Common Gmail Content Flags:

    • It’s similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.
    • It contains content that’s typically used in spam messages.

If you’ve seen this message, it probably drove you mad! Is it my email authentication? Is my email domain banned? What’s going on, why does it test ok in Mail-tester, Glock apps, the Postmark app, Isnotspam or whatever… said it was GOOD!

First, why did this happen.

This isn’t actually Gmail’s ‘kiss of death’ message. That’s different and I’ll write another post about that sometime. This is strictly a content issue. the contents of your email contain words that are instant spam trigger messages AND Gmail hasn’t seen enough of you. See, Gmail’s algorithm favors engagement. I could write a whole post about what kinds of engagement… but for now just imagine replies, clicks and opens as it’s main important ones. Until it’s seen a significant amount of this from YOUR domain (IP address is irrelevant these days – unless you’re a spammer) you’re probably going to have to be careful at first and slowly build reputation.

That’s another thing, you have to be super careful not to KEEP mailing when the engagement drops… What I mean is, if you mail say 2,000 people and in the first 1,000 sends it’s opening at 12-14%, if you start to see that drop… you’ll wanna stop and not let it keep mailing. If you get to the point where you’re seeing 2-3% open rates or lower you know you’ve triggered their abuse flags. You’ll also what to be careful about speed of sending, but that’s not your issue here if you got the message this post is about, so I digress!

Want a proven test to see if it’s your content or not?

Grab a few paragraphs of the bacon ipsum, and test that and send to a gmail account. If it inboxes, you’ve gotta go back and re-write your original email. If you’re not familiar with lorem ipsum, and wondering wha the heck is bacon ipsum… back in the day someone borrowed a 1400’s poem to use as text filler on websites they were building. Of course, the lorem ipsum is used so much now that even spam filters know it’s junk.

BTW let’s stop here 2 seconds. You probably don’t realize the value of the gem I’m dropping here. Most new mailers and marketers don’t have a nice cache yet of copy or content they KNOW will inbox. Something they can copy and paste and know for a fact that THIS chunk of text always inboxes, so if this inboxes, you know it’s your email and not your system. Now you have that.

Why would my email be considered spam?

I could steal a bunch of content from all over the web and put it in this article but I won’t. Hubspot has a good guideline by industry for common keywords that will automatically throw you to spam. They include words like free, discount, money, while you sleep etc.. They’re common things Google knows are spam. If you use a ton of these words you will not inbox. If you have a strong reputation you MIGHT be able to inbox a few hundred of these, but if your engagement score drops… well you get the idea.

So, relax… go re-write your email and get that promo out the door.

Warning, this could cost you

Don’t get fooled by a false positive. Have multiple gmail accounts to test that email you’re sending on. Each of these ‘test’ Gmail accounts are called seed accounts in the email industry. Don’t spoil your seeds by accidentally creating engagement. By removing them from the spam box, by replying to them or clicking on the links you may accidentally teach YOUR gmail you want this content. That’s great for you… but you’ll stop seeing what cold Gmail account’s see.

If you’re looking for email advice, you might consider a training session. I’m pretty busy, but you can schedule a call through Clarity if you want specific advice.