What You Need to Know About the New Sending Requirements for Email

new sending requirements for email

Privacy Protections Ramp Up Soon for Google, Yahoo

It’s a pain common for just about everyone: email inbox maintenance. Whether it’s cleaning out that work inbox after a vacation, or simply cleansing your personal version of spam and unwanted promotional offers, everyone knows the tedious drudgery of discarding unwanted email. However, major email providers are promising to make this easier in the near future with new sending requirements for email.

Both Google and Yahoo have outlined and announced their plans to begin enforcing new standards, effective Feb. 1, 2024. These new standards include three important facets:

  • Google and Yahoo will require all senders to authenticate their emails.
  • Recipients must be able to unsubscribe from bulk mailings with ease, and senders must process and honor those unsubscribe requests within two days.
  • Google has promised to establish a clear spam threshold of 0.3% in order to maintain access to Google inboxes.

This sounds like good news for consumers. But what about businesses that rely on email outreach as part of their content marketing strategy? Here we’ll detail the new sending requirements for email and help alleviate the concerns that the intimidating language may create for companies that rely on email marketing to fuel their B2B efforts.

Why are There New Sending Requirements for Email?

Constantly evaluating the validity of the emails in your inbox means unnecessarily wasting resources, potentially missing important content and information, and continually worrying about putting your infrastructure at risk. Inboxes today are often under siege from spam and abuse, including potential phishing and malware attacks.

Google and Yahoo are trying to find a balance between unauthorized and legitimate email by improving their systems to further protect their users. What does this mean for you and your marketing efforts?

  1. Don’t stress. These new requirements have mirrored the best practices for sending email that were established years ago. If you’ve been following them before, your adjustments moving forward will be minimal.
  2. Adjusting to these new standards now will help ensure you’re prepared when more major email providers (Microsoft/Outlook) follow suit.
  3. You should make note of the requirements because your audience will have Gmail and Yahoo email addresses—including additional domains that may be hard to identify, like those using Google Workspace for custom domains.
  4. Senders who fail to meet these requirements will see their emails delayed, blocked, or directed to spam.

Now let’s look closer at each of the new requirements.

Email Authentication

Email providers use a series of authentication methods to confirm anyone sending an email is an authorized sender. Like a digital fingerprint, these methods make it safer to send and receive emails. Moving forward, all senders are required to verify their sender identity with standard protocols:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
  • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail)
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance)

Unauthenticated emails may be marked as spam or bounced with a 5.7.26 error.

Together, DMARC, DKIM, and SPF function like a background check on email senders, to make sure they really are who they say they are. You want to tell compelling stories with your email content and nurture the customer journey; Email authentication ensures those stories make it to the inbox.

While this is jargon-filled and sounds like a tech-heavy lift, it doesn’t have to be. Most of these new records can be set-up in less than 30 minutes. You won’t even need your IT department if you have access to your domain registrar. Of course, a trusted marketing partner can walk you through the process and provide critical integration support with your CRM.

Easier Unsubscribing Process

Email senders will now be required to make unsubscribing as easy as possible. If people don’t want your emails anymore, it shouldn’t require a convoluted process or a long wait. You’re trying to attract people to your business and the solutions you offer; you don’t want to be a nuisance.

While unsubscribe links have been a legal requirement for more than 20 years, one-click unsubscribe functionality is a new addition. Senders must process and honor these requests within two days—a potential concern for those who use multiple tools or vendors to send bulk email.

Working with your marketing team to develop a simple unsubscribe process will be critical. A one-click option in the header of the email is expected to become an accepted method moving forward.

Watch that Spam Rate

Google has established a ‘clear spam rate threshold’ of 0.3% that senders must stay below to ensure they continue to enjoy unfettered access to Gmail inboxes. Yahoo, as well, has indicated it will enforce spam threshold compliance. Failure to meet this standard will lead to delivery issues such as delays, bounces, or filing your email into spam folders.

The positive here is this isn’t new. Google and Yahoo have always had a spam rate threshold and violating it has typically led to restricted email delivery. If you work with a CRM platform, spam rates are one of the many tracking metrics used to gauge your email health. Spam rate, for instance, has always been a major consideration in HubSpot’s best email practices.

Getting explicit consent from contacts before sending them emails will help senders maintain a low spam rate (0.1%) that ensures their emails are successfully delivered to mailboxes.

Don’t Sweat New Sending Requirements for Email With NgageContent

At NgageContent, we put our team of experts to work for you to drive your inbound marketing efforts. From delivering consistent, high-quality SEO content to developing lead generation and marketing campaigns and implementing HubSpot to fuel your email plans, we help you speak to your audience and nurture potential customers along their journey. We’ll help you navigate the new sending requirements for email with our technical expertise across a variety of email management platforms and keep you aligned with the latest developments and best practices.

Don’t let new email standards catch your organization unprepared. Connect with our team now to adjust to the environment and start 2024 with peace of mind.

Jason Arkley

Jason Arkley

Jason Arkley is Senior Content Manager at NgageContent. As a content-focused former journalist, he is absorbed in telling and highlighting the stories and themes that connect us.

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