers often were spamming at a substantially higher rate than a server with a poor IP reputation or a poor domain reputation.  Our internal testing has proven that the reporting that comes back from Google Postmaster Tools are often delayed or inconsistent with what should and shouldn’t be going to the inbox.

While domain reputation “feels like” the most tangible reporting that would dictate whether or not you are consistently hitting the inbox, there’s no better test than actually mailing yourself or some seeds ( //  There is no test that is more definitive than actually sending emails and viewing the placement.  This should always be your first starting place!

How to check my domain reputation

If you find your emails are going to spam, take a step back and start with a VERY basic email.  This email should have no images and no links, definitely not any click tracking links.  Your initial email should be a very basic subject line like “Hello”. The content of the body should also be very minimal, something like “Hi, I hope you are doing well.”.  That’s it.  No HTML, just a plain-text email.  Send that as you did above using your own seeds or gmass.

Plain Text Emails Going to Inbox

If the basic message is going to the inbox, it’s time to start adding your original content in VERY slowly.  For instance, a good starting place would be to change the subject back to your original subject line from the email that was going to spam.  If your emails are still going to the inbox, slowly change the content. Always add your links after you’ve added your content.  After adding your links, you can then add any images that you may have had.  Lastly, add your tracking pixels.

Plain Text Emails Going to Spam

Typically, it’s your mailing platform.  If you are using something like MailWizz, you are going to run into an issue where there are email headers that Gmail seems to hate.  If you can send a test mail directly from a platform that doesn’t have a bad email footprint, this problem will almost always go away.

If you are still having issues and you’ve verified that your platform isn’t putting in a bunch of email headers, then you are in a position where you are on a temporary greylist with Gmail.  Again, IP and domain reputation, as Google Postmaster Tools is reporting it to you, isn’t consistent with what Gmail is actually doing with your emails.  What you need is positive email engagementto get your emails back into the inbox.  If you are Inbox Ignite customer, we are able to detect and fix the issue before you even know that it has happened.  Again, even when your emails are going to the primary tab, Google Postmaster Tools may report that your IP reputation or Domain reputation is bad or poor.  But ultimately your emails are going to the inbox, this making Google Postmaster Tools highlydeceptive.

There are many tools out there that will tell you many things about your emails, server, domain or IP(s).  However, these tools have no bearing on whether or not your emails are going to the inbox.  At Inbox Ignite, we empower our clients to focus on their business while we monitor and maintain your inbox deliverability.  Don’t fall into the futile trap of watching charts and graphs. Your only concern should be “Are my emails going to the inbox?”.