Beginning in February of 2024, Google and Yahoo will implement new requirements for bulk email senders. If your organization sends out more than 5,000 emails to Gmail addresses in one day, you will be affected.
The main focus areas of the new regulations are:
- Authentication of outgoing emails. This involves three interacting mechanisms:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – helps to prevent domain spoofing by providing a means for senders to identify the email servers that are approved to send emails from their domain.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – attaches a digital signature to outgoing emails to verify the sender’s authorization and confirm that there was no tampering with the email on its route to the recipient.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) – this providers email senders a means to specify the actions to be taken if an email fails authentication, as well as providing reporting on email authentication results.
- Reported spam rates. Google requires a reported spam rate of below 0.10%, and a sender should avoid reaching 0.30% or higher at any time. It’s easy for a recipient to report an email as spam, and that generally depends on the value the recipient places on an email. This is not always dependent on the sender. To get around having authentic emails flagged as spam, there are a couple of suggested strategies:
- Pay attention to send times. Avoid sending at the top or bottom of the hour, when most bulk emails are sent.
- Allow recipients a means to set up email preferences, such as frequency of emails, choice of products and categories included in email messages.
- Easy-to-use unsubscribe function. Google requires a one-step unsubscribe function, so this should already be a part of any bulk email message.
If you regularly send out bulk emails but cannot confirm that your organization meets all of these requirements, you need to take quick action. Also, it is important to understand that the new requirements apply at the domain level, meaning that they include all emails sent out from the organization, not just marketing.