Email Deliverability

Gmail Mitigation: Your ‘Get Out of Email Jail Free’ Card

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Email deliverability can be challenging, and even the most experienced senders can make missteps that land them in violation of Google’s email sender guidelines for bulk senders. However, senders who believe their deliverability at Gmail is being unfairly penalized can take steps to “clear their name” by submitting a mitigation request. Let’s look at what the Gmail mitigation process entails and how to make the best use of this functionality. 

What is mitigation?  

Mitigation is a process for senders to submit an escalation for their email deliverability issues at mailbox providers. These requests are reviewed against a set of criteria and established thresholds to assess the risk of unwanted emails reaching the mailbox provider’s end users. 

Mitigations can be used to temporarily disable the enforcement signals responsible for undesirable spam classification. Once mitigation is complete, the sending domain should be in good standing to send without further assistance or intervention. In other words, successful mitigation is contingent on a sender adhering to the mailbox provider’s sender guidelines.  

What Gmail deliverability issues does mitigation address? 

Gmail has made it clear; mitigation isn’t available for everyone. Only bulk senders who meet all requirements outlined in their email sender guidelines, including authentication requirements, a user-reported spam-rate requirement, and one-click unsubscribe, are eligible for mitigation. 

For example, as of June 2024, bulk senders with a user-reported spam rate greater than Gmail’s max threshold of 0.3 percent will be ineligible for mitigation. Specifically:  

  • Bulk senders remain ineligible for mitigation while their user-reported spam rate is greater than 0.3 percent . 
  • Bulk senders will be eligible for mitigation only when their spam rates remain below 0.3 percent  for seven consecutive days. 
  • Calculations for spam rates and other data points are updated daily in Google Postmaster Tools. 

Image Credit: Benjamin Delpy via X 

Bulk senders who meet all email sender requirements can submit an escalation for email deliverability issues. Users filling out Gmail’s mitigation form are asked to select from one of three different deliverability issues they need addressed:  

  • Messages are incorrectly classified as spam or phishing. Senders can select this option if their messages are being delivered to a recipient’s spam folder with either a Spam banner or Phishing banner as shown here.  

  • SMTP temp-fails or rejects. Senders select this option if their messages are blocked at Gmail due to a delivery failure notification. A message might be blocked if it contains suspicious-looking or spammy text, or if the sending IP has a history of sending unsolicited messages.  
  • Other. Senders experiencing a deliverability issue that is not related to spam/phishing or blocking at Gmail can select “Other” and provide additional details in an open text field.  

When and how should senders submit a request? 

Again, for the people in the back row, senders should make sure they are following all sender guidelines before contacting tech support. Fortunately, Gmail’s latest update of the Google Postmaster Tools dashboard, released in March 2024, gives senders an easy way to check if they’re compliant with the new standards.  

The Compliance Status feature of Google Postmaster Tools dashboard (shown below) lists the new requirements and indicates to a sender whether or not they’re compliant. If a sender isn’t compliant, there’s a warning symbol and information about what action is required for compliance.   

If a sender is in compliance with requirements and experiencing deliverability issues, they can request mitigation by filling out Google’s Sender Contact Form 

How does Google evaluate requests? 

According to Google, mitigation requests “are reviewed against a set of objective criteria and thresholds. The established thresholds are used to evaluate the risk of unwanted emails arriving to Gmail and Workspace end users following mitigations.” In other words, just as Gmail relies on a complex algorithm for their email deliverability filtering decisions, they also apply multi-faceted logic to mitigation requests. However, it’s safe to assume part of that logic is factoring a sender’s reputation, overall subscriber engagement, and whether the escalation is a one-time or recurring request.  

In conclusion…






In 1736, long before email existed, Benjamin Franklin famously advised that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Working to prevent deliverability issues from occurring is always a better strategy than trying to mitigate issues after they happen.

For more tips to proactively navigate deliverability at Gmail, including how to master Gmail’s new bulk sender policies, tune into our on-demand webinar: State of Email Live: Google Talks About the New Gmail Sender Requirements.You can also contact Validity’s team of Email Strategists to help solve your Gmail deliverability challenges.