Ever felt like your emails are mysteriously vanishing into the digital void? You craft compelling content, hit send, and then…crickets. 

Well, Google Postmaster Tools (GPT – lol) can shed light on why your messages might be getting sidelined!

GPT acts as a central hub, providing valuable insights into how Gmail perceives your emails. It offers data on everything from sender reputation and spam rates to authentication protocols and delivery errors. 

But this powerful analytical tool has its own quirks that you first need to understand as an email marketer. So if you are wondering, “How can I improve my overall performance in the Google Postmaster tool?”, keep on reading.  

Understanding Common GPT Issues 

GPT can be a great tool to optimize your email campaigns, but what if GPT itself throws up some red flags? 

Let’s get into the most common GPT issues that email marketers face and how to tackle them like a pro.

Low Sender Reputation

Think of your sender’s reputation as your email’s online credit score. A low score in GPT suggests Gmail isn’t too confident about your legitimacy. 

This leads to your emails landing in the spam folder or, worse, getting bounced altogether. Common culprits for low reputation include:

  • Sending unsolicited emails: Bombarding people with unwanted emails is a surefire way to get flagged.
  • High spam complaints: If recipients are frequently marking your emails as spam, it raises red flags for Gmail.
  • Poor list hygiene: Sending emails to invalid or outdated addresses can hurt your reputation.

It takes time and consistency to build a good sender reputation. Start by focusing on permission-based email marketing, segmenting your audience for targeted content, and regularly cleaning your email lists.

High Spam Rate

A high spam rate in GPT signifies a potential problem with the content or structure of your emails. 

Here’s what might be triggering those spam filters:

  • Misleading subject lines: Subject lines promising “free money” or hinting at urgency might scream “spam” to Gmail.
  • Excessive use of exclamation points and ALL CAPS: Keep it professional and avoid excessive punctuation that can come across as aggressive or salesy.
  • Hidden or misleading sender information: Be clear and transparent about who you are and why you’re sending the email.

Try crafting clear, concise, and valuable content. This can help significantly reduce your spam rate and ensure your emails reach their intended destination.

Authentication Errors

Email authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC) are like the digital ID checks for your mails. 

These protocols verify your legitimacy as the sender, preventing spammers from spoofing your address. Here’s how authentication errors can impact you:

  • Increased spam filtering: Without proper authentication, Gmail might be more likely to send your emails to spam, even if they’re legitimate.
  • Damaged sender reputation: Authentication errors can negatively impact your sender reputation, leading to further deliverability issues.

If you think setting up these protocols is too technical, we have broken it down in one of our guides with a video tutorial, so do check that out. 

Delivery Errors

Delivery errors happen when emails can’t be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. There are two main types:

  1. Hard bounces: These occur when the recipient’s email address is invalid or permanently disabled. There’s not much you can do about hard bounces except clean them from your list.
  2. Soft bounces: These indicate temporary delivery issues, like a full mailbox or server problems. Soft bounces might resolve themselves over time, but it’s a good idea to monitor them and consider retrying later.

Find out which one is happening to your emails. Once you find out, start implementing proper list hygiene practices that can significantly reduce these mishaps. 

Troubleshooting and Resolution Strategies

Now that you’re familiar with common GPT issues let’s learn how you can use different tools to tackle them.

Analyze Data and Identify Root Causes

GPT servers have loads and loads of data that you can utilize to not only diagnose the problem but also find opportunities. 

But for now, we will focus on solving your bad reputation issue. So here’s how you can do it. 

  • Search into the “Reputation” and “Spam” sections: These sections highlight your sender reputation score and spam rate, respectively. Look for trends or sudden spikes that might indicate a problem.
  • Analyse  “Authentication” and “Delivery” reports: These reports detail any authentication errors or delivery issues you might be facing.
  • Compare data over time: Analyze historical trends to identify if a specific campaign or change in strategy triggered the issue.

Improve Email Content Quality

You’ve heard it a million times, so why not once again: CONTENT IS THE KING!!!

Your emails should be informative and relevant to your audience. By prioritizing value over salesmanship, you’ll keep recipients engaged and spam filters at bay. 

Here are some tips for you to make killer content.

  • Personalize your emails: Use recipient names and tailor your content to their interests for a more genuine touch.
  • Offer value and avoid excessive promotions: Focus on providing valuable information and resources, not just pushing sales.
  • Maintain a clean and professional design: Avoid cluttered layouts, excessive images, and broken links

Implement Authentication Protocols

Setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC strengthens your email legitimacy and boosts deliverability. Here’s more about each protocol and how to implement them.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

In simple terms, it is the whitelist for email servers. It specifies authorized IP addresses that can send emails on your behalf. 

SPF prevents unauthorized parties from spoofing your domain name and sending out malicious emails. 

Most email providers offer user-friendly interfaces to configure SPF records. You’ll typically need to add a TXT record to your domain’s DNS settings, specifying the authorized IP addresses.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, similar to how you might sign a physical document. This signature verifies that the email content hasn’t been tampered with during transit.  

Your email service provider (ESP) can typically help you set up DKIM. They’ll generate a public key that you publish in your domain’s DNS settings and a private key that they store securely. 

With both keys in place, DKIM allows receiving mail servers to verify the authenticity of your emails.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)

 DMARC builds upon SPF and DKIM by instructing receiving mail servers on how to handle emails that fail authentication. This is crucial for protecting your domain from phishing attempts, where scammers might try to impersonate your email address. 

Implementing DMARC can be a bit more complex, but many ESPs offer guidance and tools.  

DMARC involves creating a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS settings, specifying how Gmail should treat unauthenticated emails (e.g., quarantine, reject). 

Additionally, DMARC allows you to receive reports on how receiving mail servers are handling your emails, providing valuable insights into your email authentication health.

Clean Your Email List

Imagine sending invitations to people for your upcoming party, but half the guest list consists of people who moved away or never RSVP’d. 

That’s what happens with an unclean email list. Here’s why keeping your list tidy is crucial:

  • Improved sender reputation: Inactive subscribers and bounced addresses can negatively impact your sender reputation. Removing them demonstrates to Gmail that you’re invested in sending emails to engaged recipients. With a good sender reputation, your emails are 50% more likely to reach the inbox of your customers and prospects. 
  • Reduced spam complaints: People who haven’t opened your emails in ages are more likely to mark them as spam.  In 2022, 56.5% of all emails were marked spam. A clean list minimizes the risk of complaints.
  • Cost savings: Many email marketing platforms charge based on the number of subscribers. Cleaning your list reduces costs by eliminating inactive addresses.

Regularly remove inactive subscribers, bounced addresses, and invalid emails. You can leverage features offered by your ESP or explore third-party list cleaning services.

If you want to learn about 7 hassle-free ways of cleaning your email list, we’ve already covered that in one of our previous blogs. 

Monitor and Track Improvements

Don’t just implement solutions and walk away. Tracking progress is essential to ensure your efforts are paying off. Here’s why monitoring GPT data is vital.

  • Measure the impact of changes: See if your sender reputation score improves or your spam rate decreases after implementing solutions like improved content or authentication protocols.
  • Identify lingering issues: Monitor GPT data for any new problems that might arise.
  • Fine-tune your strategy: Based on your findings, you can refine your content strategy or adjust your authentication protocols for optimal results.

By consistently monitoring GPT data, you can get motivated by your wins plus find the areas for improvement. 

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Techniques for GPT Users (Optional)

Understood the basic ways to deal with GPT but still want something more? We’ve got you covered! 

Here are some advanced techniques that you can use in case you want that extra assurance. 

Leverage Feedback Loops

GPT offers valuable feedback loops that can provide great insights for improvement. 

Here’s how you can find it. 

  1. Look into your spam complaints: Analyze feedback loops to pinpoint emails flagged as spam. There will be some pattern present in the content that has forced your recipients to flag your emails as spam. This allows you to refine your content strategy and avoid spam triggers.
  2. Analyze the abuse reports: People might also find your content offensive/ abusive, triggering them to report your emails. Use the feedback loops to identify such complaints to find out where you went wrong. 

Benchmarking and Industry Best Practices

Sometimes competition is healthy, especially when you are looking for results. 

Set a benchmark for your email metrics against the industry standards and work toward it. Here’s how it can help you. 

  1. Helps you improve- See how your open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates stack up against the competition. By pointing these out, you can reveal areas where you might be lagging behind and improve accordingly. 
  2. You learn from the best- When you research extensively on the email marketing best practices, you’re learning from the best. The same will be reflected in your work. It will improve the overall quality of your campaigns. 
  3. You set realistic goals- Without knowing the industry standards you might end up setting unrealistic goals. By not being able to achieve them you will only be setting yourself up for disappointment. 

Integration with Email Marketing Tools

Many email marketing platforms (ESPs) offer seamless integration with GPT. Here’s how it can help you. 

  • Simplified data analysis: Consolidate your GPT data within your ESP’s dashboard for effortless analysis and reporting.
  • Streamlined campaign management: Leverage your ESP’s tools to design, launch, and track your email campaigns while keeping an eye on GPT metrics for real-time insights.
  • Automated tasks: Some ESPs offer features that can automate tasks based on GPT data, such as automatically suppressing bounced addresses or unsubscribing inactive users.


The Google Postmaster Tools can become one of your best tools for email marketing if you understand the ins and outs of it. 

Now, here’s my personal take: Don’t be intimidated by the technical aspects of GPT. The resources available and the potential improvements in your email marketing results make it well worth the investment.  

It can help you craft better email campaigns that resonate with your audience and land right where they belong: the inbox.  So, go on, conquer those GPT challenges, and watch your email engagement skyrocket! 


Q. My sender reputation score is low in Google Postmaster tools, what should I do?

A: A Low sender reputation in GPT indicates Gmail views your emails with suspicion. 

To improve your score, focus on permission-based email marketing, clean your email list regularly, and avoid practices that trigger spam filters (like misleading subject lines or excessive exclamation points!).

Q. I’m getting a lot of spam rate notifications in Google Postmaster tools, how can I fix it?

A: High spam rates in GPT suggest your email content might be raising red flags. 

Analyze your emails for spam triggers like excessive promotional content, hidden sender information, or irrelevant content. Focus on crafting valuable and engaging content for your audience.

Q. I keep getting authentication errors in Google Postmaster tools, what does it mean?

A: Authentication errors happen when email protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) aren’t set up properly. These protocols verify your legitimacy as a sender. 

Fixing these errors can involve configuring TXT records in your domain’s DNS settings. Many email service providers (ESPs) offer guidance and tools to set up authentication.

Q. Why are so many of my emails bouncing back according to Google Postmaster tools?

A: Emails bouncing back simply indicate that there are some delivery issues. There are two types: hard bounces (permanent failures) and soft bounces (temporary issues). 

Regularly cleaning your email list eliminates invalid addresses causing hard bounces. Soft bounces might resolve on their own, but you can consider retrying later.

Q. Is there a way to see why people are making my emails as spam?

A: Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t give you specific reasons for spam complaints. However, analyzing GPT data on spam rates and content flagged as spam can give clues. 

Plus, focusing on permission-based email marketing and avoiding spam triggers can significantly reduce the chances of being marked as spam.


Diptesh is a professional content writer and aficionado of Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. An experienced entrepreneur with both offline and online businesses, he understands the importance of email marketing and has plenty of first-hand experience supplementing his revenue streams with affiliate marketing.

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