Google and Yahoo’s new policy on spam and the requirement for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) records is a significant change aimed at enhancing email security and reducing spam for Gmail users. Starting in February 2024, Google will enforce stricter email sending requirements to ensure that emails sent to Gmail accounts are authenticated properly, reducing the risk of spam and phishing attacks.
This change impacts those that use email sending programs such as HubSpot, Constant Contact, or Mailchimp, as well as those using a CRM that channels a Gmail or Yahoo addresses as their sender. It also effects bulk email senders—those sending over 5,000 emails per day to Gmail addresses—requiring them to implement DMARC policies, along with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) alignment. Additionally, senders must enable easy un-subscription options for recipients.
Understanding DMARC and its Importance
DMARC is an email authentication protocol designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use, commonly known as email spoofing. The purpose of DMARC is to improve the email authentication process of SPF and DKIM standards by adding a reporting function that allows senders and recipients to improve and monitor the protection of the domain from fraudulent email.
Steps to Comply with Google’s New Email Privacy Requirements
- Implement SPF and DKIM Authentication: Ensure your domain has SPF and DKIM records set up. These are essential for email authentication, allowing receiving servers to verify that emails claiming to be from your domain truly are.
- Set Up a DMARC Policy: Create a DMARC policy for your domain. This involves adding a DMARC record to your domain’s DNS settings, specifying how email receivers should handle emails that don’t pass SPF or DKIM authentication checks.
- Maintain Low Spam Rates: Keep your spam complaint rates below 0.3%. Regularly clean your email lists, craft clear and relevant content, and ensure a good engagement rate with your emails.
- Ensure Easy Un-subscription: Include a clear, one-click unsubscribe option in your emails to comply with Google’s requirements for sender practices.
- Avoid Impersonating Gmail Addresses: Do not use Gmail addresses in the “From” field unless you are authorized to do so, as this can result in your emails being flagged as spam.
Ensure you consult with a professional prior to changing anything in your DNS! An improperly deleted record or one improperly set up can take your website offline, render your email undeliverable, or make it easier to impersonate you!
How Google and Yahoo’s New Email Privacy Might Affect You
- Increase Email Deliverability: By complying with these requirements, your emails are less likely to be marked as spam, improving deliverability to Gmail users.
- Need for Technical Setup: You may need to consult with your IT professionals to ensure SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are correctly set up for your domain.
- Monitoring and Maintenance: Regularly monitor your email sending practices, update authentication records as needed, and keep spam rates low to maintain compliance.
Digital Link’s 5 steps to Email Success!
- Verify SPF and DKIM Records: Check if your domain’s DNS settings include SPF and DKIM records.
- Implement a DMARC Policy: Add a DMARC record to your DNS settings to specify how unauthenticated emails should be handled.
- Monitor Email Performance: Keep an eye on your email engagement rates and spam complaint rates, aiming for low spam reports.
- Ensure Easy Opt-Out: Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in all outgoing emails.
- Regular Updates: Stay informed about changes to email authentication standards and Google’s policies to ensure ongoing compliance. Subscribe to our Newsletter for the latest updates.
If this all feels a little overwhelming, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! As a managed client of Digital Link, we can help. Our team of experienced professionals can assist in removing the stress of industry updates and guide you in the right direction when changes occur.
Please reach out to our team if you have any questions.