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The Gmail Purge 2023: How to still land in the inbox?

24 October, 2023 | 5 Min Read

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Would ‘The Great Gmail Purge‘ affect your email marketing efforts? No need to worry if you prepare ahead of time! Effective preparation ensures your emails won’t bounce on Gmail and will continue to reach your audience seamlessly. This article provides an overview of the new policy by Google and offers strategic insights for success.

What is it about?

Starting from December 2023, Google is going to delete accounts that have been inactive for two years. This step is taken to make sure users are safer. However, it’s about more than losing access to Gmail. Anything you’ve done in Google Docs, Google Workspace, Google Photos, and other Google services will be wiped out forever. Even videos you’ve uploaded on YouTube will disappear if your account is deleted. So, users need to use their Google accounts regularly to keep their stuff safe and sound.

What led them to do it?

Ruth Kricheli, Vice President of Product Management at Google, emphasised that the new policy enhances user safety by addressing potential online threats. The main concern revolves around inactive accounts, which become attractive targets for cyber threats over time. Google’s internal investigation proved this concern by revealing that these unused accounts often lack an additional layer of security; “two-factor verification.” This security measure is vital as it adds an extra step to verify the account owner during login. Without it, the door remains open to potential security breaches.

Kricheli highlighted the vulnerability of these inactive accounts, comparing them to blank canvases for malicious activities once compromised. These activities can range from identity theft to being a platform for harmful actions like spam or other malicious content distribution, presenting significant risks.

In response to these growing threats, Google is extending the inactivity policy for Google accounts to two years across all products. This adjustment primarily impacts personal Google accounts, ensuring a safer online experience while exempting accounts associated with organisations such as schools or businesses.

How does it affect email marketers?

Email serves as a fundamental component for countless companies worldwide. Suppose you are a business owner or marketer. In that case, you are likely using email to sign up on platforms, run marketing campaigns, and even reach out via cold emails to increase sales.

Key elements which would get affected

The new initiative by Google will lead to:

  • High bounce rate
  • Bad sender reputation


Within your email list, there might be email accounts that have remained inactive for many years. At present, these inactive email accounts don’t significantly impact your email performance as emails are successfully delivered to users/customers. However, once Gmail initiates the deletion of these inactive accounts starting from December 2023, the email addresses you send to will cease to exist, resulting in bounced emails.

A higher bounce rate can severely damage your sender reputation, potentially diverting your emails to spam folders. Internet service providers (ISPs) evaluate senders based on a scoring system ranging from 0 to 100, reflecting the sender’s credibility and reliability. ISPs use this score to filter out spam, creating a safer email environment for users. A higher score enhances the likelihood of your emails reaching customers’ inboxes. Conversely, a drop in this score adversely affects inbox placement.

Maintaining a bounce rate below 2% is critical to preserve a positive sender score. Therefore, understanding how to safeguard your sender reputation amid Google’s forthcoming initiative to remove inactive Gmail accounts is vital.

What is the solution?

If you do not act proactively, Google’s initiative to delete inactive accounts can impact your email marketing campaigns. There are two best solutions to overcome the negative impact. Working on these solutions before implementing policies is essential to minimise the adverse effects.

Proper email list validation

Ensuring your emails reach the inbox and maintaining a high sender score relies on removing outdated email addresses. Before Gmail initiates its cleanup, reviewing your email list is essential. If you come across emails that won’t be in use any longer, removing them before commencing your next email campaign is prudent. Continuing to send to these inactive email addresses may incur penalties from Google, impacting your email deliverability.

To efficiently clean your list, consider utilising a reputable email validation tool. While numerous email validation tools are available in the market, it’s crucial to choose wisely. For more guidance on selecting the right tools, further insights can be found from our guide on email scrubbing.

Remove unengaged customers

When people don’t engage with your emails, it affects how ISPs view them. Your emails might not be important if nobody interacts with them. As a result, your emails might miss the inbox.

Removing subscribers who last clicked on your emails in three to six months is a good idea to keep your sender score high. This becomes even more crucial as Google plans to delete inactive Gmail accounts.

Some companies hesitate to remove email addresses that have been inactive for a while. But it’s essential to understand that emails sent to these addresses may bounce because Google might have removed them. This ongoing inactivity can affect your overall engagement, impacting your sender score and email deliverability.

Key takeaway

Google is set to delete inactive accounts in December 2023. This could cause more emails to bounce and harm your sender reputation. But you can avoid these issues by taking proactive steps. One significant action is to keep your email list updated and free of unused addresses. Removing emails that people don’t engage with is also a critical move.

This is where Spotzee’s top-tier email validation tool, plays a crucial role. Spotzee uses advanced measures to validate email addresses, ensuring the list remains free of errors, missing domains, or inactive accounts. By utilising Spotzee’s services, email marketers can effectively filter out invalid addresses and protect the sender reputation. With a cleaner email list, the risk of higher bounce rates due to the Gmail purge reduces significantly, enabling a more successful and uninterrupted email marketing campaign. Stay ahead of the game with a perfect email list through Spotzee.

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