Yes, it’s true! Gmail has a new postmaster site.
Gmail announced yesterday they now have a postmaster site that will help qualified high-volume senders analyze their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation.
This is big news for Gmail and for email marketers. Gmail has historically been somewhat of a black box when it comes to exactly how your email is “seen” at Gmail. Marketers aren’t worried when their email gets to the inbox, but when it lands in the spam folder, it becomes difficult to understand where it all could have gone wrong.
Of course following the bulk sender guidelines is key to getting mail to the inbox at Gmail. Gmail does state that “less than 0.1% of email in the average Gmail inbox is spam, and the amount of wanted mail landing in the spam folder is even lower, at under 0.05%.” Those are pretty impressive statistics and it seems that Gmail has a solid filtering system.
Okay, so now you are running to sign up? Great! What’s expected and what will you get? Gmail, has outlined what is required to get set up in the Postmaster system. It’s actually pretty simple. You need to add and verify your authenticated domain. You will then need to prove you own the domain by entering the DNS TXT or the DNS CNAME. Once it’s verified and you are sending data, you will get access to several dashboards:
Spam Rate Dashboard: This dashboard shows the volume of user-report spam vs. email that was sent to the inbox. Only emails authenticated by DKIM are eligible for spam rate calculation.
Domain and IP Reputation Dashboard: Domain and IP reputation gives a sense of whether the Gmail spam filter might mark emails from that Domain or IP as spam or not. Keep in mind that spam filtering is based on thousands of signals, and that Domain & IP reputation are just two of them.
The definition of spam in the section below includes mail detected as spam by Gmail’s spam filter, and mail reported by users as spam.
Feedback Loop Dashboard: This dashboard only shows up for senders who’ve implemented the Gmail Spam Feedback Loop (FBL). Click any data point on the graph to see a table with the identifiers flagged by FBL and their corresponding spam rates.
This dashboard has two distinct graphs:
Authentication Dashboard: Shows traffic that passed SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, over all received traffic that attempted authentication.
Encryption Dashboard: Shows TLS encrypted traffic vs. all mail received from that domain, and consists of two distinct graphs within the same dashboard.
Delivery Errors Dashboard: Shows rejected/temp-failed traffic vs all authenticated traffic coming from that domain, within a single graph. Typically messages are rejected or temp-failed with the SMTP error codes 550 or 421 respectively. Click a data point to see a table with the reason behind why the traffic was rejected or temp-failed.
How to interpret delivery errors
And if you are signed up for the Gmail FBL, you will be able to see spam rate and spam count by identifier.
More and more mailbox providers are realizing the importance of sharing certain data with email marketers. In the end, it’s all about delivering wanted mail and keeping users happy.
Melinda has been working at Return Path for 9 years and is currently the Senior Industry Advocate and is responsible for managing global partners that join Return Path's Data Exchange program and emerging markets. She is the key to helping and educating Return Path on mailbox providers, anti-spam, and email technology trends, as well as to educating receivers about everything Return Path has to offer.
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