Announced late last year, Google and Yahoo are set to shake up the landscape of global commercial emails. Brace yourselves – starting in February 2024, they’re rolling out mandatory email authentication and other significant policy tweaks, including consent and engagement. Anyone who doesn’t comply will risk seeing their emails delayed, blocked, or tossed into the spam folder. While it may seem like a sudden shift, these changes have long been hailed as standard email deliverability best practices.
Now what’s the real deal with these new requirements?
The spotlight is on two main areas: the technical infrastructure of commercial emails and guidelines on acceptable levels of recipient complaints. But let’s break down the key changes that are about to hit your inbox next month:
- Ensure authentication: secure your emails by configuring DKIM (Domainkey identified mail) and SPF (sending policy framework) protocols, highlighting your identity and responsible infrastructure use.
- Simplify DNS (Domain Name System) configuration: set up a ‘fully qualified reverse DNS’, or ‘forward confirmed reverse DNS’ for your sending domain, connecting it to a recognised sending IP.
- Follow DMARC guidelines: enhance security by having a present and passing DMARC record from your FROM sending domain, aligning with either DKIM or SPF authentication protocols.
- Easy unsubscribe: make opting out hassle-free by including easy unsubscribe options, such as ‘one-click’ and a clear element in the email footer.
- Manage complaint rates: keep an eye on complaint rates to stay within Google’s 0.3% threshold, avoiding potential blocking and ensuring a positive reputation and smooth deliverability.
- Update sender domain: for Gmail users, ensure an active DMARC (domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) record is using ‘gmail.com’ as a commercial or business mail domain. Google’s ‘quarantine’ DMARC policy now filters non-Google account emails to the spam folder.
It may seem like a sudden tech whirlwind, but in essence, these updates are all about giving users what they want and keeping out the stuff they don’t. While they won’t wipe out spam entirely, they’re nudging the digital marketing scene to prioritise secure, valued and trustworthy email practices.
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