Google and Yahoo Have New Requirements for Email Senders

Are you ready for an email apocalypse?! 

Okay, we’re just being dramatic for effect. But there are some MAJOR changes coming for any business that sends emails to contacts with Google or Yahoo email addresses that could land your message in the Junk folder. 

New Sender Requirements from Google and Yahoo

Beginning Feb. 1, 2024, any organization that sends emails to Google and Yahoo inboxes will be required to comply with some new sender requirements. Again, these requirements will affect ALL organizations that send emails, including transactional (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, etc.)  and marketing emails. Yes, that means you. And, if you send a large volume of emails (more than 5,000) there are a few more specific requirements for bulk senders.

Why Are These New Sender Requirements Important

If you get emails, you get Spam. Even worse, you’ve probably noticed an alarming number of emails with misleading sender information, outrageously spammy content, or outright scams. While technology tools have allowed these email platforms to efficiently filter most of these emails into your Spam box, the volume and misleading tactics are getting a bit out of hand. So, in order to declutter your inbox and offer some added protection, they’re asking senders to do some of the legwork.

What are Google and Yahoo’s New Sender Requirements?

Each platform has subtle differences in what they require and who they require it from, but the lists are more alike than different. You may have some of these requirements already in place, and some of them may be implemented by the platform you use to send emails, but we’ve included a checklist below for the new requirements so you can be sure:

  • Ensure you’re using a branded sending domain for all transactional emails and marketing emails
  • Set up SPF and DKIM email authentication for your domain
  • Ensure that sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records, also referred to as PTR records.
  • Set up DMARC email authentication for your sending domain. Your DMARC enforcement policy can be set to none. Learn more
  • Ensure the domain in your friendly “From:” header (what subscribers see in their inbox) aligns with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain. This is required to pass DMARC alignment.
  • Ensure your marketing and subscribed messages include a method to unsubscribe in just one step. This requirement may already be implemented automatically via your email platform.
  • Ensure your marketing and subscribed messages include a clearly visible unsubscribe link in the message body (typically found in the footer). This link does not have to one step to unsubscribe.
  • Ensure messages are formatted according to the Internet Message Format standard (RFC 5322). This requirement may already be implemented via your email platform.
  • Keep spam rates below 0.10% and avoid ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. 
  • If you regularly forward email, including using mailing lists or inbound gateways, add ARC headers to outgoing email. ARC headers indicate the message was forwarded and identify you as the forwarder. Mailing list senders should also add a List-id: header, which specifies the mailing list, to outgoing messages.

Note: We highly recommend exploring both Google and Yahoo’s new requirements for yourself, and checking in with your email platform provider to see what help they’re offering. For example, if you’re a (Classy Llama partner and email marketing superstar) Klaviyo user, they’re ahead of the game and offering great guidance on how to stay in compliance with these guidelines. 

If you’ve got questions about how to implement these new guidelines, our team would love to help you keep your messages in the Primary Inbox.  Just drop us a note and someone will be in touch.

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