How to setup and use Google Postmaster Tools

Created by NotifyVisitors Team, Modified on Sun, 07 Apr 2024 at 08:15 PM by NotifyVisitors Team

Emails may be subject to delivery failures which in turn can negatively impact the ROI of an organization’s overall marketing endeavors. That’s why it is imperative to investigate the root cause of their failed dispatch so as to prevent such occurrences from happening again in the future.

Investigating email delivery failures can be quite a complex process though, involving a variety of factors. A brand requires a reliable means to track, measure, and refine its email campaigns. However, utilizing multiple tools simply to acquire accurate campaign data and switching amongst them to check distinct criteria can make the entire tracking process immensely cumbersome.

Fortunately, organizations can utilize Google Postmaster to measure various criteria such as domain reputation, IP reputation, spam rate etc. all via a single tool. In this article, you will learn what Google Postmaster is and how you can leverage it to enhance your email marketing performance.

The Google Postmaster Tools

The 'Google Postmaster Tools' is a tracking resource that allows email senders to troubleshoot deliverability issues. The tools provide essential insights into important metrics that can identify problem areas in email sending practices i.e., brands can determine the overall health of their email program by using this tool.

In other words, Google Postmaster is a free service that allows email senders to monitor and improve email deliverability. It provides insights into email performance and sender reputation, such as spam complaints, bounce rates, authentication status etc. Once you setup Google Postmaster, 'Google LLC' offers granular information pertaining to certain specific data points namely:

  • Spam rate
  • IP reputation
  • Delivery errors
  • Encrypted traffic
  • Domain reputation
  • Emails that passed authentication

Why use Google Postmaster Tools

Here’s a fact, Gmail has a 27.4% market share and it is the second most popular email client. Which means, if you regularly send emails to your email list, there is a high probability that many of them are actually Gmail users.

Moreover, since Google owns Gmail as well as Postmaster, it can take the performance data from Gmail and provide the same within Google Postmaster. That way, you get accurate data straight from one of the largest email service providers in the world. The aforementioned facts in itself prove how beneficial it can be for brands to make use of this tool.

In short, setting up and leveraging the Google Postmaster tool to gauge performance of email campaigns is strongly recommended in case your contact list contains a sizable percentage of Gmail users so as to gain valuable and insightful data via which you can improve deliverability of your future campaigns. Now, it’s time to learn how you can set up and use the tool itself.

How to setup Google Postmaster Tools


You will need a 'Google account' in order to use the 'Google Postmaster Tools'. So, in case you don't already have a 'Google account' (Google Workspace or a Gmail address), then kindly create one. Proceed as follows to set up the 'Google Postmaster Tools'.

  1. Visit and log in with your Google account credentials.
  2. Once you log in, the following 'Welcome' pop-up will appear on-screen.

Simply, click on the green-colored text 'Get Started', and you'll be prompted to enter your authentication domain name in the pop-up that appears next.

Alternatively, you can close the 'Welcome' pop-up by clicking on the 'cross-button' located at its top-right corner, and subsequently click on the '+' icon present near the bottom right corner of the screen.

  1. Enter your domain name in the popup that appears next. Then, click on the 'Next' button.

  1. Google Postmaster will generate a TXT record. Copy and add it to your DNS configuration of the entered domain.

  1. After doing so, go back to Google Postmaster and click on the text 'Verify' present within the pop-up (check screenshot provided above). This is because you have to verify the ownership after you’re done adding the record. Once you click on 'Verify', the pop-up should show a success message.


If the TXT record is not found, check whether the TXT was added correctly in the first place and try again. If you have issues adding the TXT record, Google offers a second verification method that involves adding a CNAME record. Once the DNS records have been successfully and properly published, you'll notice the domain status flips to Verified.

  1. Lastly, once you are done adding and verifying the domain, wait for some time until Postmaster collects your associated data. Once it’s done with that, you may explore the tools it offers and thereby track and measure the performance of your email campaigns.


'Google LLC' shows data only for domains with significant 'email volume'. You will notice that the data is populating the dashboard if you send 'hundred or more' emails per day.

How to use the Google Postmaster Tools

Google Postmaster tool gathers valuable insights such as the ones mentioned below:

IP Reputation

A higher reputation of an IP address means emails sent via that specific IP are more likely to land into the recipients’ inbox instead of their spam folder. For instance, in case you send a lot of emails, and users mark them as spam, your IP reputation will dwindle. On the other hand, if an IP address is a dedicated one and well-maintained, it will eventually earn a good reputation from email service providers.

The Google Postmaster will rate your IP's reputation as bad, low, medium, or high. If it is on the lower end of the spectrum, improve it. If it is on the higher end, maintain it. To reduce negative feedback, regularly review your sending list. Dispatch emails only to those users who are responsive and who really want to receive your messages.

Bad: A history of sending a high volume of spam. An email coming from this entity will almost always be rejected at connection time or marked as spam.

Low: Known to send a considerable volume of spam regularly. An email from this sender will likely be marked as spam.

Medium: Noted to send good emails, but has occasionally sent a low volume of spam. Most of the emails from this entity will have a fair deliverability rate, except when there’s a notable increase in spam levels.

High: Has a good track record of a very low spam rate, and complies with Gmail's sender guidelines. Email will rarely be marked by the spam filter.

Domain Reputation

Google determines your domain reputation score based on your history of spam complaints. If your domain has a good reputation, it will signal to ISPs that your emails are relevant and valuable to the recipients. Hence, directing / landing them to their inbox.

Your domain reputation influences whether an email will get delivered to the inbox or not. In other words, a higher domain reputation means emails from your sending domain are less likely to get filtered to the recipients' spam folders. Google Postmaster domain reputation will rate your domain as bad, low, medium, or high.

Bad: The domain has a history of spam complaints, and the email from this domain will end up in the spam folder.

Low: The domain has notable spam complaints, and emails from this domain will likely end up in the spam folder.

Medium: The domain sends spam emails occasionally, and the emails from this domain will most probably reach the inbox unless there is a sudden spike in the spam levels.

High: The domain sends high-quality emails following proper email etiquette and has a low spam rate. Emails from this domain will land in the inbox.

Spam Rate

The spam rate is the percentage of emails marked as spam by receivers versus emails successfully sent to their inbox. It reflects the percentage of users marking your organization’s campaigns as spam.

People marking your campaigns as spam may not have found your content relevant or helpful. So, if the spam rate is significantly high, you'll have to make some tweaks to your email campaigns. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Maintain a consistent communication chain with your subscribers to keep them engaged and informed. Neither be infrequent in forwarding communications nor bombard your receivers with recurring mails i.e. figure out the right email cadence and stick to it.
  2. Remove those subscribers from your email list who haven't responded to your communications for an inordinately long period of time, since it is quite probable that such subscribers don’t even open your dispatched emails. Retaining them will only dip your email metrics. In other words, timely identify disengaged users and formulate a 'sunset policy'.
  3. Do not forward mails to users who have unsubscribed from receiving further communications from your organization. In case you continue sending emails to users who have opted out, then the likelihood is high that your mails will be reported as spam. Simply, include such users in an 'email suppression list' so as to suppress their email addresses and to avoid sending automated communications to them in the future.


Kindly note that if a substantial number of emails are delivered directly to spam folders, you may see a low 'spam rate', even though users may still be marking your inboxed emails as 'spam'.

Delivery Errors

The delivery error dashboard shows the percentage of emails that didn't make it to the users' inboxes and got rejected (either temporarily or permanently). In essence, the delivery error graph depicts what percentage of total emails got rejected or temporarily failed in relation to the entire authenticated traffic. In order to minimize delivery errors, as a best practice, don't add malicious attachments to your emails.

The error codes you will see in the Postmaster tool are as follows:

  • Suspected spam: Gmail flagged the traffic from your IP as spam.
  • Sending IP has a low reputation: The sender IP has a poor reputation.
  • Bad or missing PTR record: The sender IP has no PTR record associated with it.
  • Sending domain has a low reputation: The sender domain has a poor reputation.
  • Bad or unsupported attachment: Unsupported or bad email attachments are detected by Gmail.
  • DMARC policy of the sender domain: The sender domain has set up its DMARC rejection policy.
  • IP is in one or more public RBLs: The sender IP is listed in one or more public Real-time Blackhole Lists.
  • Rate limit exceeded: Gmail will put a temporary limit when your IP sends too much traffic at higher rates.
  • Email content is possibly spammy: Gmail systems detected the traffic as spam due to the email content.
  • Domain is in one or more public RBLs: The sender domain is listed in one or more public Real-time Blackhole Lists.

Authenticated Traffic

This specific dashboard shows the percentage of your emails that passed SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records over all the received traffic that attempted authentication.

This dashboard has three graphs namely:

  • SPF Graph:
  • This graph shows the percentage of emails that passed SPF versus all emails from that domain that attempted SPF, excluding spoofed emails.
  • DKIM Graph:
  • This graph shows the percentage of emails that passed DKIM versus all emails from that domain that attempted DKIM.
  • DMARC Graph:
  • This graph shows the percentage of emails that passed DMARC versus all emails received from the domain that passed SPF or DKIM.


Emails must be encrypted to keep your data safe from third-party intruders and for that reason, this specific graph shows you the number of encrypted incoming and outgoing mails. In other words, this particular dashboard displays what percentage of your inbound and outbound traffic is encrypted. The Transport Layer Security (TLS) mechanism is used to check the encryption of emails.

  • TLS Inbound:
  • Shows the percentage of incoming email (to Gmail) that passed TLS versus all email received from that domain.
  • TLS Outbound:
  • Shows the percentage of outgoing email (from Gmail) that was accepted over TLS versus all email sent to that domain.

Wrapping up

Google Postmaster is an indispensable tool to detect email deliverability issues. It provides valuable insights into open rates, click-through rates, IP reputation, spam rate etc. allowing brands to fine-tune their email campaigns. In effect, via leveraging the power of Google Postmaster, marketers can stay ahead of the competition, timely detect and rectify issues with their email campaigns and thereby ensure that their campaigns are yielding the desired results.

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