Troubleshooting Google Groups channels


From time to time, it is possible you may experience issues or sending errors related to your Google Groups channels. In this article, we will explore the most common issues and provide information on how to address them.

When inbound messages are not received

When inbound messages that you expect to be forwarded to your shared inboxes do not arrive in your Front environment, we recommend trying the following solutions:

Search in Front

It's possible the message was received successfully; but immediately archived, assigned, trashed, or moved by a rule you weren't expecting to be applied. Check your spam and trash folders by navigating to those tabs of your shared inboxes, next to the Archived and Snoozed sections. By default, search results do not include trash or spam. Consider using advanced filters if you are unable to find the message through regular keyword search. Advanced filters can help to refine your search.

Check the group moderation queue in your Google Workspace

When an email is sent to a Google Group, Google automatically checks if the email is spam. If Google thinks it might be spam, it will put the email in a special section called the moderation queue. This queue is a holding area where the email waits until someone approves it.

If you are the owner of the group, you will need to review the emails in the moderation queue and decide whether or not it should be sent to the rest of the group. If you approve it, the email will be delivered to the group and thus forwarded to Front.

You can find the instructions to view the moderation queue and approve a message by visiting Google's help article titled Approve or block new messages and scrolling down to the section called Approve or reject pending messages. If you notice that legitimate emails are being marked as spam and sent to the moderation queue, follow the steps provided in Google's help article titled Legitimate mail to a group is marked as spam.

Search the group email log in your Google Workspace

If the missing email isn't in the moderation queue, the next step is to search the email log for the Google Group. You will need to be a Google Workspace administrator to access the Google email log search. Instructions here: Find messages with Email Log Search.

After you enter the sender and recipient information and click Search, the search results page will display any matching email logs in a table.

  • If the email is found, click on the subject for further details. In the message details section, you'll find basic details. To view full details, expand the recipient details section by clicking the arrow next to your group email address.
    • If the Sent to group members detail is present, but the message is not in your Front shared inbox, copy the Message ID from the group email log and send it to Front Support.
    • If the Sent to group members detail is missing, contact Google support for assistance in understanding the log and why the email failed.
  • If the email is not found in the logs, it likely did not reach your Google Group or Front. Consider contacting Google support for more information and working with the recipient’s IT team.

When outbound messages bounce

When your outbound messages sent from an SMTP channel in Front bounce because the address is on a suppression list, we recommend trying the following solutions:

Set up your SPF/DKIM entries in your DNS

DNS records are a crucial aspect of email deliverability because they provide information about the sender's domain and help email providers verify the authenticity of the sender. When DNS records are not updated, it can result in email deliverability issues, such as emails getting marked as spam or not being delivered at all. This is a key step you must set up.

Updating DNS records ensures that email providers can verify that the email is indeed coming from a trusted source, reducing the chances of the email being flagged as spam or being blocked entirely. It also helps to improve the overall reputation of the sender's domain, which can increase the chances of future emails being delivered successfully. Directions on how to do this in Front can be found here: Deliverability settings and SPF/DKIM.

Remove the address from the suppression list and resend

You can find detailed steps for this here.

Reach out through a different channel 

If you remove an address from the suppression list and get a bounce error again within 6 months, you'll see an error message if you try to remove the address. This is because repeatedly removing the block and trying to send again defeats the purpose of a suppression list and will reduce your sending reputation.  It also indicates that an issue persists with that recipient. If this happens, we recommend reaching out to the recipient through a different channel of communication to determine the reason for the block.

There can be many specific reasons that your recipient is on the suppression list, but they're all related to errors received when communicating with the recipient's mail server. For example:

  • Your team is sending too many emails to a single domain.
  • The domain's email server is down.
  • The recipient's inbox is full/over-quota.
  • The content sent is detected as spam.
  • Attachments are too large for the recipient's email server.

More details can be found here: What is the Email Suppression List?

Google Groups vs. full GSuite accounts

Google Groups connected as SMTP channels rely on forwarding to receive inbound messages, and using Sendgrid’s servers to send outbound messages. On the other hand, full Google accounts with a login that are connected as Gmail channels in Front rely on Gmail APIs to send and receive messages.

Inbound messages

The most common implementation for an SMTP forwarding channel is to accept everything, other than outright spam. Both Google Groups and GSuite accounts achieve this comparably.

Outbound messages

Gmail accounts are not subject to suppression list issues. Front maintains a suppression list only for our generic SMTP forwarding email channels. With Gmail accounts, there may still be instances of mail rejection by recipients, albeit less frequently and not due to a suppression list. When outbound mail passes through your Gmail mail server, you also have the choice to enforce any organizational mail policies on it, such as halting the sending of emails based on attachment sizes, etc.

Maintenance & costs