Email Optimization

Bulking at Gmail and Hotmail

Posted by Christine Borgia on

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.

About Christine Borgia

As Senior Director of Data Support, Christine ensures that Return Path's employees, customers, and consumers are able to get the answers they need about our data and data sources. Prior to joining Return Path, Christine spent seven years fighting spam for AOL where she led a team of content filtering and IP reputation experts. Connect with her on Twitter @christineborgia or at

Read more from this author

  • […] anxiety is not expected to rectify itself. But do not despair fellow emailers, there are some hoops you can jump through to increase inbox delivery rates and avoid those embarrassing Gmail and Hotmail performance […]

  • Ram

    At least I noticed this one thing in gmail
    If I include a header like

    Precedence: bulk

    Then the mail is more likely to be sent to Bulk. So should I remove this header completely from all campaigns

  • Ram

    A Bulk label to a mass campaign mail may be correct as per definition , but in effect mail users will tend to ignore all mails in Bulk, thats exactly what we dont want.

    Ideally I would like all mails to be in Inbox.

  • […] Cliquez ici pour retrouver l’intégralité de cet article en anglais sur le blog de Return Path [20/04/2011] Article repris du blog EMM-Actu de la société, spécialiste de l’e-mail marketing Si vous avez aimé cet article, veuillez envisager le partager! Taggé avec: Délivrabilité • Réputation  […]

  • […] At the beginning of April, Gmail and Hotmail made some significant changes to their inbox filtering mechanisms, which caused an increased amount of email to land in the Gmail bulk folder and to be deferred by Hotmail.  ReturnPath, a third party deliverability consultancy, discusses some of these recent changes in their blog. […]

  • J.D. Falk

    Yesterday, in response to Ram's question, we published an article which describes the history and purpose of the Precedence: header:

    I hope it helps to clarify things, but feel free to comment there if you have additional questions.

  • […] Source le blog de Return Path […]