Google and Yahoo Email Changes: Email Marketing in 2024

6 min to read

Email marketing has a new wrinkle. Beginning this month in February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo are introducing stricter measures for bulk email. These updates aim to improve user experience, combat spam, and enhance email security.

As an email marketer, you need to be aware of these changes to make sure your email campaigns reach their target audience and maintain deliverability. Let’s take a look at the key changes and how you can prepare.

Table of Contents:

Bulk Email Gets a Revamp

Both Gmail and Yahoo are implementing stricter regulations for bulk email senders. This primarily affects those sending thousands of messages daily (5,000 per day in Gmail’s case), but even smaller senders will see some impact. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Authentication becomes mandatory: Google and Yahoo now require email authentication using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for all bulk senders. These protocols verify the legitimacy of your emails, preventing spoofing and protecting users from phishing attempts.
  • One-click unsubscribe is required: Both platforms require a clear and easy one-click unsubscribe option in your emails. This streamlines the process for users who no longer want to receive your messages and helps maintain your sender reputation. (Note: The deadline for Yahoo’s one-click unsubscribe implementation has been extended to June 2024).
  • Mind your spam rate: Google requires you to keep spam rates reported in Postmaster Tools below 0.10% and avoid ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. Yahoo enforces a 0.30% limit. Exceeding these thresholds could result in your emails landing in spam folders or being blocked altogether.





What Are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

The new requirements emphasize email security through authentication protocols:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This protocol authorizes the servers allowed to send emails from your domain, preventing unauthorized senders from impersonating you.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): This protocol attaches a digital signature to your emails, verifying their authenticity and preventing tampering during transit.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance): This protocol builds upon SPF and DKIM, defining how email receivers handle emails that fail authentication. It also provides valuable reporting data about your email traffic.

How to Implement SPF, DKIM & DMARC

Implementing SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) can significantly enhance the security of your email campaigns and improve deliverability. Below is a step-by-step guide for implementing these protocols:




1. SPF (Sender Policy Framework):

Step 1: Access your DNS Records:

  • Log in to your domain hosting provider or DNS management platform.
  • Locate the DNS settings or DNS management section.

Step 2: Add SPF Record:

  • Create a new TXT record.
  • Enter your SPF record, which typically looks like:

v=spf1 include:_spf.example.com ~all

Replace “example.com” with your domain.

Step 3: Verify and Publish:

  • Save the changes.
  • Allow some time for DNS propagation.

2. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail):

Step 1: Generate DKIM Key Pair:

  • Use your email platform or a DKIM key generator to create a public and private key pair.

Step 2: Add DKIM Record to DNS:

  • Create a new TXT record in your DNS settings.
  • Enter the DKIM record, including the public key, selector, and version information. It looks something like this:


Step 3: Configure Your Email Platform:

  • Add the generated DKIM key to your email sending configuration.

Step 4: Verify DKIM Setup:

  • Send a test email and use DKIM verification tools to confirm correct implementation.

3. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance):

Step 1: Set Up SPF and DKIM:

  • Ensure that both SPF and DKIM are correctly configured as DMARC builds on these protocols.

Step 2: Create DMARC Record:

  • Add a new TXT record to your DNS settings:

v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; fo=1

  • “p” defines the DMARC policy. It can be “none,” “quarantine,” or “reject.”
  • “rua” specifies the email address to receive aggregate reports.
  • “ruf” designates the email address for forensic reports.

Step 3: Gradual Implementation:

  • Initially, set the DMARC policy to “none” to monitor without affecting the delivery.
  • Once confident in the configuration, adjust the policy to “quarantine” or “reject.”

Step 4: Monitor and Analyze Reports:

  • Regularly review DMARC reports to identify unauthorized senders and potential issues.

Additional Tips:

Check Syntax:

  • Ensure the correct syntax and formatting of your records.

  Use Online Tools:

  • Utilize online SPF, DKIM, and DMARC record checkers to verify your configurations.

Engage IT or DNS Administrator:

  • If unfamiliar with DNS settings, involve your IT department or DNS administrator for seamless implementation.

More Ways to Keep Your Email Marketing Compliant

Here are some additional tips to ensure your email marketing stays compliant:

  • Monitor your email reputation: Use tools like Google Postmaster Tools and Yahoo Mail Postmaster to track your sender reputation and spam rates.
  • Segment your audience: Tailor your emails to specific segments based on interests and engagement levels. This reduces the risk of users marking your emails as spam.
  • Clean your email lists regularly: Remove inactive subscribers and invalid addresses to maintain list hygiene and improve deliverability.

Keep your content relevant and valuable: Provide engaging content that resonates with your audience, reducing the likelihood of them unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam.

Finally, Use a Custom Domain with Proper DNS Configuration

Sending emails from a custom domain (e.g., yourcompany.com) with proper DNS configuration adds legitimacy and increases trust with recipients. It also helps you avoid potential deliverability issues associated with free email providers.

Contact Us for Your Brand’s Email Marketing

While the new email sender requirements might seem like an inconvenience, they ultimately benefit both senders and recipients. By implementing these changes, you can make sure your email marketing campaigns stay effective, secure, and compliant, ultimately improving the relationship with your audience.

If you are looking to start an email marketing campaign, contact COLAB Los Angeles today—we’d love to hear what you have in mind!

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