This question is related to some software for schools and one part is for the schools to send information to students and parents. But all mail end up in Gmail spam folders. If i look at the google postmaster tools for the last 120 days it says this:

  • User reported spam: 0%
  • Ip Reputation: 100%, but only for one day. No other records
  • Domain reputation: High (on top) but with one day falling down to medium (when the schools starts after holiday)
  • Spam feedback loop: 0%
  • Authenticated traffic: 100% (DKIM success rate, SPF success rate, DMARC success rate)
  • Encrypted traffic: 0% (inbound tls rate)
  • Delivery errors: 0%

Allmost like they just put it to spam because its a competitor to their own products.

(by some strange reason, when the school where my kids go to send a messages, they arrive at my private gmail inbox, but not for other parents)

Is it time to give up on using email and force the receivers to install an app?

I dont know what more to do to prevent the mail from going to spam. Any advice on what to do?

Theoretical question: Does google not like it when the user never visited the page (same domain name as used for the sender email address) and yet receives emails from it? (email etc is collected from schools and registered by them)

These technical requirements are met:

  • SPF setup
  • DMARC setup
  • DKIM setup
  • IP Reverse lookup to sender domain

It is only google sending the mails to spam

  • @anx The emails contain information about what the students work with at the school, planned acitivty, homework etc. By average at least one of the parents for each student read the emails/navigate to the page with the content. There is no such unsubscribe because the parents always need to get the information about what their kids has to do in homework and school work and if the kids need to bring special cloths etc to the school, but maybe just have to implement it and notify the school when parents unsubscribe to this?
    – SmallDev
    Sep 10, 2021 at 21:36
  • I have not included in my answer one other approach: Instructing sender to teach recipients on how to use the the "This is not spam, please dont put it into spam next time, Google" button in their webmail interface. I am not exactly certain how well it works, but I am fairly certain that schools trying to teach parents is not a very efficient use of either sides time.
    – anx
    Sep 10, 2021 at 22:11
  • @anx yes, even that is a good advice, i dont think it is possible to do it
    – SmallDev
    Sep 10, 2021 at 22:15
  • Unknown effect size, but you should absolutely check out why Google does not report your transport security as 100% working, and since you did not put that in plural, there is a chance you forgot that reverse lookups should loop back to you for each of your IP addresses (preferably exactly one IPv4 and exactly one IPv6 address). by the way, on this site, try to answer requests for clarification by editing your question, long comment threads are less useful to future readers
    – anx
    Sep 10, 2021 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Because it has been abused so persistently by bad actors, if you want to send newsletters these days, you must offer a method of unsubscribing to the recipient (preferably including RFC8058), whether unsubscribing has undesirable real-life implications or not.

When an organization has an operational requirement to be able to reliably send information to people, they need to fight about this outside the premises of mail providers. The mailbox provider must not become the final arbitrator on whether someone was supposed to accept a mail or not, they are neither willing not equipped to do this.

All they can do is ensure that the mailbox owner retains control over his Inbox, and if this is not ensured by the sender, they can and will ensure this with actions affecting all mailings of the sender.

Two suggestions:

  1. Provide a link (possibly including or accompanied by credentials) in the very first opt-in request/confirmation mail sent per account.

    • Ensure that everything received via mail could also be accessed through that link.
    • tell people not wishing to subscribe to your newsletter to bookmark that link
    • have a procedure documented for the senders on how to send that link again to single recipients having lost it
    • Give senders easy access to check which recipients have opted in and which need to be notified through other means.
  2. Limit the Unsolicited mail by more strictly enforcing separation between

    • "sent because some helicopter parents want to know it"
    • "recipients need to know and have no other method of knowing about" and
    • "recipients need to specifically confirm having received".

    Google will helpfully treat different email campaigns differently if only you make it easy to tell them apart.

Link to Google relevant documentation, which I recommend to read more as list of "minimum requirements" than "suggestions of what else you could do".

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