Why Domain Name Reputation Matters to Gmail

Charlotte Miller

Why Domain Name Reputation Matters to Gmail

All too often, businesses both large and small, buy a domain name on behalf of their website and simply forget it. You go about sending weekly or bi weekly scheduled email campaigns and newsletters announcing new services and/or promotions to your subscriber list, convinced you are doing you and your bottom line a favor. But all too often, you could actually be shooting yourself in the foot by being a spammer. 

According to a new report, when you send out your newsletter, each subscriber is actually utilizing its own anti-spam systems and algorithm filtering to detect if the sent message is spam or legit. Several factors are said to affect your message delivery such as DMARC (demarcation point), SPF (sender policy framework), the IP’s (internet protocol) reputation, the IP location (which is said to play one of most major roles), the message content, and lastly, the domain name reputation

If you are to analyze your subscriber list, you will find that more than 50 percent of the recipients go under a G-suite or gmail.com account. After that, Outlook and O365, then yahoo, AOL, and more will follow. 

It’s said that Outlook uses a rather unique system to detect whether a message is spam or legit. Hundreds of Outlook headers have been analyzed by experts in order to find out why legitimate messages can end up falling into a recipients spam folder. But Outlook is reluctant if not entirely closed mouth about how its system operates which is said to leave the experts baffled. 

But when it comes to Gmail, the system is said to be much simpler. This is due to the fact that Gmail tells you precisely why a message will have landed in a spam folder.  


Domain Name Reputation

Gmail in particular places great emphasis on “the reputation of a sender’s domain name,” in much the same way that customers will tend to trust a brand name product that’s been around for a long while as opposed to a new, no name brand. 

In fact, Gmail’s email system is said to monitor every part of a sender’s email. They will make a check on the IP reputation, your content, your DNS (domain name system), along with the general behavior of your recipients. If the Gmail system should find that most of your recipients are stamping your newsletter campaigns as spam and therefore unsafe, your domain name can be ruined entirely. From that point on, it can be considered useless.   

Warm Up Your Domain Name

Experts warn that one major way to destroy a domain name is “not warming it up.” In other words, don’t place the blame on the IP or the ESP (event stream processing). Changing up your ESPs and/or making a request to be transferred to another IP pool, will not solve the problem of a ruined domain name. You have only yourself to blame. 

In other words, it’s your recipients who are marking your newsletter campaigns and/or emails as spam which means they are pointing at you as a “spammer.”  In this manner, the ESP doesn’t have an effect on your domain name reputation. You and your actions do. 

But all this doesn’t mean your spam problem can’t be solved. If you possess a domain name that’s damaged, you can attempt to remedy the problem by creating new campaigns and sending them to subscribers who are most trusted and engaged newsletter members. However, there’s no guarantee this will work to improve your domain reputation, but it’s said to be worth the shot. 

Sometimes, it just makes sense to start all over again by purchasing a new domain name or even a subdomain name. Here are a few steps that you should take. 

Make sure to set up your DNS record the right way the first time. You cannot have more than two TXT (text messaging) records for your SPF and you can’t have more than ten DNS-querying structures. You also need to check to see if your domain name contains “the correct values” that informs Gmail of your IPs. If you have no idea how to check this, you can use some online tools like the SPF checker available at DmarcAdvisor.   

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Make sure to set up DMARC so that spammers and scammers can’t steal your domain name. Also set up Google’s Postmaster too. It’s free and its purpose is to help you identify which newsletter recipients are constantly marking your campaign as spam. You can then go into your subscriber list and clean it up by deleting these Gmail addresses. You don’t need them and they are causing you and your bottom line damage.