Email routing to gmail blocked as spam

I use the Email Routing feature to forward email to my custom domain to my gmail account. It was working, but now I get a “message not delivered” error for every message. In my Cloudflare dashboard I can see the incoming test emails I sent with a result of “Delivery Failed”. In the details it says that SPF and DKIP passed, but in the “Rejected reason” it says:

Unknown error: permanent error (550):
5.7.1 [2405:8100:c000:1::1d6:db 19] Our system has detected that this
5.7.1 message is likely suspicious due to the very low reputation of the
5.7.1 sending domain. To best protect our users from spam, the message has
5.7.1 been blocked.

According to Google support page “Best practices for forwarding email to Gmail”, they recommend:

Avoid changing the envelope sender when forwarding email to Gmail.

Some email software or services change the envelope sender to your domain when forwarding messages. If the envelope sender is changed to your domain for forwarded spam, Gmail might learn that your domain sends spam. Gmail might treat future messages from your domain as spam.

I think that’s what’s happening, than because my email address gets a lot of spam, instead of gmail flagging those senders as spam, it is flagging my entire domain that Cloudflare is forwarding as spam, even those messages from legitimate senders. In the Cloudflare Postmaster docs it says: “Email Routing rewrites the SMTP envelope sender (MAIL FROM) to the forwarding domain.” Exactly what Google recommended against. Any suggestions how to get around this problem? I can’t receive any email right now, so if I don’t find a fix fast, I’m going to have to switch to another email forwarding service.

You could always pay Google for a mailbox in a Workspace plan if you want your domain mail in Gmail. If Gmail isn’t an important factor there is no shortage of other good mailbox providers.

Email forwarding is the problem, not the solution. In all but the most specific and narrow circumstances, none of which include standard mailbox use, it has been an impractical option for at least five years.

With plenty of options under $5/mo, the difficulty created by email forwarding in the age of DMARC far exceeds the value of any money saved by choosing forwarding over a mailbox.

I understand what your are saying, but isn’t the whole idea behind email routing (Cloudflare’s product) to forward all your mail to an existing mailbox.

I was really happy when Cloudflare introduced this product, because finally I would have a somewhat professional way to do what I’ve done for decades, forward everything to my Gmail.
I do pay for Gmail (One I think is called), so that’s not the problem. I just don’t want to go through the whole mess of getting a new mailbox and having a second Google account.

2 Likes

The problem with forwarding and consumer Gmail, even paid, is that you have no control over how the incoming mail is filtered. You can’t tell it to accept all email forwarded from Cloudflare no matter what the same way you could with a quality domain mail offering.

I understand your objective, and it makes sense. Before I moved one of my first Google Workspace customers to that platform, the domain mail was configured to forward to a personal Gmail. Before moving that domain to Google Workspace, the forwarding was moved to regular POP polling as forwarding became less desirable.

If you can make it work for you, and many people can, then there is no reason not to. It just isn’t a configuration that I encourage with anything important, at least not without understating the risks and challenges.

I do see your point, and I guess I will have to migrate in the near future, but right now I’m still in the grieving stage of the process. Too bad, when it worked, it was beautiful.

By the way, I just made it work using ImprovMX instead of CF, let’s see how long does that work (cause I still see the same error message, it’s just that ImprovMX persists until Gmail accepts the messages).

This topic was automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.