In April 2024, Google and Yahoo will start enforcing new email sender guidelines. These changes are focused on “bulk senders,” defined as those that send more than 5,000 emails in one day. However, this isn’t a one-time event, and you aren’t necessarily safe just because you don’t currently send enough email to meet the definition.
If you want your emails to hit your recipient’s inboxes, it’s time to prepare or face the consequences.
This move is a big shake-up that signals a permanent shift in how providers approach email best practices. Google and Yahoo currently account for nearly 50 percent of all email recipients globally. They are breaking new ground and setting a high bar with these new requirements. And, as other providers follow suit, these types of changes are likely to become standard practice for all email in the future.
Below, let’s talk about how you can protect yourself—and your potential clients—and keep your email marketing on track.
What Do I Need to Do to Meet the New Email Standards in 2024?
Google and Yahoo are making this groundbreaking move with hopes of significantly reducing spam and email scams that put their users at risk. So, even if you currently follow best practices regarding the content of your emails and subject lines, you may still have issues behind the scenes that will impact whether your emails are delivered to inboxes or flagged as spam.
If you’re already on top of the other aspects of your email health, here are the three major things you’ll need to do to meet the new requirements:
1. Authenticate your emails to protect yourself and your recipients.
“Email authentication” is what we call the set of techniques used to verify that the sender of an email is who they claim to be. It helps to protect email users from spam, scams, and other abuses, and it shows that you are a legitimate sender from a verifiable domain. It also helps to protect your business by preventing spammers from sending unauthorized emails that appear to be from you.
The new standards put a strong focus on stringent email authentication using protocols like SPF (sets an “allow list” of servers that can send email from your domain), DKIM (verifies that you—the domain owner—sent the email), and DMARC (helps identify senders that may be attempting to impersonate you).
2. Make it easy to subscribe and unsubscribe.
Sending unwanted emails to your contact list is a surefire way to rack up complaints and get marked as spam, so you always want to make sure that your contacts have opted into receiving your messages. You also want to confirm your recipients’ email addresses and periodically confirm that they’d like to remain subscribed to your emails. This helps you to make sure that you’re sending wanted emails to people that are happy to engage with you.
Similarly, you need to make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe if they’d prefer to no longer receive your emails. To meet the new standards, you’ll need to have a one-click unsubscribe option that is clear in your messages. And, once someone clicks to unsubscribe, they should be removed from your list within two days.
If you notice that some opted-in recipients aren’t opening or reading your messages over time, it may also be wise to go ahead and unsubscribe them from your email list.
Learn more about the best practices for maintaining your email contact list.
3. Stay under the complaint threshold.
As part of the upcoming changes, Google and Yahoo have given senders a clear complaint-rate threshold. If your complaint rate is greater than 0.3 percent (as Google measures it), your emails will be blocked outright as spam. However, you’ll likely start having trouble with deliverability and email reputation long before you exceed the new threshold, and Google recommends keeping it below 0.1 percent to be safe.
Google has also stated that maintaining a low complaint rate over time can give senders more “resilience” when there are occasional spikes in complaints. However, if you’re always pushing the edge of the complaint threshold, you’re much more likely to be classified as spam when there’s a spike in complaints.
What Happens If I Fail to Meet the New Email Standards Before April 2024?
These changes really just reaffirm what should already be routine email hygiene for any business or bulk sender. However, in reality, there are still a ton of law firms and podiatry practices sending emails that don’t meet these standards—and they may not even know they’re at risk.
If you fail to meet these new standards by the enforcement date, the penalties may include limiting your sending rates, blocking your messages, or flagging your emails as spam. And, if you do get flagged under the new standards, it can be a long road to get back into providers’ good graces.
FWM Clients Using Our CRM Are Already Protected From 2024’s Bulk Email Changes
If you’re an FWM client that uses our CRM, this is where you can relax. We already have you covered! The email delivery analysis service provided as a part of our DSS Marketing Suite doesn’t just ensure compliance with these protocols; it also enhances your email deliverability and reputation and allows you to track it in real-time.
Our service tests your email's placement across major providers (like Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Office 365). We incorporate DKIM, SPF, and DMARC implementation, validation, and testing to ensure your emails have the proper digital signatures and are from a verified and validated source. Each time you send a test email, you receive an email delivery report that helps you get every email into your potential clients’ inboxes, not into their spam folders.
But that's not all! Our spam score analysis, based on advanced algorithms, offers insights that help you refine your email content, align with best practices, and avoid spam filters before you ever schedule or send your email marketing campaigns.
If you're an FWM client, but you don't yet use the CRM in DSS, please reach out to your account representative or give us a call at 888.886.0939 to find out if your current solutions are in compliance and what your options are for protecting yourself as these changes roll out.
2024’s email changes are a big deal, and adapting to these changes is crucial for your email marketing's effectiveness. With FWM and DSS, you're not just compliant; you're ahead of the curve.
What to Do If You’re Not an FWM Client and Need Help Meeting These New Standards
If you’re not an FWM client, this change in email requirements is a good opportunity to audit your current systems and policies and make improvements—but keep in mind that you don’t have much time to do it.
Google and Yahoo have already pushed back the enforcement of these standards from February to April 2024, and you’ll need to be in compliance before that time to avoid taking any hits to your email reputation.
Not sure where to start or what to look for? We can help. Book an appointment with our team to review your current email reputation and options for getting up to speed.
New Email Standards Are Coming! Prepare Now or Face the Consequences.
Google and Yahoo aren’t just trying to make life hard for legitimate business owners and marketers. Instead, this is about making a strong move to cement past “recommendations” into clear requirements for email senders, raise the bar in the email marketing industry, and deliver a better experience for all users.
The transition may be painful for businesses that aren’t prepared, but it will ultimately mean a safer experience with fewer spam emails and more of the emails your potential clients want to see.
Worried about your email marketing in 2024? Want to work with a team of experts to get back on track? We encourage you to reach out to us at 888.886.0939 or book an appointment.
But don’t wait too long! You need to be ready by April 2024, and time is running out fast.