What Does Gmail’s New AI Spam Filter Mean for Email Marketers?

A few weeks ago, Google rolled out its new AI spam filter for Gmail. 

The filter, known as RETVec, stands for Resilient & Efficient Text Vectorizer and is used to identify things like homoglyphs (manipulated letters and symbols), invisible characters, or keyword-stuffed text that is often used to try and bypass spam filters.

According to Google, their new spam filter can help improve the spam detection rate by 38% and reduce the false positive rate by 19.4%

This is great news for Gmail users but what does RETVec mean for email marketers?

Another day, another new challenge

A few weeks ago I broke down the Google and Yahoo email spam filter changes rolling out Feb 1, 2024. 

The key takeaways for email marketers? Reduce spam complaints and optimize send volume through best practices like clear unsubscribe options, tightened audiences, and email customization.

Easy enough right? Ok, it isn’t that simple. 

The reality is, with the updates coming in February and the new AI spam filter rolling out now, email marketers, especially outbound marketers, are going to have to work really hard to create messages that not only get through the new spam filter but don’t get marked as spam once they do. 

Your cold outreach needs to feel warm and it needs to feel personal. 

It’s exactly what we are trying to help with here at Customers.ai.

Let’s take two scenarios:

Scenario 1: You receive an email from a company you’ve never heard of and you aren’t interested in. 

Scenario 2: You receive an email from a company whose site you have visited and whose ads you’ve seen.

Which scenario lends itself to engagement and which to spam? 

It’s a simple answer but that’s what companies need to consider as these spam filter changes roll out. 

Instead of buying a list of people who might fit your ICP and might be in the market for what you sell, why not focus on the people who are already interested?

With Customers.ai, you can identify the anonymous visitors who land on your site – names, emails, phone numbers, LinkedIn profiles, business emails, etc. 

And instead of immediately emailing those people, you can put them into ad remarketing lists and start taking them through the buyer journey. 

Now when you go to email them, they’ve already seen your brand, you have an idea of the types of products or services they are interested in, and you can create a very personalized message. 

This is a much better scenario and one that is going to not just help you avoid the spam folder, but improve your overall email performance.

There is an upside to RETVec.

Back to RETVec, there is good news here. While spam detection is up with the new Google AI spam filter, false positives are down. 

For email marketers doing things the “right” way, the hope is that as Google’s spam detection continues to get smarter, legitimate emails have a better chance of reaching inboxes, resulting in higher email deliverability and a better sender reputation overall. That’s definitely a plus.

Evolving your email marketing strategy

Gmail is one of Google’s core products and with data privacy becoming a bigger and bigger issue, these inbox crackdowns are going to continue. 

Email marketers have to adapt and they have to shift away from bulk emails and cold outreach. Warm leads and personalization are the new normal and you had better jump on board if you want to see the inbox.

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