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How to analyze email headers in Gmail using one click and check for SPAM delivery?

Every email message exchanged between sender and recipient contains two parts:

  1. The email header which contains all the technical information, including SPF, DKIM, timestamps, relay and other corresponding information.
  2. The actual email content that contains the data in plain text and HTML format, including subject, email preview and body.

Email headers reveal a ton of information about the sender and are critical to ensure completeness and inbox delivery. Most of them are technical jargons and it is not necessary to know what each header means or its underlying importance.

That said, there are few key email headers which are essential to understand in detail because they have a direct impact on inbox delivery rates:

  • MessageId: An alpha-numeric string that is unique to the service provider. Emails sent using GSuite / GMail end with @mail.gmail.com
  • Created At: The timestamp when the email was originally created and user pressed “send”. There is also an associated tag saying how long it took for the email to be delivered. Usually, the time varies between 1-second to 35-second, especially if you are using the “delayed” send feature on GMail.
  • From, To and Subject: These are your regular email fields related to the sender, recipient and subject of email.

SPF, DKIM and DMARC are 3 critical type of email authentication systems, their primary goal is to ensure email security and detect any unauthorized use of your domain.

The “from” field in your email aka sender is the most critical element and needs to be setup correctly to ensure your emails do not land in SPAM folder.

How do I analyze email header to ensure email delivery?

Typical email header is fairly complex and technical jargon for most of us. However, it contains tons of extremely valuable information that is helpful not only to understand the content that you are sending, but also to understand the technical setup completeness of your email delivery system.

typical email header with raw text

While the above seems complex (and it is), Google has built an extremely easy to use email parser that analyzes the headers and displays the information in digestible format. Here’s a quick overview:

How to get your email headers for any email?

Open any email and click on the top right hamburger menu

Open any email in your inbox and click on the top right vertical bar as show above.

You will see a variety of options including reply / forward as well as critical informative menu like “Show Original

typical email header information

GMail will now open a new tab and neatly organize the information in two horizontal sections. The first section contains technical info such as DKIM, SPF, DMARC and second section contains raw headers. In order to analyze the info, click on Copy to clipboard button.

Now comes the fun part, visit https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/messageheader/ to analyze the header.

analyzing email headers

Google will load the email analyzer tool with a massive textbox where you can paste the email header you copied in the previous step. Go ahead and press the email header even though it might look jibberish.

Click on analyze header to generate email report

Once you click on analyze, Google will generate an easy to read in-depth technical analysis for the email that you just received.

Detailed email analysis for Product Hunt email

Based off the email headers, looks like the ProductHunt email servers are setup correctly with all the correct SPF, DKIM and DMARC settings.

In addition, the last section of email is super critical as it signifies:

  1. email has originated from MailJet.com server and sent directly without any SMTP relays (this is a good sign)
  2. There was only 1-second delay between the mail originating from MailJet and hitting Gmail servers.
  3. Absolutely zero delay between Google external mail servers to hitting the customers inbox.

Are you having issues with email delivery for your campaigns? Give MagicEmails.com Chrome Extension a shot or contact us:

[email protected] <– free inbox delivery analysis.