A new year brings new sender guidelines! Are you ready?
Google and Yahoo! are launching new requirements for email senders. These updates center on email deliverability best practices. Following these requirements tells webmail providers—and your subscribers—that you’re a legitimate sender.
Have you completed these updates for your 2024 emails? Ensure you’re ready to keep sharing content with Gmail and Yahoo! Mail subscribers. Dive into this article and learn what email maintenance you need to complete soon.
Need help? Campaignium has your back. Reach out for more information on how we can support your email campaigns and help you meet these requirements.
Behind The 2024 Email Authentication Changes
Think about your inbox. Have you received an email that you didn’t sign up for? Or maybe it was a message you weren’t sure was real? No one likes spam or wondering whether they can trust a shady email. The new requirements emphasize email marketing best practices when it comes to deliverability and sender authentication.
The goals of these guidelines include:
- Authenticating outgoing email
- Making it easier for people to unsubscribe
- Reducing spam emails
- Ensuring senders are who they say they are
The short version: They will help people get the emails they want to receive.
Your email list likely includes Gmail and Yahoo! addresses. Not complying with these updates risks your ability to send to these subscribers.
7 Steps for All Senders
Many email platforms will be changing to meet these requirements, too! Ask your vendor how they are meeting the requirements. They may automatically take care of several items on the following list.
1. Set up SPF or DKIM authentication
SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It guards against spammers who may try to impersonate your domain. With an SPF record, legitimate emails (yours) are more likely to get through than fake ones.
DKIM is short for DomainKeys Identified Mail. This protocol is like a unique signature, helping webmail providers identify you.
2. Set up PTR records
Your sending domain or IPs must have valid forward and reverse DNS records.
3. TLS connection
You must use a TLS connection to transmit email. TLS encrypts emails, offering a layer of security.
4. Keep spam rates low
Low spam rates help maintain healthy email deliverability. Higher rates can lead to your emails being classified as spam.
Your spam rate also gives you insight into your content. A lower rate lets you know you’re sending engaging emails to your subscribers.
Your spam rate should always stay well below 0.30%. Senders with spam rates of 0.30% or higher risk being blocked! Ideally, your spam rate should always remain below 0.10%. You can measure your spam rate within your preferred email platform or use Google’s Postmaster Tools.
5. Use Internet Message Format Standard
Your email messages should be the standard Internet Message Format.
6. Don’t use Gmail or Yahoo! “From:” headers
You can no longer use Gmail or Yahoo! “From:” headers. That means you can’t use an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com address as your sending address.
The solution? Get a domain. You must switch to your own website domain, and your “from” email address must match that domain name. New businesses may not have domains yet. If you rely on an @gmail.com friendly “from” address, it’s time to purchase your own domain.
Your emails may land in spam if you continue to use an @gmail.com address as your friendly “from” address.
7. Add ARC headers to forwarded email
If you forward email regularly, you must add ARC headers to outgoing messages. ARC headers show that you forwarded the email, crediting you as the forwarder.
3 More Requirements for Bulk Senders
If you’re a business that sends to more than 5,000 Gmail addresses daily, you have more work to do! Bulk senders must meet additional requirements. However, we recommend all senders complete these measures to align with email deliverability best practices.
1. Set up DMARC email authentication
DMARC is an enhanced security protocol. Setting your DMARC record tells servers what to do with specific messages. Emails that don’t pass SPF or DKIM authentication (AKA the first level of security) go through DMARC authentication.
You’ll need access to your DNS to publish a DMARC record. You will update your DNS Text record with your DMARC policy. Google states that your DMARC policy can be set to “none” and meet the requirements.
You can set the following record tags:
- None – No action. Email is delivered to the recipient.
- Quarantine – Mark the message as spam. Email goes to the recipient’s spam folder.
- Reject – Email bounces.
DMARC has the potential to affect email deliverability. It’s best to choose a window outside of prime sale or send times for testing.
2. Your “From:” header must match your domain
Does your “From:” email address align with your website domain?
When emailing subscribers, your listed “From:” email address must match your SPF or DKIM domain. Whether an email passes or fails DMARC authentication relies on its “From:” header matching your sending domain.
Let’s say your branded website domain is examplewebsite.com. Your “From:” address could be [email protected]. It matches your domain and meets the requirement!
3. Implement a one-click unsubscribe
Including an unsubscribe link in the body of your message is best practice when sending marketing emails. You must give people a way to opt out of your emails.
Many senders place unsubscribe messages and links in the footer of their emails. This practice won’t change. It’s still a must!
Google is taking unsubscribes one step further. All emails must have a one-click unsubscribe option, too. Some email platforms are handling the one-click unsubscribe feature for their customers. Check with your email vendor; you may not have to worry about this one!
When Will These Requirements Be Enforced?
Google will enforce these guidelines on February 1, 2024. Yahoo! has also announced it’s launching its standards in early February.
While these changes are approaching quickly, you’re not alone in this. We’re all adjusting how we send email! 2024 will be the year of less spam in our inboxes.
Where Should You Start?
Your first step is to check with your email provider (e.g., Campaign Monitor, HubSpot, Klaviyo, Mailchimp). How are they supporting you in light of these guidelines? Many platforms are assisting their customers with some of the new standards. Once you know how they will help, you can cross those items off your list.
Your second step? Contact Campaignium. We’re happy to chat with you about these upcoming changes. We’ll help you meet the guidelines so your emails send smoothly all year long.
TL;DR: Email Sender Preparation Checklist
Use this checklist to implement the new sender requirements outlined by Google and Yahoo! The requirements become official on February 1, 2024.
- Maintain low spam rate
- Add unsubscribe text and link in email messages
- Use TLS connection
- Format emails for Internet Messaging Format standard (check with email platform)
- Set up valid forward and reverse DNS records (check with email platform)
- Set up SPF or DKIM authentication (check with email platform)
- Add ARC headers to forwarded emails
- Match “From:” headers with branded domain name
- Set up DMARC authentication
- Implement a “one-click” subscribe (check with email platform)
- Reach out to Campaignium