How do I stop my gmail originating email being marked as spam?
August 3, 2017 4:56 AM   Subscribe

I have a long standing and rather generic email address. Over the last year or so it has become effectively useless for communicating with anyone from a company that runs a spam filter. Is there a way to address this?

I communicate with a lot of companies, almost universally my email is now flagged as spam and doesn't get to where it needs to go. I am fairly certain I have not been hacked, I have never sent anything that could be construed as spam.

Googling this has resulted in a lot of results that tell me how to sort out and secure my own email server. I don't really want to run my own server and I obviously have no control of any way google maintains their servers.

Personal email to other gmail accounts, hotmail, yahoo and the like appear to be unaffected.

Anyone know how to make my address useful again?
posted by deadwax to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure you didn't configure your Gmail account to use an external SMTP server at some point in the past? A Gmail return address coming from a non-Google mail server would be a huge red flag for any anti-spam service.
posted by COD at 6:31 AM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

Another thought, businesses could be discounting mail from any free mail provider as a general rule. When I get incoming sales leads Gmail / Hotmail addresses are automatically lower priority for me to follow up with. I could see businesses configuring their mail filters to be suspicious of any non business email domain. If this is work related for you, it might be worth investing the $5 a month to upgrade to domain email with Gmail.
posted by COD at 6:36 AM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

In the same vein as COD's first suggestion, are you using the Gmail web client or some other mail app? If a mail app, do you have the same problem if you try it from the web interface?
posted by primethyme at 11:47 AM on August 3, 2017

If you have some way other than email for getting in touch with your contacts at the companies you send mails to, have them add your email address to their contacts lists. This will bypass any correctly-configured recipient-side spam filter.
posted by flabdablet at 12:14 PM on August 3, 2017

I'm using the web interface exclusively. I don't believe it can be configured to use a different SMTP server, I'll check again though.

I deal with a random assortment of companies that changes over time, I can't realistically call them all to get their spam settings reconfigured for my address.

To be honest I'm kind of surprised this is not a common problem.
posted by deadwax at 2:30 PM on August 3, 2017

If you're sending directly from the Gmail web interface, this should not be a common problem, however if the "firstname.lastname" combo is relatively common, it's possible that your address got joe-jobbed by spammers at some point and therefore some (poorly-configured) spam filters may use that signal to mark your email as spam. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do but get people to whitelist you or change your email address.
posted by Aleyn at 6:43 PM on August 3, 2017

I have a Google Apps 4 Domain setup for my personnel e-mail and I occasionally hear from friends that my mail ends up in their spam. I suspect that someone's spam protect software or some guidance document tells people to not trust mail as much if it comes from Google SMTP (and probably Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.).
posted by mmascolino at 11:44 AM on August 4, 2017

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