If you’re doing email marketing or dealing with Marketing Automation, 2024 will be a complex year for you. TD;LR Gmail & Yahoo made new laws that will make it difficult for you to get to your clients' inboxes.
On October 23 Gmail & Yahoo announced that they would fight spam with revised laws. These restrictions are great for the end-client. Better user experience and less spam. But if you’re the sender, it will be harder for you to reach your customer’s inbox.
Why did Gmail & Yahoo do it
The spam ratio is 50%. Every second mail is spam. Sounds like hell. To Google & Yahoo this thing costs a lot of money.
Today end-clients are exposed to fishing or fraud. Now they have had enough.
What's all the fuss about?
Since the changes, both email providers require the senders to maintain a very low spam percentage (below 0.3%). In addition, all emails needs to be fully verified with SPF, DKIM and DMARC.
SPF, DKIM and DMARC
These are protocols whose purpose is to stop spam and fishing by preventing email from being sent on your behalf. In short, they want to know that you are the ones who sent the email and not some Russian agent or Nigerian prince.
What should you do?
If you’re already working properly and by the book, you won’t need to make a lot of changes to meet the new requirements. If you’re questioning it, this is what you need to do:
Make sure the correct setting and verification of the email addresses
Senders will be responsible for configuring DMARC.
DMARC is an authentication protocol that guides mailbox providers on how to handle email that fails DKIM and SPF authentication checks. Authentication failures can indicate that others are trying to impersonate the sender and send email on their behalf.
With the help of DMARC, you can instruct the mail provider what to do with an email sent on your behalf with improper authentication. In addition, senders will need to ensure that the IP addresses they are sending from have PTR records.
For those who still use shared IP addresses – it's time to switch to a personal IP address (and take care of a suitable IP warm-up). For those who remain with a shared address, our recommendation is to constantly make sure that the IP does not appear in spam lists and to check it's reputation regularly (for example with the help of Google Postmaster Tools).
Both providers require adding a one-click unsubscribe option, which should be clearly and visible in the body of the email as a list-unsubscribe header.
The goal is for users to be able to opt out of unsolicited messages easily.
In addition to enabling the one-click removal option, both mailbox providers require senders to honor the removal request within two days. From our point of view, it is better and necessary to respect the requests of recipients for removal as soon as possible.
Send an email that your subscribers want to read
Regardless of the change, this is a basic law in email marketing. Send your customers what they are interested in, but don’t nag. No matter who you are, there is no need to send two emails a day, preferably more than once a day, but that is another topic.
How does this relate to the new? Yahoo and Gmail will also enforce a spam complaint threshold of 0.3% to help reduce spam in their users' inboxes. Senders who exceed this threshold will likely see an increase in blocked emails or emails being sent to the spam folder.
Send in doses – don't nag the customer.
Handle data regularly and remove subscribers who do not open/click for extended periods.
Sign up for Google Postmaster Tools to keep a close eye on your spam complaint rate and Gmail reputation.
Those who already make sure that their email settings are correct and send emails that are relevant to their customers will not suffer from these changes, and may even profit from them. (Those who don't adapt to the changes will free up a lot of space in the client's inbox).
In addition to improving your inbox as a consumer, these changes will allow companies to make their messages more accurate and personalized.
When will the changes come into effect?
Gmail plans to implement its changes starting February 1, 2024, and Yahoo has announced that it plans to implement the changes early 2024. Any email sender who does not meet the upcoming Gmail and Yahoo requirements may see an impact on their email performance on those platforms.
What are the possible effects?
In Google's words
"If you don't meet the requirements described in this article, your email might not be delivered as expected, or marked as spam."
In free translation: "If you don't do this, you will never see our client's email in your life!"
Want to check if you meet all Google and Yahoo requirements?
Contact us and we will perform an initial assessment of your needs without charge