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Gmail and Yahoo updates and new protections for 2024

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Whenever Gmail or Yahoo announces updates, marketers and business owners may feel nervous. This often has to do with the potential negative impact such Yahoo and Gmail changes may have on their email marketing.

However, there’s no need to worry about the latest Yahoo and Gmail update. The changes aim to boost email security, decrease spam, and enhance the overall inbox experience.

To adapt, you’ll need to follow the Yahoo and Gmail DMARC policy. You’ll also need to consider getting a custom domain and implementing features like one-click unsubscribe for users.

Initially, this might seem overwhelming. But with proper preparation, you can send more relevant emails to your contacts. Moreover, platforms like Omnisend ensure that your email strategy aligns with key protocols and updates.

Yahoo changes take effect in the first quarter of 2024, while Gmail’s changes are set for February 1, 2024. But who will they impact? What exactly are the new requirements? And how should you prepare for new deliverability requirements?

In this article, we’ll address all of these questions and provide additional recommendations.

Optimize your email strategy with Omnisend, and ensure it aligns with industry best practices.

Who will be affected by the new Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL changes?

These regulations will largely impact those sending bulk emails. Email senders with 5,000 or more messages to Gmail addresses in a day are considered bulk senders by Google.

That said, the announcements lack specifics regarding the timeframe in which such bulk emails should be sent. For example, it’s unclear if qualifying senders need to send 5,000 messages daily or monthly.

So consider the potential application of these rules, especially with large campaigns.

What are the new requirements?

Gmail and Yahoo aim to secure inboxes by enforcing new protection standards, among the most significant made by email providers recently. These are mainly applicable to bulk email senders.

Here’s a closer look at the new sender requirements:

One-click unsubscribe

Recipients must have a straightforward method to opt out of receiving emails. The one-click unsubscribe requirement aims to make the process quick and user-friendly. This ensures that individuals can easily manage their email preferences. It also benefits your spam complaints ratio.

Stronger sender domain authentication

This requirement focuses on enhancing the security of email communication. Stronger sender domain authentication involves advanced protocols. These include Yahoo and Gmail SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Such measures ensure the verification of the sender’s identity. This reduces the risk of phishing, along with improving email deliverability.

Low spam threshold

Maintaining a low spam threshold is more important than ever today. This is owing to the increasing volume of emails and heightened cybersecurity threats. Accordingly, the new Gmail update encourages senders to deliver valuable and relevant content. This reduces the likelihood of their emails being marked as spam.

Irrespective of the industry, aim for a spam complaint rate below 0.1%, or 1 in 1,000 emails. You can use your Google Postmasters account to track your domain’s spam rates and assess Google’s feedback.

This approach ensures that you maintain a rate below 0.1%. And if you do exceed this threshold, you can take prompt action.

Non-Gmail sender email

Once the new changes are implemented, the sender’s email cannot be from a gmail.com domain. This underscores the importance of authentic sender information. The requirement aims to prevent potential misuse or impersonation associated with Gmail addresses.

These Gmail and Yahoo requirements aren’t entirely new. Essential email deliverability practices, including email authentication for Gmail and Yahoo, easy opt-out, and spam monitoring, have been in place for a long time.

So what do these changes signify for senders at this moment?

The simplest response to this query is that, if you haven’t done so yet, you must prioritize specific email deliverability best practices.

The Yahoo and Gmail update seems to introduce a stricter environment. But be assured, it will ultimately benefit both users and senders.

Why are these changes important for email senders?

As emphasized, consider Gmail and Yahoo updating to be a great thing for your business. Taking appropriate measures will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Establishing trust: Authentication builds trust. This, in turn, strengthens your sender’s overall credibility and authenticity.
  • User-focused experience: Simplifying the unsubscribe process contributes to a smooth user interaction. It allows recipients to select their preferred email content. This also ensures emails reach the intended audience.
  • Improving deliverability: Adhering to industry standards enhances your sender reputation. This naturally boosts your overall success in reaching recipients’ inboxes.
  • Reducing spam: These changes contribute to maintaining a low spam rate. It ensures your emails are targeted and reach an engaged audience, enhancing overall campaign effectiveness.

So, in the short term, you might need to make some tweaks to your strategy and operations. However, these adjustments will pay off in the long run.

Conversely, failing to implement these changes promptly may result in challenges such as:

  • Poor email delivery: Non-compliance may introduce hurdles in email delivery. This means that your messages might not reach your desired audience.
  • Risk to sender reputation: Failure to meet new requirements poses a risk to your sender’s reputation. This could result in emails being flagged as spam, eroding trust and credibility with your audience.
  • Ineffective email campaigns: Naturally, non-compliance could lead to reduced engagement. This will negatively influence the success and ROI of your campaigns.

To send emails securely in 2024, senders must review their existing authentication practices. Neglecting these requirements could lead to significant consequences.

For instance, outreach emails to potential leads may end up in spam folders. Similarly, responses to support tickets may go undelivered, impacting satisfaction and loyalty.

Check if you are using a shared or custom domain

To ready your account for the upcoming Yahoo and Gmail update, start by checking your domain type.

After February 1, sending emails from addresses with the @gmail.com domain will no longer be possible. You’ll need a custom domain, like @yourcompany.com. Fortunately, setting one up is quick and easy, and takes just a few minutes.

But first, you need to determine whether you’re using a shared or custom domain. Here’s how to do this on Omnisend:

  • Go to your Store settings, then access Sender domains.
  • Identify whether custom domains have been assigned or if none have been added yet.
Sender domain option example at Omnisend
Image via Omnisend

If you’re currently on a shared domain, now is the time to consider making a switch. Setting up a custom domain on Omnisend is a simple process.

Step 1: Click the + Add sender domain button, as in the screenshot below.

Custom domain option example at Omnisend
Image via Omnisend

Step 2: Specify the exact domain (or sub-domain) for your campaigns and/or automation. We recommend using a domain name like @storename.com, that matches your website.

Domain name creation example at Omnisend
Image via Omnisend

What are the next steps to prepare for new deliverability requirements?

Now, it’s in the hands of the email sender to prepare for the changes before 2024. What adjustments are necessary to ensure your emails consistently land in the inbox? And how can you implement them effectively?

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Authenticate the custom sender’s domain

To boost email deliverability, the initial step involves establishing and authenticating your custom sender’s domain. This requires you to set up a DMARC record along with SPF and DKIM.

This trio of authentication ensures that your emails are acknowledged as genuine and reliable. Ultimately, this minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam.

Step 2: Align email address with custom domain for credibility

In the second step, make sure that the sender’s email address matches your custom domain. Let’s say that your custom domain is “yourcompany.com.” In that case, the sender’s email address should end with “@yourcompany.com.”

This not only adds a professional touch to your emails and also sets you apart from your competitors, but email service providers recognize emails from custom domains as more authentic.

This can positively impact your sender reputation and increase the chances of your emails reaching recipients’ inboxes.

Step 3: Confirm your email for sending campaigns and automations

This confirmation step is mandated by Omnisend. It serves as a prerequisite before initiating email campaigns and automated messages.

Essentially, you choose whether the tool should automatically assign future campaigns and automations to the specified domain. Alternatively, you have the option to manage it manually or adjust it as needed.

Step 4: Maintain low spam rate

The fourth step is to maintain a low spam rate, crucial for a positive sender reputation. To achieve this, regularly clean your email list by deleting inactive subscribers.

Moreover, implement best practices for engaging your email audience. This could include sending valuable content, personalizing emails, and avoiding excessive promotional language.

This helps prevent your emails from being marked as spam. It also ensures that your email campaigns consistently reach the intended audience.

For a more thorough explanation to ensure your emails meet the required standards, check out this video:

How to add a new DMARC record 

Once you’ve specified a custom domain name, it’s time to dive into authentication protocols. These include SPF, DKIM, and email DMARC records.

Don’t be intimidated by the technical terms. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  • DMARC: DMARC email is a protocol designed to prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks. It lets domain owners guide email receivers on handling failed authentication checks.
  • SPF: SPF is an email authentication method that helps prevent email forgery. It does so by specifying which mail servers can send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • DKIM: As a standard email authentication method, DKIM Gmail and Yahoo adds a digital signature to outgoing emails. This provides a method for verifying the authenticity of the sender.

Follow this step-by-step process to configure DMARC records on Omnisend:

Step 1: Go to Omnisend -> Store settings -> Sender domains. 

Step 2: Click on the domain name and select Verify. You will then be directed to the following page.

Domain authentication example at Omnisend

Step 3: Access your DNS provider’s dashboard.

Step 4: Create a new TXT record with the specific value v=DMARC1;p=none. Setting DMARC Policy=none is sufficient to comply with the upcoming Yahoo and Gmail update.

Please allow up to 24 hours for new DNS settings to take effect.

Step 5: Click “Verify records,” and the domain should show as verified.

Repeat the same procedure for verifying SPF and DKIM records. Once all three are verified, you’ll have completed a crucial step in meeting the new email requirements.

Wrap up

This policy update is a significant initial step in the correct direction. It indicates that SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and other sending best practices aren’t merely recommendations anymore. They’re requirements, especially for bulk email senders.

With the Yahoo and Gmail update in 2024 approaching, senders must adapt quickly. Beyond navigating crucial protocols, verifying custom domains is now a must.

Equally vital is the commitment to maintaining low spam rates and adhering to best practices. These measures provide you the opportunity to enhance trust and refine user experiences.

If you’re reading this, you’re already ahead in managing a successful email ecosystem. Regardless of the tool you use, it’s crucial to take steps to ensure your email reaches its intended destination.

Optimize your email strategy worry-free with Omnisend. Ensure you’re always one step ahead of email provider updates.
Richard White
Article by
Richard White

Richard is a Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. An avid writer, he's said to have been born holding a pencil. Fascinated by all things handmade, if he's not reading or writing he can often be found practicing leathercraft.