Troubleshoot Gmail issues with contact forms

If you’re having issues with Gmail not receiving contact form messages from third-party websites, try the solutions in this article. This article has troubleshooting information for common issues with contact forms, including:  

  • Gmail isn’t getting expected messages from contact forms.
  • Valid messages from your website contact form are sent to spam or rejected, including messages sent from these contact form providers:
    • GoDaddy
    • Zendesk
    • Squarespace
    • Shopify
Google doesn’t support issues with third-party services or providers. If you can't resolve contact form message issues by following the steps in this article, contact your form provider for help.

How contact forms send messages to Gmail 

Websites often include a Contact us form that automatically sends an email message when someone submits information in the form. If your website has a contact form, the messages are typically sent to a Google Workspace Gmail account that you set up for this purpose. 

Here’s how a website contact form sends messages to a Gmail mailbox:

  1. Someone enters information in the contact form (A), then submits the form.
  2. The contact form automatically creates and sends an email message, which passes through Google email servers (B).
  3. Before delivering the message, Gmail scans it to make sure it’s not spam, and doesn’t contain harmful software.
  4. Gmail delivers the message to the account that you set up to get contact form messages (C).

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Contact form messages are sent to spam or rejected

Sometimes, Gmail marks contact form messages as spam, or rejects the messages. Often, the root cause of this issue is how the contact form provider authenticates email. Contact form messages are typically authenticated with either SPF or SMTP relay.

Take these steps to identify and troubleshoot the authentication method for your form messages:

Step 1: Check if your provider uses SPF or SMTP relay

Contact your form provider to find out what authentication method they use for contact form messages. Most providers use either SPF or SMTP relay to authenticate these messages.

If your provider uses:

In these steps, we’ve included a list of the most common contact forms providers, with links to their help documentation.

Step 2a: Update your SPF record to include all email senders

SPF is an email authentication method that specifies the domains and IP addresses that are allowed to send email for you. When servers get messages that appear to be from your domain, they check your SPF record to verify that the sender is authorized by you.

This video explains how SPF records work:

Set up SPF

Set up SPF by adding a DNS TXT record at your domain provider.

Add third-party senders to your SPF record

When you send email using only your Workspace Gmail account, you can use the default SPF record for Google:

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

However, when other services send email for your domain, you must update your SPF record to include these senders. If you don’t, messages from these senders are more likely to be marked as spam. A contact form that automatically sends messages is an email sender for your domain. You must update your SPF record to include the IP address or the domain for the contact form provider.

If your SPF record doesn’t include all third-party senders for your domain, update your record to include those senders. For detailed steps, visit Define your SPF record—Basic setup.

Google doesn’t support issues with third-party services or providers. If you need help with updating your SPF record, contact your domain provider.

Example SPF records for common third-party senders

These are some examples of how Google Workspace SPF records are updated for some common providers.

Important: Providers may change their SPF requirements at any time. Always refer to your provider’s current support information for the latest IP addresses or domains to include in your SPF record. 

Use the SPF include: mechanism, as shown in these examples, to add email senders to your default SPF record. 

SPF record

Supports these senders

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

Supports messages sent from Google Workspace only.

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:mail.zendesk.com ~all

Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and Zendesk.

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:secureserver.net ~all

Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and GoDaddy.

v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:shops.shopify.com ~all

Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and Shopify.

Verify your SPF record includes all senders

Use the Google Admin Toolbox to check your SPF record, and verify that it includes all third-party senders for your domain. For detailed steps, visit Check if you have an existing SPF record

Providers that use SPF for authentication

Below, we’ve provided links to SPF help information for some common contact form providers. 

If you’re still having issues

If you’re still having SPF record issues, contact your website or form provider.

Step 2b: Verify your SMTP password at your provider

Some email senders use SMTP to authenticate outgoing messages. Senders verify their identity by logging into the SMTP server with a username and password. This helps ensure that only valid senders use the SMTP server to send messages.

Check your SMTP username and password

If your provider uses SMTP to send and authenticate contact form messages, make sure your login information for the SMTP server is correct. Check your username and password at your website or form provider, not in your Google Admin console.

Google doesn’t support issues with third-party services or providers. If you need help with checking or updating your SMTP credentials, contact your form provider.

Providers that use SMTP for authentication

We’ve provided links to the SMTP help information for some common contact form providers:

  • Shopify: Shopify recommends using Jotform for contact forms using SMTP relay.
  • WPForms using SMTP relay method

Step 3: Use Email Log Search to find missing messages

Email Log Search (ELS) helps you find messages that you’re expecting, but weren’t delivered as expected. If you can’t find messages from your contact form in Gmail, use ELS to search for them. 

For detailed steps about using ELS to find missing messages, visit Track message delivery with Email Log Search.

If you find a missing message in ELS, review the message status to get more information about why the message wasn’t delivered as expected. For detailed message status descriptions, visit Interpret Email Log Search results.

DMARC error message in ELS

If ELS results include the following error, it’s possible that your SPF record doesn’t include all email senders for your domain

550-5.7.26 Unauthenticated email from domain-name is not accepted due 550-5.7.26 to domain-name’s DMARC policy 

SMTP error messages in ELS

Sometimes ELS results include SMTP error messages. For error message descriptions that might help you identify the problem, visit SMTP error reference.  

Related topics

Identify your domain host


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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