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What the new requirements for email marketing mean for you

New spam protections are going to start rolling out in February, meaning bulk email senders are now required to authenticate their emails, or risk them not even reaching the recipient’s inbox.

Starting in February, Google and Yahoo will now require bulk email senders (defined as those who send more than 5,000 emails a day) to authenticate their emails and have measures in place to give recipients more control over the emails they send. 

These measures are just extensions of existing best practices, and Google actually started requiring some form of authentication in 2023. This is to ensure that bad actors aren’t able to exploit loopholes that leave email recipients at risk of spam, malware or phishing attacks.

There are three elements to the new rules, and failure to abide by these requirements may see your emails marked as spam before it even reaches an inbox!

Technical authentication

In an expansion to the requirements set out last year, you will now have to ensure your DKIM, SPF and DMARC records are in place. This prevents domain spoofing, which means bad actors can’t send emails that look like they come from your organisation – which is not only good for the recipient but good for your brand too! 

One-click unsubscribes

You will now be required to allow users a one-click method to unsubscribe from your email list. Moreso, you have to process those unsubscribes within 48 hours. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon the preference centre you built out, and we encourage you to keep using it, but ensure that there is a one-click option link alongside it for those who just want to be removed. You might worry about losing 1 or 2 contacts to misclicks, but you’ll lose a lot more if Google penalises you for not having it!

Tighter spam limits

Domain reputation has been a factor in email marketing for a while, but will become even more significant under the new changes. You will always get the occasional person who marks your legitimate emails as spam (another good reason to allow one-click unsubscribes) but now if 0.3% of recipients report it as spam you’ll fall foul of the new system. 

What do these changes mean for you? 

Hopefully these changes won’t come as a surprise, as you will already be doing a lot of these things. If not, the most immediate change for you will be implementing these changes to ensure your emails continue to be received. Failure to do so will see all your emails marked as spam by Google and other email providers. 

If you are using an email service provider, the likelihood is that they will already have made changes to their service to ensure their users are in compliance, but if you have any concerns, reach out to them to double check. 

More generally, you will need to think much more about your domain reputation, and how to implement your email marketing strategy in a way that delivers on your objectives without compromising user experience. Google has a comprehensive guide on email sender guidelines here

Will this stop my spam folder being full of junk everyday?

Quite the opposite! This change will likely see more emails ending up in your junk folder, but you will see less spam/poor quality marketing making it into your main inbox. You might want to check your spam folder more frequently for a while just in case any of your intended emails get caught in the change.

 If you are interested in getting started with email marketing, or are looking for help in improving your conversion rates, Brew Digital is here to help!

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