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:
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:
- Someone enters information in the contact form (A), then submits the form.
- The contact form automatically creates and sends an email message, which passes through Google email servers (B).
- Before delivering the message, Gmail scans it to make sure it’s not spam, and doesn’t contain harmful software.
- Gmail delivers the message to the account that you set up to get contact form messages (C).
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:
- SPF, go to Step 2a: Update your SPF record to include all email senders.
- SMTP relay, go to Step 2b: Verify your SMTP credentials at your provider.
In these steps, we’ve included a list of the most common contact forms providers, with links to their help documentation.
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 by adding a DNS TXT record at your domain provider.
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.
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.
Supports these senders
Supports messages sent from Google Workspace only.
Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and Zendesk.
Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and GoDaddy.
Supports messages sent from Google Workspace and Shopify.
Verify your SPF record includes all senders
Providers that use SPF for authentication
Below, we’ve provided links to SPF help information for some common contact form providers.
- Shopify: Shopify recommends using Wufoo for contact forms on your website.
- WordPress recommends using one of the following services for contact forms on your website:
If you’re still having issues
If you’re still having SPF record issues, contact your website or form 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.
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.
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