New Google and Yahoo Email Requirements Coming February 2024


email security illustration

January 16, 2024

We’re only a few weeks into 2024 and already seeing significant changes to email marketing! Google and Yahoo are implementing authentication requirements and spam prevention updates, which will take effect in February 2024.
 
As a business, it’s crucial to keep up with the latest standards and ensure seamless communication with your audience. Let's delve into the key insights and recommendations for navigating these changes successfully. 

Google's Email Requirements

Google announced in October 2023 that it's spearheading efforts to enhance email security and user experience with the following requirements:

Email Authentication Mandate

Google will require senders to set up DKIM email authentication and a basic DMARC record. This is aimed at improving email deliverability, building trust, and optimizing sender reputation.

Transition to Your Own Domain

Aligning with upcoming changes, Google advises discontinuing the use of @gmail.com addresses and transitioning to a domain you own. This ensures seamless authentication and compliance with evolving standards.

Keep Spam Complaints Below Threshold

Google is enforcing a spam rate threshold requirement. According to Google’s email sender guidelines, keep spam rates below 0.10% below a specified threshold and avoid reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher to maintain a positive sender reputation.

Yahoo's Email Requirements

Like Google, Yahoo shared a Postmaster's update that it's taking significant steps to improve the quality of emails users receive and fight abuse with the following requirements:

Email Authentication Mandate

Yahoo urges senders to implement stronger email authentication using industry standards such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. This ensures the verification of the email sender’s identity.

One-Click Unsubscribe

Yahoo requires senders to support one-click unsubscribe, allowing users to easily opt out of unwanted emails. This aligns with their mission to improve the quality of emails users receive and fight abuse.

Keep Spam Complaints Below Threshold

Similar to Google, Yahoo is enforcing spam rate threshold requirements. Maintaining spam complaints below a specified threshold is crucial for ensuring users enjoy a spam-free mailbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google’s and Yahoo’s latest updates have created a lot of questions for businesses. Here are some of the most common ones to help you understand what steps to take next:

Who’s affected by these updates?

These changes impact all senders, with bulk senders experiencing a more noticeable impact on deliverability.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

Google and Yahoo may block emails that don't meet their requirements, leading to potential long-term consequences on deliverability and customer engagement.

Should low-volume senders have DKIM authentication?

Setting up DKIM is beneficial for low-volume senders, positively impacting overall open rates regardless of account size.

Is sending volume a criterion for these requirements?

While Google has mentioned a 5K daily sending criterion for "bulk senders," both Gmail and Yahoo clarified that the 5k limit isn't a "safe zone." All senders are encouraged to set up authentication, regardless of size.

Are high-volume senders transitioning to new domains negatively impacted?

Large senders transitioning to their own authentication may face disruption, but incorporating a domain with a positive reputation enhances overall deliverability.

Demystifying Email Authentication: DKIM and DMARC Explained

Adopting email authentication best practices is essential to improve deliverability, build trust and credibility, enhance sender reputation, and ensure seamless communication. Learn more about DKIM and DMARC records to achieve compliant email marketing.

What is DKIM?

DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is an email authentication method using public-key cryptography to digitally sign emails. It safeguards email security and maintains the integrity of your domain.

What is a DKIM record?

A DKIM record is a digital lock, a code stored in a DNS TXT record that includes a public key. It acts as a secret code, ensuring the security and authenticity of emails.

How does DKIM work?

DKIM works like a secret handshake for emails, using private and public keys to verify the authenticity of the sender. It helps ensure emails are genuine and haven't been tampered with.

Why set up DKIM?

Implementing DKIM establishes a solid reputation with ISPs (internet service providers), ensuring your emails appear trustworthy to recipients. It positively impacts email deliverability by indicating your legitimacy as a sender. 

What is DMARC?

DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, is an email security standard that acts as a guardian for your emails. It helps monitor who's sending emails on behalf of your domain.

How does DMARC work? 

DMARC combines DKIM and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) to authenticate emails. It tells email providers what to do when they receive an email claiming to be from your domain—allow, quarantine, or reject.

Do I need DMARC?

Under Google and Yahoo deliverability requirements, all senders must have a basic DMARC record set up to protect their domain from impersonation and phishing attacks. 

Holistic Email Security and User Experience

As we approach February 2024, the email marketing landscape is witnessing a unified approach toward enhancing security, reducing spam, and improving user experience. Businesses should proactively adopt email authentication standards to ensure compliance and maintain a strong online presence.
 
If you haven't already, start implementing DKIM and DMARC to secure your email communications and safeguard your domain's reputation in 2024 and beyond.
 
Book a free discovery call with email marketing experts, and rest assured your messages are reaching the right inboxes!

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