Bulking at Gmail and Hotmail

Some of our clients have recently inquired about increased bulking at Gmail and Hotmail. Additionally, senders and ESPs throughout the email marketing industry have noticed an increase in bulking at Gmail and bulking and deferrals at Hotmail. We have confirmed with both Gmail and Hotmail that they made recent updates to their filters, so we shouldn’t expect these issues to resolve on their own. Senders experiencing a decrease in inbox delivery at Gmail or Hotmail will need to take steps to address mailing practices in order to improve delivery.

The following are recommendations for senders who are experiencing lower-than-usual inbox delivery:


  • Follow Hotmail’s published “Policies, Practices, and Guidelines.”

  • Remove inactive subscribers from your list – users who haven’t opened, clicked, purchased, or been otherwise active with your mail in some period of time.

  • Consider adjusting the frequency and/or cadence of your mailings.

  • Ensure your mail is properly authenticated.

  • Immediately process all bounces and complaints and review complaint trends to determine the drivers of subscriber dissatisfaction.

  • Leverage Hotmail’s SNDS tool to track your sender reputation.

  • Check your content prior to deployment to ensure your URL reputation is positive and review spam filter results.


To learn more, join us tomorrow (Thursday, April 21st at 1:00pm ET) when we join forces with MarketingSherpa to present a webinar with tips on handling complaints and boosting your reputation.

Additionally, clients of Return Path should consult with your Account Manager for a performance analysis and customized plan of action.