Starting February 1, 2024, Google will implement new requirements for bulk senders, defined as those sending over 5,000 messages daily to Gmail addresses. Yahoo will also introduce new requirements in the first quarter of 2024. This article is a summary of the key elements to give you a better understanding of these news.
While we'll provide key highlights in this article, we recommend reviewing Google's and Yahoo's requirements directly for a comprehensive understanding and to ensure compliance. For more details on Google, click here, and for Yahoo, click here.
What's the purpose?
The ISPs (Inbox Service Providers such as Gmail or Yahoo) have an important task to filter unwanted emails from their recipients’ inboxes. In other words, they need to stop spam emails from reaching the inboxes to ensure a good email service experience for their users.
This is good for you as a serious sender. If the inbox is clean from clutter, your communication will be more visible to the recipients.
What does it mean to you?
In simple terms, the new requirements from Google and Yahoo aim to filter and allow only legitimate communication from trusted senders while blocking malicious communication from spammers. These requirements encompass a mix of technical and strategic measures. The technical aspects involve specific configurations, while the strategic aspects pertain to list hygiene and overall communication strategy.
What should you do as a sender?
This pertains to domain authentication, indicating a setup that enables you to send emails from Voyado's platform and allows Voyado to send emails with your sender domain.
Domain authentication is a “must have” requirement in Engage. This setup is done and verified during the onboarding process. However, due to reasons unrelated to email send-outs, such as system updates, the authentication settings may have been altered at your end. While not very common, it can happen from time to time due to system updates.
To ensure your authentication is in order, we recommend the following:
- Send an email (not a test email) from Engage to your email address.
- Copy the message header.
- Use Google Admin Toolbox to analyze the header.
Here's an example of how to find the message header for Gmail. In the image below, you can see what the result can look like.
Note that accessing message headers varies for different email readers. If you are unsure about viewing the message header in your email reader, please consult with your IT department. You can also try Googling “Find message header for [your email reader]“.
Having DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) setup is essential for maintaining email security and to ensure optimal email deliverability. In fact, having a DMARC setup is a must have requirement from Google from February 1, 2024.
One quick way to check if you have DMARC setup is to use Use Google Admin Toolbox in the same way as described for in the paragraph “SPF/DKIM” above and look for the “DMARC pass” as shown in the image below.
If you have a DMARC pass here, you are good to go. However, if you don’t have a pass here, we strongly recommend that you read through this article about DMARC and ensure that DMARC is setup properly for all your sending domains.
In Google's article, you might encounter terms like “IP addresses,” “List-Unsubscribe-headers,” and “Message formatting.” It’s important to note that Voyado manages and has already implemented these configurations in Engage.
This section focuses on crucial elements of your communication, list management, and user engagement.
Key points from Google's recommendations are summarized below:
- Ensure a clear opt-in process with double opt-in or other types of confirmed opt-in for robust list hygiene.
- Provide a visible opt-out link for an easy recipient experience.
- Implement reactivation processes instead of sending bulk emails to inactive recipients.
- Maintain a spam rate below 0,1%, aiming not to exceed 0,3% (use Google's Postmaster Tools).
While these practices are likely familiar, they remain fundamental for effective email marketing. The overarching principle is to deliver relevant information to actively engaged recipients. Although seemingly straightforward, real-world implementation involves careful consideration of various factors in your email communication. Given the increasing volume of emails, ISPs are taking stricter measures to distinguish between good and bad emails.
In summary, ensure proper sender authentication, DMARC implementation, and adhere to sender best practices according to guidelines.