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Google and Yahoo’s New 2024 Email Sender Guidelines: Everything to Know

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What are Google’s new email sender guidelines?

Google and Yahoo’s new guidelines require all bulk emails to meet standards for email authentication, spam reporting, and easy unsubscribing. Many marketers will already meet these standards, but may have to coordinate with their sales teams.

You might be reading this blog post because you’ve heard about the new Google and Yahoo email guidelines, and you’re wondering what it’s all about. Or, maybe this is the first you’re hearing of them. Either way, you’re undoubtedly looking for some answers, and we’ve got them for you.

On this page, we’ll cover the following:

Keep reading to learn more. Then, be sure to subscribe to Revenue Weekly, our email newsletter, for more helpful marketing content like this!

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What are the 2024 email sender guidelines?

Near the end of 2023, Google and Yahoo announced that they created new email guidelines — and by guidelines, we really mean regulations — that will become effective in February 2024.

These guidelines are a set of new requirements for bulk email senders. In this instance, bulk email senders are defined as businesses that send over 5000 emails per day to Gmail or Yahoo email addresses. If that’s you, you’ll want to know these guidelines.

There are three core requirements going into effect:

  1. Email authentication
  2. Easy unsubscribe
  3. Spam reporting

We’ll discuss each of those in more detail below.

1. Email authentication

The first requirement in the new Gmail email guidelines is email authentication. This means that bulk email senders will need to be authenticated to avoid loopholes that bots and hackers might otherwise exploit.

The details of this authentication are a bit technical, but here are the main factors that go into it:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): The SPF is a mechanism that lets email senders specify which email servers are permitted to send emails from their domain.
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM): The DKIM system automatically adds a digital signature to each email that gets sent out. This ensures that the emails were indeed sent out by a verified sender.
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC): DMARC allows domain owners to decide what should happen if an email fails the authentication test. As part of that, it also lets them see reports on email authentication.

If you’re a bulk email sender, make sure you have all of these systems up and running. They’re required as of February 1, 2024.

2. Easy unsubscribe

The next requirement is a lot less technical than the first one. It simply states that bulk email senders must provide an easy-to-find, one-click unsubscribe option in each email. The phrase “one-click” is significant here — don’t force users to walk through a series of steps before they can unsubscribe.

Of all the new Google and Yahoo email guidelines, this should be the easiest one to follow. In fact, you should already have this in place in your bulk emails. There’s no benefit to preventing people from unsubscribing — all you’re doing is making enemies of your company.

If someone wants to unsubscribe, make it as easy on them as you can.

3. Spam reporting

Thirdly and finally, Google now requires each email sender to keep their spam report rates below a certain threshold. If more than 0.30% of your email recipients report your emails as spam, you’re in trouble.

Unlike the other requirements, you don’t have full control over this one. In theory, even a perfectly acceptable email could still get reported as spam — it’s entirely down to the discretion of the users. That said, you can certainly take steps to discourage users from reporting your emails.

One way to do that is to create more compelling, useful emails that aren’t as likely to push people away. You can also think about when you send out your emails — your audience is probably more receptive to them at certain times than others. Finally, be sure you’re not sending out bulk emails too frequently and getting on people’s nerves!

Why the new Google and Yahoo email guidelines?

Now that we’ve covered what the Gmail email guidelines are, let’s talk about why they were created.

Ultimately, the main goal of these regulations is to crack down on spam. Spam emails have always been a problem, but that problem has only grown over the years. These requirements make it significantly harder for spammers to reach a lot of people at once.

Of course, Google also has a personal stake in the matter — Gmail is a revenue source for the company, and Google wants to encourage people to keep using it. This is one way to make Gmail more appealing compared to other email platforms that may still be perceived as more vulnerable to spam tactics.

What is the impact on marketers and other bulk email senders?

Now we come to the big question: How will this impact you? Are these new guidelines something you should be worried about?

To a large extent, that depends on your email marketing’s current state. Many marketers already adhere to these guidelines, so they don’t have to change anything. If that’s you, great! If you’re not currently meeting any of these guidelines, be sure to fix that.

Of course, you don’t just have to worry about your marketing emails. Bear in mind that these regulations apply to your whole company. Even if your marketing emails are fine, you could still get slapped with a penalty because of problems with other emails your company sends out, such as your sales emails.

For that reason, don’t limit this information to your marketing team. Get the word out and make sure all the customer-facing teams at your business follow the new email sender guidelines.

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Managing your email marketing campaigns can be a lot of work — potentially even more so with these new 2024 email sender guidelines. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

When you partner with WebFX for our email marketing services, you’ll get help putting together emails that convert, as well as keeping tabs on their performance and continuing to optimize for bigger and better results as time goes on. You’ll also get to experience working with our top-notch team to expand your marketing success.

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