Changes in Gmail and what it means for senders

Gmail will now display the sender’s name, email and also the name of the third party sending the email with a “VIA” tag.

Gmail service announced an update yesterday, about the way it will show the sender’s details in emails. Gmail will now display the sender’s name, email and also the name of the third party sending the email with a“VIA”tag.

Here is what Gmail has to say on its blog and answers:

“Gmail displays this information because many of the services that send emails on behalf of others don’t verify that the name that the sender gives matches that email address. We want to protect you against misleading messages from people pretending to be someone you know.”

If readers reply to the emails from the sender, or if they add the sender to their address book Gmail will stop displaying the full email address. However gmail “may” continue to show the via tag if the email is from a third party.

 Gmail Sender Information

What this mean for readers:

  1. For some readers it can mean – “Great awesome. Now I know who is sending unsolicited messages. Yay.”
  2. For others it can mean – “What! More information in my email? – aww”.

However, it definitely is a feature that is geared to keep spammers and phishers away.

What this means for senders:

  1. If you are an enterprise that is sending emails on your own and if you use a different domain for sending emails, this different domain will be treated as a third party and will show up in the email as a “via” tag. For example, if you have a email address but are sending from say domain then Gmail may interpret it as Your Name VIA
  2. If you are using a third party email marketing platform like then your emails will be seen as Your Name VIA
  3. Since Gmail will stop displaying extra information if readers reply to the email  avoid addresses. In fact getting people to reply to your newsletters is a good way to ensure that your name is added to the contacts.

What this means for Email Marketing platform providers:

Email Marketing Platforms seldom use their brand’s named website as the sending domain. Due to various reasons, like managing sending loads, several servers may be used by service providers. Hence may look like Readers will not readily know the brand name of the sender and may get confused with the cryptic Via tags. Here are a few more examples:

It will be interesting to see if this has any impact on opens, spam reports and overall deliverability.

The point to note is that all this information was already available in the headers of the emails. Gmail is only showing this now prominently.

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