Gmail and Yahoo’s Authentication Changes
Did you know that approximately 90% of all emails sent are primarily business-to-consumer (B2C) communication? And that most consumers use either Gmail or Yahoo for their email accounts.
So, if you’re a business sending to consumers with these type of accounts, you’ll want to be sure you are ready for the new Google / Yahoo authentication requirements coming into effect February 2024. That’s right, next month.
Who Is Affected By These Changes?
These changes impact customers of any email service provider (ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Mailchimp etc.) and will go into effect in February 2024.
These new requirements primarily impact two groups of email senders:
- Bulk senders – anyone who sends to more than 5,000 Gmail or Yahoo email addresses on any single day – this includes transactional emails
- Anyone who sends email to a Gmail email address (i.e. you have Gmail addresses on your mailing lists) , regardless of sending volume
If you’re a smaller sender or only send transactional emails, you’re less likely to be impacted by the changes – but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them.
What’s required for large senders today will likely become a requirement for all senders down the road.
Plus, operating in the “barely compliant” zone, is rarely a good business strategy.
Why The Change
Properly authenticating emails that you send has always been a best practice, although not all senders use the tools available to protect their emails.
Unfortunately, if senders don’t properly authenticate their emails, they’re making it easy for bad actors to impersonate their domain to send phishing emails – —and that will damage your sending reputation.
Gmail and Yahoo are on a mission to protect their users from spam and unwanted emails, but if senders fail to properly secure their systems that mission is a whole lot harder to achieve.
That’s why Gmail and Yahoo decided that proper email authentication and following deliverability best practices are no longer a “nice-to-have”.
If you want to ensure your emails continue to make it to the inbox and protect your sending reputation, you’ll have to comply with key best practices for email authentication and spam prevention.
What Should You Do?
- Read any documentation sent to you from your email marketing company and start planning for these changes now
- Authenticate your emails using DKIM, SPF, and DMARC
- Use a TLS connection for transmitting email
- Making sure your sending server IP addresses have valid reverse DNS records (also referred to as PTR records)
- Don’t impersonate Gmail From: headers
- For direct mail, the domain in the sender’s From: header must be aligned with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain (i.e. send from your domain name – like digitalchicks.ca)
- Format messages according to the Internet Message Format standard
- Implement best practices to reduce the occurance of your emails being flagged as spam
- Maintain a spam complaint rate under 0.10% (and avoid ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher)
- Allow people to unsubscribe by clicking just one link
- Honor unsubscribes within two days
Have a question?
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How Digital Chicks Can Help
Navigating these changes (quickly) can be overwhelming and complex, especially considering the Social Media and SEO implications (if you have been using your business.site website as your main online digital presence).
At Digital Chicks, we create customized digital marketing solutions, including websites (of all shapes and sizes), learning and e-commerce solutions, website management and support, SEO, and more.
Our team is ready to help you:
- Develop a new, customized website that reflects your brand and meets your business needs
- Manage your SEO and digital marketing plan to adapt to this (and other) changes
- Manage the transition from your Google Site to your (new) website smoothly, ensuring minimal disruption to your online presence
Google’s decision to shut down “business.sites” websites may require some quick pivoting, but it also opens up opportunities to enhance your online presence through more advanced and tailored solutions.
Digital Chicks is here to guide you through every step of this transition, ensuring your business thrives online.
If you have any questions or need assistance building a new website for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Help protect email recipients from malicious messages, such as spoofing and phishing
- Help protect you and your organization from being impersonated
- Emails being sent following these requirements are less likely to be rejected or marked as spam by Gmail
All really really good reasons!
These new requirements impact all senders, regardless of size, with a more noticeable impact on deliverability for bulk senders and transactional emails (if they are over the 5000 threshold).
This does not impact 1:1 email sending.
While Google has mentioned 5K daily sending as a criteria for defining a “bulk sender,” Gmail/Yahoo have clarified that email sending below those limits may be affected.
Yahoo explicitly states that there is no minimum volume threshold applicable to these requirements.
Therefore, we strongly encourage all customers to set up authentication, regardless of their email send size.