Very important reading for email marketers everywhere!
Google and Yahoo (two of the biggest email providers) announced new measures last year that will take effect from February 2024, which will ensure you receive less spammy emails to these inboxes.
If you send more than 5000 emails per day, you need to read this blog.
Google stated “Starting in 2024, we’ll require bulk senders to authenticate their emails, allow for easy un-subscription and stay under a reported spam threshold.”
Yahoo stated “A key mission of Yahoo is to deliver messages that consumers want to receive and filter out the messages they don’t.”
Basically, these providers are quite rightly looking to reduce the volume of spam emails delivered, so this will affect how you send and receive emails going forward.
Google’s Community desk states that if a sender does not meet the requirements by February 2024, they will start to see temporary errors occurring on a small percentage of their non-compliant mail to Google recipients. In April 2024, a small percentage of the mail will be rejected and that percentage will gradually increase over time.
However, the requirement for senders to implement one click unsubscribe will not be enforced until June 2024.
If you send more than 5000 emails per day, the following is essential reading and you will need to comply with the measures implemented. However, if you send less than 5000 emails per day, you will still need to authenticate your messages with SPF and DKIM.
Understand What Domains You Use for Your Email Marketing
At Campaignmaster all our clients send their email marketing campaigns from branding domains. This ensures the email authentications required below are covered.
SPF, DKIM & DMARC Authentication
Senders will now need to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication for their emails. Not sure what this means, read on.
SPF – Sender Policy Framework
A SPF record defines mail servers and domains that are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain.
Having an SPF record increases your trustworthiness in the eyes of the receiving email server. In the absence of this, the receiving server may consider you a spoofer and could mark your IP address as illegitimate, resulting in your emails being rejected, that could result in blacklisting of your domain or IP.
DKIM – Domain Keys Identified Mail
DKIM is a protocol that allows an organisation to transmit a message which is verified by a mailbox provider. This is also referred to as a digital signature that allows receiving servers to determine the sender’s authenticity and ensures that the email was not altered in transit, increasing the chances of reaching the inbox.
It works by adding a digital signature to the email header, which is generated by the sending mail server using cryptographic techniques. This signature can then be verified by the recipient’s mail server to ensure that the email has not been altered in transit and that it indeed originates from the claimed sender domain.
DMARC – Domain based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance
This ensures that legitimate email is properly authenticating against established DKIM and SPF standards and that fraudulent activity appearing to come from legitimate domains is blocked. It might affect your IP reputation and deliverability if you don’t have this.
DNS, PTR and IP Reverse Look Ups
Furthermore, ensuring that your sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records, also referred to as PTR records is important.
Reverse DNS allows mailbox providers to verify the sender when they do a reverse DNS lookup upon receipt of the emails you send. Basically, a quick online look up to see where the email originated from.
In email authentication terms, some email servers perform reverse DNS lookups to verify that the sending mail server’s IP address matches the domain from which the email claims to originate. This helps in preventing email spoofing and phishing.
This is done by using an A Record (address record). This A records maps your domain to your IP address. So, when a mailbox provider looks up your A Records, they will see a Campaignmaster IP address. And then they will see what DNS matches your A Record. This is a verification that shows your IP is associated with your sending domains. Giving two respective servers the happy handshakes they require to trust incoming emails.
Feel free to use the following tools to check if DMARC or SPF is setup against your email sending domain with your email service provider:
DMARC Lookup : https://itgranules.com/tools/dmarc-check
SPF Lookup : https://itgranules.com/tools/spf-check
Reverse IP Lookup : https://itgranules.com/tools/ptr-record-check
TLS (Transport Layer Security)
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a security protocol that prevents unauthorised access to your email when it’s in transit over internet connections, by encrypting your email message in an unreadable format. A sender and a receiver must use it to protect privacy and data security.
All Campaignmaster clients are set up with all of these protocols as standard 😊. These are a standard component of our onboarding process, given the importance the industry puts on securing a dedicated, sending domain.
This is obvious to email marketers, but now all senders must provide a one-click unsubscribe option in two places in their emails. It must exist in the body of your email but also in your header message.
The unsubscribe in the header of your email is next to the From Address and is known as the List-Unsubscribe header. This is an optional header but Campaignmaster have this in place as standard, to avoid email receivers searching for opt out links and alternatively marking as spam.
The opt out should be honoured within a maximum of two days. With Campaignmaster this happens instantly.
Senders should always be aiming for a low spam complaint rate and now the threshold for Gmail and Yahoo will be 0.3%. This means you should ideally be receiving no more than 3 complaints for every 1000 emails sent.
Campaignmaster ensures that any complaints are suppressed immediately.
So how can you can you comply and not be seen as a spammy sender? There are many items to consider, but I have created a list of the most important.
- Ensure you are sending emails to people who want them and the content is worth of their attention.
- Have clear opt out links and now also the list unsubscribe feature in the header of your email.
- Never over send emails. No one likes being bombarded with emails.
- Remove complainers instantly (Campaignmaster will do this automatically).
- Ensure you provide your company information so it is clear and exactly the email is coming from to avoid further annoyance.
- Avoid purchasing databases.
- Don’t use all caps in your subject lines.
- Don’t use excessive punctuation in your subject lines or content.
- Avoid spammy words – offer, free win etc. in your subject lines and content.
- Generate plain text emails so you have made an effort to create both HTML and text versions. Campaignmaster does this for you.
- Send from a fully branded sending address so your company is recognisable.
If you would like help with email marketing compliancy, or have any concerns in regards to your current set up, please do reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help.