With Google’s new Gmail Postmaster Tools, senders protect themselves from hitting spam

screen shot 2015 07 09 at 12 35 28 pm

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 12.35.28 PM

While email may not be perfect and many actually loathe it, it’s still the way many businesses choose to get information out – flight and accommodation receipts, job application responses, and everything else. Google says the amount of mail that you actually want to see that is accidentally sent to the spam inbox is a mere 0.05%. But the company is all about data-driven, incremental improvements, so today it’s releasing a new tool for senders of email to better ensure their messages reach your Gmail inbox.

The new tool, called Gmail Postmaster Tools, provides “high qualified high-volume” senders with detailed delivery reports including data on delivery errors (i.e. sending email from different IPs, which can lead to identification problems), what percentage of deliveries are being sent to spam boxes, and the sender’s overall reputation (based on implementing best practices, and past history). Google has a whole lot of details on how bulk senders of email can properly format their messages to make sure they’re sorted into the correct inboxes up on its support site, but interested senders can start analyzing their performance right away.

In its blog post on the new tool, Google goes on to say that it has also brought some of its spam filtering technology over from Google Search and Google Now, including machine learning capabilities to detect individual preferences regarding specific newsletters and other emails. It’s also better at detecting email impersonation, where a sender tries to pass itself off as a more reputable sender. This practice is common in phishing schemes where a bad actor attempts to steal private information by formatting its email to look like its coming from a large, recognizable company like Google or Facebook.

Since the beginning, machine learning has helped make the Gmail spam filter more awesome. When you click the “Report spam” and “Not spam” buttons, you’re not only improving your Gmail experience right then and there, you’re also training Gmail’s filters to identify spam vs. wanted mail in the future. Now, we are bringing the same intelligence developed for Google Search and Google Now to make the spam filter smarter in a number of ways.

As always, users of Gmail can help fight spam and improve its automated intelligence by clicking the “Report spam” button on junk emails that reach their inbox, or “Not spam” for emails that shouldn’t have been flagged as junk.

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