Gmail 20th Birthday |

Gmail 20th Birthday

ג'ימייל בן 20

Gmail is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Congratulations to Gmail. The mailbox provider that has become loved by it's users and challenges marketeers.

תוכן עניינים

20th birthday to…. Gmail

Gmail is Google’s email service launched on April 1, 2004, which led people to think it was an April fool’s hoax. It was launched with a capacity of 1GB, which was considered particularly large at the time, and in the early years was distributed in limited distribution. The service was officially launched on 7/7/2009.

In Israel, as well as around the world, Gmail enjoys great popularity and in certain territories such as Israel, Brazil and India, Gmail is the leading email inbox in terms of market share.

In order to improve the user experience of Gmail users, over the years Gmail has made groundbreaking procedures that have been a challenge for marketeers.

In honor of Gmail’s 20th birthday, we will get to know him better and mark some important milestones in our journey as users and of Gmail, which has become the leading email inbox in many territories, including Israel.

listen to the podcast

Promotions tab

On May 29, 2013, Google changed Gmail’s user interface and added a built-in email filtering option to seven categories, and five tabs. The change has resulted in Gmail users’ email being filtered by categories and automatically distributed to different tabs, depending on content types, reducing clutter in the Main Tab.

Before the change, all legitimate mail arrived in a single Inbox and the illegitimate mail was moved to the SPAM box. Since the tabs were introduced, legitimate mail is scattered between different INBOX tabs. Users Gmail can search for content by category, even if the category isn’t set to a tab (five of the seven categories are tabs).

The most significant change is that marketing emails and newsletters are usually routed to the Promotions tab. The email industry was concerned that Gmail users would ignore the extra tabs and focus only on the main tab, but as it seems, this is not the case, and Gmail has created unique options for a promotional tab with Google Annotations that allows you to display a large picture of a sale, time-limited coupons, and more.

Many mistakenly think that the promotional tab in Gmail is spam. In practice, all Gmail tabs are part of the main Inbox, they are only divided into different categories. Emails redirected to the promotional tab ended up in Inbox, not spam. Emails that reached the spam are located in a separate box where the spam is kept, for example, for 30 days. Gmail uses advanced technologies and AI filtering mechanisms to manage emails.

I remember writing about the tabs in Gmail when it first came out,” he told me in an interview onthe Chad S. Whitepodcast, author of email marketing rules and head of research at Oracle Digital Experience Agency. “And my advice is the same as it was then. The sky is not falling. This gives consumers a way to manage their email inbox better. And I know there was a lot of talk and even today we hear people talking about, “How can I get into the main tab? I compared the main tab to knocking on someone’s front door, being a door-to-door salesperson versus the promo tab being like the mall.”

“I think most retailers, most e-commerce companies today would rather be in a mall than go door to door knocking on people’s doors, disturbing them. I think that analogy still holds water today. Will your emails always land in the main tab, will they get more attention? Absolutely yes, but the goal is to be welcome and engaged. marketeers can attract all kinds of negative attention if they knock on everyone’s doors in the neighborhood. This is usually not the way to succeed. You really want to be where people expect you to be. I think in general, marketers, maybe learned that from advertisers. They’re like they’re very obsessed with attracting attention. And I don’t think it has anything to do with attention because, in email marketing, people have already chosen to hear from you by signing up for your emails and from now on it’s a question of relevance and not tactics and stunts to attract attention. I tell people not to be worried about the tabs at all. I sometimes hear people say that well, promotions aren’t inboxes but spam.”

New requirements

Google’s innovation was also reflected in a different approach to email filtering and spam, which was based quite a bit on positive and negative signals from Gmail users.
Gmail blocks about 15 billion unwanted emails every day and detects and blocks 99.9% of phishing, spam, and malware that reaches Gmail subscribers.
20 years after Gmail was born
, Google is updating the requirements formarketeers
in a joint venture with email provider Yahoo, and both have launched a joint initiative and set strict requirements formarketeers.
These requirements went into effect on February 1, 2024 and will be further tightened on April 1, 2024.
The new requirements are not new at all – they have been considered best practice for many years. But for many marketeers this is bad news because the impact of the demands is evident in a significant decrease in theirdeliverability .

The new requirements in brief:

It is no longer possible to email from the private Gmail using the mailing system: Google will block this option. marketeers who until now have supposedly sent emails from private Gmail via the mailing system should switch to using their business domain.

Domain verification – required: The business domain must be verified using domain verification protocols called SPF and DKIM. The mailing system will give you records that need to be embedded in the domain’s DNS. Domain verification actually authorizes the email system to send emails from your domain.

Zero tolerance for spam:

From now on, the threshold requirement for spam reports is not to exceed 0.3% spam reports and aim for 0.1% spam reports (one report out of a thousand emails that reached their destination).

You can’t see reports of spam from Gmail in the email system, only in Postmaster Tools. . Google just a few days ago added a new interface in GPT that shows whether the requirements apply to you asmarketeers and if so, whether you meet the requirements.

Publish a DMARC record: This can be a policy record none (p=none). My recommendation is to invest in a DMARC monitoring tool that allows you to monitor all the sources ofmarketeers named domains, do the DMARC campaign and at the end of the journey (several months accompanied by someone who understands the subject) switch to enforcement mode and enjoy “points” that will lead to an improvement in the offense data. Without enforcement, there will be no improvement in offenses, and of course, publishing a record in enforcement mode without proper handling (the DMARC campaign) will lead to blocks in case of domain verification problems.

Add an easy unsubscribe link: This is a link that the mailing systems will have to make. Make sure that from your email address you add a header that displays an unsubscribe removal link that will appear next to the email address and name of the sender. In order to display the link, there are some technical requirements, but as mentioned, the mailing systems are the ones that will be required to do so, and they have an extension until June 1, 2024.

Watch a webinar on the new requirements in the webinar
(available for newsletter subscribers).

“If you look at the numbers, Gmail inbox location rates are a little bit higher than other email providers,”
Guy Hanson
, vice president of customer engagement at Validity, tells me in an interview on the podcast. “The percentage of Gmail inboxing is about %-87% % compared to 85% on other providers. And I think, one of the reasons for that is Gmail’s filtering, which has always been very effective. They were one of the first businesses to adopt the use of artificial intelligence as part of their email filtering processes. In fact, there’s a story often told about how their Postmaster showed up at an email industry conference and was asked: What’s the secret to filtering your spam? What marketeers need to know to make sure they don’t end up in spam. And his response was almost amusing: because AI is now such an important part of our screening that even if I wanted to answer the question, I can’t, because AI is constantly learning and developing its rules (without human intervention).
Gmail has also put a lot of thought into its subscriber experience. They were the first to suggest to you whether you want to opt out of receiving emails from one mailer or another because we didn’t see that you had been involved with emails from that sender for some time. At the time, I think it caused a lot of marketeers to worry that it would cause people to remove themselves more than usual. But the opposite happens. This makes it easier for people to cancel their subscription. It made it easier to cancel your subscription, but by doing so, it lowered spam reporting rates, because that’s the alternative to canceling when you can’t find the unsubscribe link, instead, you just click Report Spam.”

What else is new in Gmail?

Revolutionary topical filtering:

Gmail recently added a RetVec advanced text filtering mechanismthat significantly improves text email filtering.The RETVec module improves spam detection by 38% and, just as importantly, improves false detection accuracy (19.4% false positive detection improvement and 17.71% false negative detection).

Closing inactive accounts: Google announced that starting in December 2023, it will now begin a policy ofclosing email accountsthat have been inactive for two years. In doing so, it joins other email providers such as Yahoo, which has a similar and even tougher policy of removing accounts that have been inactive for 12 months (except for paid Yahoo Mail Plus accounts).

In practice, Google will start deleting private Gmail accounts (not Workspace accounts) and says that before deleting the accounts, it will send messages to both account holders and those linked accounts (such as accounts configured as backup password recovery). It will do so, as it puts it, “very carefully and slowly.”

The deletion will be not only of the Gmail account but of all products associated with the account, such as Google Drive, Docs documents, Sheets, etc. To keep an account active, the user must do one or more of the following simple actions under the specific user: read or send an email through Gmail, use Google Drive, watch a video on YouTube, download an app from the Play Store, perform a Google search, sign up or sign in with Google to a third-party account.

So much for a nutshell the story of Gmail celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Want to learn more about Gmail? Here are 3 more articles:

Podcast interviews with international email marketing experts

האזנה לפודקאסט
רוצה להתייעץ איתי לגבי שיפור האימייל מרקטינג או עבירוּת המיילים שלך? אני מזמין אותך לפגישת ייעוץ ראשונית של 1/2 שעה, ללא עלות. book a 1/2 email deliverability discovery call.

Further reading

sella 2
Sella Yoffe
CEO , 

Email Deliverability & Email Marketing Expert 

working with global email senders, startups, and ESPs to improve their deliverability and email authentication

Podcast host & Blogger @ CRM.BUZZ & EmailGeeks.Show

Skip to content