Last week we faced an interesting problem from a customer.
For this customer, we developed a website that included a ‘Contact Form’ on their Contact page. Their contact form is designed to take input from a visitor of the website and then when they press the ‘Submit’ button, an email is generated and sent to the customer’s Gmail.
This website is hosted by GoDaddy (lives in GoDaddy’s Webspace).
For contact forms like this, the form uses .php code to formulate the email (from the text from the contact form) and send the email out through GoDaddy’s emails server ‘secureserver.net’.
The (fixed) code for the contact form specifies where to send this email. For example a customer may want email coming to their business email hosted by Gmail. This was the case for this customer of ours. They wanted all of these emails sent to their business Gmail account.
The form also has a hard coded Subject line, which says something like…
“Email from Your Business Name website”
So the receiver of this email will see this as the subject in the email delivered from this contact form.
In the issue we saw, it turns out that Gmail considers any email sent from the GoDaddy email server (secureserver.net) as Spam and it goes into the Spam folder. This was annoying for the customer and I don’t blame them.
We researched and found that other people have seen this issue, too, and finding a fix can be frustrating.
We found that one good and reliable way to solve this issue is to install an email filter in your Gmail that identifies these incoming emails and tells GMail that these are not Spam.
In our case the one piece of information that is constant for all incoming emails from the contact form is the Subject line. This is what we used to have Gmail identify these incoming email messages.
Here is how to install a Gmail filter so that your email does not get sent to the Spam folder.
We will use our issue as the working example and give you step by step what we did.
So, this is how we solved the issue of email messages, generated by our contact form on our web page, hosted on GoDaddy being considered by Gmail as Spam.
First, we made sure we sent a test email message from our contact form and we see it goes to the Spam folder in our Gmail email.
Steps to fix this:
1. We logged into our Gmail (on-line, using our browser)
2. We clicked on our ‘Spam’ folder to show the messages marked as Spam (We made sure that we had a Spam email that had come in from our Contact Form).
3. We selected one of these messages by checking it’s check box.
4. On the Gmail tool bar above this list of emails, we clicked on ‘More’ to see the More options menu (which is a drop down menu)
5. We clicked on ‘Filter messages like these’ in this drop down menu
6. Now this shows you a filter form to fill in (we see that the From field is already filled in, but in our case we want the From field to be blank. See the next step)
7. In the filter form, remove any text from the ‘From’ box (this box must be blank). This is a very important step for this to work. If you miss this, it will not work.
8. In the ‘Subject’ text box we put the following text;
Email from Your Webbits website
This is because, in our specific case, this subject line will be the same text from all emails coming in from the Contact form (this is our constant piece of information that we can depend on for Gmail to find these messages).
Note: This is what our filter form looked like. Note, the only field we needed was the Subject field.
9. We then, pressed the ‘Create filter with this search’ button
10. We then check the checkbox ‘Never send it to Spam’ because we want all of these incoming email messages to not be considered as Spam
11. Then we pressed ‘Create filter’ button to complete this filter creation process and we are done creating our Gmail email filter
In order to prove that this is now working properly, we sent a new test message from our contact form and sure enough, the incoming message in our Gmail account went to our inbox and not our Spam folder.
Issue solved for all of these messages!
So to summarize: We solved this issue by creating a Gmail filter for incoming emails which, in our case, checked ONLY the Subject line of the incoming email and it creates a rule to say, these emails are not Spam. All new incoming email messages sent by the contact form will now never be considered Spam.
We hope this helps people resolve similar issues.