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How to use the Postmaster Tools by Gmail to monitor your deliverability?

It is possible with some ISPs/Webmails to have a view on the reputation level (in more or less graphical versions). We are going to make a series of articles about these tools... more or less recent. We start today with Google and its "Postmaster Tools by Gmail".

A short introduction to Gmail deliverability

Gmail was known in my early days to be a real black box. It is very complicated to get information about the reputation level of an IP and/or a subdomain/domain. You had to do a lot of tests and assume that you had found the solution to the problem.

A few years ago, Google decided to open up and make available a comprehensive tool that will enable advertisers (or routers) to obtain reputation information, and thus improve their email deliverability. Just goes to show that anything is possible in life!

How do I set up Google Postmaster Tools?

The tool, even though it is available to everyone, needs to be configured before it can be used... and yes not everyone can access everyone's data 😉 It is domain or subdomain based. Take note that if you set the tool for one domain and that domain has multiple subdomains, the data in the tool will be aggregated.

Before creating your access, you will have to make sure that your domain or subdomain has at least one of the two authentication systems (SPF or DKIM) set up. Otherwise, you won't have any data in the tool.

There are two ways to set up access: creating access or sharing read access.

1. The creation of an access

The access to the tool is done through the domain name to monitor via the following url: https://postmaster.google.com/managedomains

  1. Sign in with your Gmail address
  2. Add the domain name to be monitored : Step 1/3
    • This must be set up with SPF or DKIM.
  3. Add to your domain/subdomain the verification code on the TXT record (or ask your IT to perform this step J): Step 2/3
    • It is also possible to add a CNAME record instead of the TXT record.
  4. Validate the settings and access the dashboards.

2. Share read access

You can also share the access with a third party, but you must be the owner of the access.

Everything to monitor your reputation

There is only one thing we can say... Google has well thought out its tool! You will find everything you need to monitor your reputation:

Spamming rate

This dashboard will show you the measured complaint rates per day for all your IPs.

IP Address Reputation

This dashboard will give you an accurate view of the reputation level of each IP. The details will be available below when you click on a color.

Domain reputation

This dashboard will give you a precise view of the subdomain.

Feedback loop

If you have set up the Gmail feedback loop, you will have access to this table which will allow you to know your complaint rates by marker (one marker corresponds to one sending).

Need help?

Reading content isn't everything. The best way is to talk to us.


Authentication

This dashboard will show you the success rates related to email authentication (SPF, DKIM & DMARC).

Encryption

This dashboard will show you whether incoming and outgoing traffic is encrypted (handy if you or your router have set up TLS on your mailings). If you don't send email via Gmail, the "outbound TLS rate" is of no interest to you.

Distribution errors

This dashboard displays the error rates per day recorded on Gmail. This dashboard is particularly useful when you are in the warm up phase and you have some problems with Gmail. If you click on one of the points, it will show you below the reason for the rejection rate (maximum frequency exceeded, rejection for complaints, ...)

Note that you can filter each dashboard on a history ranging from 7 to 120 days.

How to use it and for what result?

You have a reputation issues on Gmail ? You start with a new IP/subdomain configuration and Gmail represents more than 30% of your database? Just out of curiosity know what your reputation level is on Gmail ? If you feel concerned by one of these 3 questions, the rest of this article will interest you.

1. The problem of reputation

The main interest of this tool (we will not hide it) is to see its level of reputation on Gmail. And when it is bad, we know thanks to the dashboards what is wrong (bad reputation of the IP and/or the subdomain) and how to remedy it (restriction of targeting and therefore of volumes).

Here is an example of the effectiveness of an action plan adapted to Gmail addresses for a revival of the reputation of the IP in a few weeks:

2. The warm-up phase

You have decided to change your router and therefore your sending infrastructure (new IP, new subdomain). Before switching all your mailings to your new router, you will have to "warm up" your new configuration. And if Gmail is in your TOP3 ISP/WEBMAILS, the "Spam Rate", "IP Reputation", "Domain Reputation" and "Delivery Errors" dashboards should be monitored every day. And in case of impact, you will be able to adapt your reputation escalation plan in order to avoid totally burning your new configuration.

3. Just to monitor

There is a proverb that says "prevention is better than cure" ... Don't wait until you have a problem to start monitoring your reputation. At least try to consult these pages once a week or as soon as a "strategic" or "risky" campaign is sent to measure the impact (and adjust if necessary).

It should be noted that it is not currently possible to export data from the tool or to create automated alerts in case of loss of reputation. You will have to opt for manual monitoring.

Conclusion

I hope that through this article (which is not the first written about the tool), I've given you the "spark" that will encourage you to take a look at this superb tool today. Google has the postmaster page the most advanced on the market, and while we'd love to have more, it's not all bad.

In any case, if you are experiencing great difficulties on Gmail and need to be accompanied, do not hesitate to contact us, we will always be at your disposal 😉

Need help to improve your email deliverability practices?

Do not hesitate to call upon our experts in deliverability in order to realize deliverability audits, monitor it or train your team on deliverability.

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4 réponses

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for this very interesting article.
    I have a question regarding domain validation, I am populating our authenticated domain on our demailing router and Google can't find the TXT record in the DNS configuration.
    How do we proceed?

    Thank you for your help
    Julien

  2. Hello Julien,
    Thanks for your feedback 🙂
    To answer your question, did you create a TXT record on your domain (or subdomain) with all the verification code (example: google-site-verification=rRRQNeOCabc-7TocLa0TXKhoR-_UM9R8yvRzLnAxg0)? I'm telling you this because I've already had failures, either because the person didn't create the txt record (and just did a copy/paste) on the domain, or the verification code wasn't set in full. Don't hesitate to contact me directly so we can see where the problem is.
    Kind regards,
    Sebastien.

  3. Hello Sébastien

    Thank you very much for your article, it's very interesting. I'm going to try it!
    See you soon

  4. Hello dear Sebastien Fischer
    to what number of shipments is postmaster displayed
    e.g.: I send 5k per day so when I check postmaster doesn't show anything I decided to increase to 7k no result
    thank you

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