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Google's recent message formatting requirements: 12 Pro Tips
Google's recent message formatting requirements: 12 Pro Tips

RFC 5322 explained for plain text emails

Dariia avatar
Written by Dariia
Updated over a week ago

Google, as a major email service provider, has recently updated requirements for senders. It primarily targets bulk senders who dispatch over 5,000 emails daily, particularly those involved in email marketing. However, it also contains essential insights for those sending in cold outreach, a common practice among many of our users. In response to this update, we've conducted a thorough investigation and distilled the key points into this concise article. It provides direct instructions to help you remain compliant with Google's latest requirements.

This document specifies the Internet Message Format (IMF), a syntax for text messages that are sent between computer users, within the framework of "electronic mail" messages.

1. Header Fields for Clarity

Google advises using standard fields like "To," "From," and "Subject" for clarity. These fields not only make your emails more easily understood but also align with email industry standards.

2. Making Addresses Look Right

It's essential to check that email addresses are written correctly. Incorrectly formatted addresses can trigger spam filters. Ensure that all email addresses are properly structured and free from typos.

3. Organizing Message Structure

Organizing your emails with a clear structure is essential. A well-organized email is more likely to be recognized as legitimate by email providers.

4. Line Length Limit

To enhance readability, adhere to line length limits:

  • Keep lines in headers and bodies to a maximum of 78 characters.

  • Messages as a whole should not exceed 998 characters per line. Complying with these limits ensures that emails are displayed correctly across various email clients.

5. Using Spaces Right

Google specifies that the carriage return (CR) and line feed (LF) characters should be used together to indicate the end of a line of text. Additionally, the use of spaces and tabs should be carefully applied to format and separate elements within the email.

6. Handling Special Characters

Use special characters correctly to ensure they display properly. Adjust font settings or keyboard layout if needed. Test text on different devices and applications to confirm display consistency.

7. Writing the Date Correctly

To maintain clarity and professionalism in your emails, it's essential to format the date correctly. Following standard date formats ensures that your emails are easy to understand and provides a professional touch.

8. Writing Clear and Informative Subjects

Google emphasizes the importance of writing clear and informative subjects for your emails. A well-crafted subject line not only grabs the recipient's attention but also conveys the purpose of the email upfront.

9. Using Simple and Accessible Email Formatting

It's a good practice to send emails in a way that is accessible to everyone, even if they can't view fancy formatting. This ensures that your message is received and understood by a wider audience, including those with email clients that don't support advanced formatting.

10. Keeping Recipients' Email Addresses Private

When sending emails to a group of recipients who may not know each other, use a special field or feature to keep their email addresses private. This adds an extra layer of privacy and professionalism to your outreach efforts.

11. Clearly Identifying Yourself

At the end of your email, include a brief signature that clearly identifies who you are. This not only adds a personal touch to your communications but also provides recipients with essential contact information.

12. Providing Each Email with a Unique ID

Assign a unique identifier to each email message. This practice aids in tracking and managing emails.


Adhering to Google's comprehensive guidelines for cold outreach and plain text emails is vital for improving email deliverability and ensuring your messages reach the intended recipients. By implementing these recommendations, you can enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns, maintain professionalism, and foster better communication with your audience.

Remember that email deliverability is a critical factor in the success of your outreach efforts, and following these best practices will help you build stronger connections with your target audience while avoiding common pitfalls that lead to emails being flagged as spam.

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