Gmail and Yahoo join forces to help the sending community
What’s up with Gmail? You may have seen the recent slew of LinkedIn posts, blogs, and, or chatter about Gmail’s new standards for senders that send more than 5,000 emails per day. Additionally, you may have seen blogs from both Gmail and Yahoo that they plan on implementing the same standards across both email platforms.
What did Gmail announce?
They’re actually only asking senders to do three simple things:
- Authenticate emails
- Let mailbox providers (MBPs) know who is sending the emails and back it up.
- Enable easy unsubscribes
- Provide recipients with an option to stop receiving emails from you without any hurdles
- Ensure wanted mail is being sent
- Send emails to recipients who are expecting to hear from you and only send wanted emails
Those are the best practices we (and our email deliverability colleagues across the industry) preach every single day. We hammer these concepts home to the point where our internal colleagues are sick of hearing us say these things.
The full standards which are currently planned to go into effect in February 2024 can be found on their support page. I applaud their want to share these types of specifics with senders. Legitimate marketers now have a target to aim for – and hopefully, most will be aiming for far above that.
So why is this news?
There are 2 reasons this is a big deal to me, even after 15 years of being in this industry and knowing the 3 things Gmail is asking for are standard best practices.
First: Gmail is actually providing standards. Gmail has published actionable steps that can be taken to show them that senders are sending legitimate emails. Some of those include:
- Keep spam complaint rates reported in Postmaster Tools below 0.3%
- Senders will need to have at least a p=none DMARC record on their sending domain to get Gmail delivery. Other receivers including Yahoo have indicated that they’re finally moving to “no auth, no entry” meaning that SPF and DKIM authentication is required on the sending domain otherwise emails will be bounced
- A one-click unsubscribe header is required
- There needs to be a list-unsubscribe header that supports one-click unsubscribe – this is used by mailbox providers and mail clients to display an unsubscribe option in their user interface
- There also needs to be an unsubscribe link in the email; this does not have to be a one-click process, but it should be simple. Landing pages that offer preference management and opt-downs are still perfectly fine, but there should be a clear and easy-to-find option to unsubscribe
- The authentication requirements won’t impact anyone sending fewer than 5,000 messages per day to Gmail
- Gmail will go p=quarantine for their own emails – to prevent those trying to spoof sending from gmail.com
What Gmail is doing is awesome. From my perspective, the collaboration with Yahoo is huge, and the second reason why I think this is news. Yahoo also published a blog, with messaging that supports Gmail’s new requirements. Gmail also quoted Yahoo in their blog that announced the new standards. They are aligning with expectations, which the industry has needed for quite some time.
Are you compliant with the new standards?
For most senders using Dotdigital, all of the authentication pieces Gmail is laying out are covered. SPF is set up for all sending domains, all emails are always signed with DKIM using your sending domain, and you will have a DMARC policy by default. If you are using our shared dotdigital-email.com domain AND you send more than 5k, you’re going to be sharing your reputation with other senders and won’t get the inbox placement results you deserve.
Talk to your CSM about getting a custom from address – this is an industry best practice, allows you to build an independent reputation, and is a more trusted and fully branded recipient experience. Additionally, a “send via” configuration will no longer be compliant. We will work closely with customers who are using this to migrate them to one of our existing compliant solutions.
The list unsubscribe header is automatically included by default for marketing sends, fulfilling the fast and easy unsubscribe requirement. As a best practice, we recommend reviewing the user journey for the unsubscribe link in your emails too.
If you’re using a default Dotdigital unsubscribe, these are set up to be quick and easy. If you’re using your own custom preference center for your unsubscribe, make sure there’s a clear option to unsubscribe from all emails, and that this is integrated with your Dotdigital account and any CRMs or other platforms you use so that unsubscribing requesters is fast and automated.
Keeping your complaint rates under 0.3% is where we’re going to need our customers to partner with us; this relies on marketers sending emails that are wanted by their contacts. Marketers need to send strategies that focus on meeting recipients where they are. Making sure they meet the expectations set around email content and frequency at the point of address collection is key to keeping spam rates low.
If you’d like help with updating your sending strategy to be in line with the new Gmail guidance (and solid old school best practices) then our deliverability experts are here to work with you. From a deliverability health check on your account to identify where you might be missing the mark, to monitoring your inbox placement, to full strategic consulting – we have a package that will suit your needs. Just ask your CSM about our Deliverability Products.
In conclusion: we’re excited
Sending wanted emails and making sure the digital messaging ecosystem is respecting recipients is why I and my team do what we do. This is a great step in the direction of making things clearer for legitimate senders.