Beginning February 1st, 2024, both Google and Yahoo will begin implementing new, more stringent email requirements on part of senders. The goal of these new requirements is to cut down on spam and abuse of email - which is understandable and possibly long overdue.
However, while beneficial for all of us recipients, this invariably creates some short term hurdles for ecommerce marketers who want to ensure their messages continue making into their fans' and buyers' inboxes.
NOTE: If you are a ONELIVE ecommerce client taking advantage of our bulk-rate, discounted technology partner licenses, you can find our partners' specific resources to meet these new requirements below. You can also reach out to your dedicated Account Manager for help.
The 3 things you need to prepare for Google and Yahoo's new email requirements
In order to comply with Google and Yahoo's new email changes, you must meet 3 new requirements related to additional authentication, easier unsubscribe options, and low spam reports.
1. Email authentication
Email authentication is a way for senders to further validate the authenticity of the emails they send...ensuring recipients (and their email providers) feel confident in the legitimacy of the emails.
Authenticating emails involves a few components:
SPF - a formatted DNS TXT record that ensures receiving email servers know that the sending sources are permitted to send email messages on your domain's behalf.
DKIM - a formatted DNS TXT record that stores a key the receiving servers reference in order to verify the email's authenticity.
DMARC - this acts as a layer on top of SPF and DKIM, using both of them to instruct receiving servers on how to deal with unauthenticated emails they may receive.
Historically, most ecommerce marketers could get away with only configuring their Email Sending Domain and, for the most part, the SPF and DKIM records.
However, with Google and Yahoo's new email requirements, you'll need to set up all three of them.
To do this, you'll need access to your DNS and will want to coordinate with your IT provider or Network Administrator as these things cannot be set up exclusively within your email provider (i.e. Klaviyo, Sendlane, MailChimp, etc).
2. Add easy unsubscribe options
Many ecommerce marketers already know to keep unsubscribe options accessible for recipients, but these decisions were often centered around ethics and ideal best practices.
Now, enabling simple and accessible unsubscribe options are required for deliverability.
To comply with Google and Yahoo's new requirements, you'll want to make sure you include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in every email you send. This includes your one-to-one emails, not just batch marketing emails.
3. Keep a low spam rate (under 0.3%)
Google will now require all senders to keep their reported spam rate (i.e. those emails sent that are manually marked as spam by recipients) below a threshold of 0.3%.
Unfortunately, not all spam complaints are tracked natively within various email tools, especially those submitted by recipients in Gmail. To keep tabs on Gmail spam complaints specifically, we recommend you set up Google Postmaster Tools (GPT).
Combining your Google Postmaster Tools reports with the data you see within your email service provider should be sufficient enough to know whether or not your emails are at risk of being automatically flagged as spam or junk.
The path to email success in 2024
From the inception of GDPR to the slow death of cookies, there has been a growing, global trend in protecting users and buyers from digital abuse. These new email requirements from Google and Yahoo are simply part of this trend.
Most importantly, all email performance hinges on deliverability. You can't get a crack at generating interest, closing a sale or dazzling your customers with a wonderful experience if the email never makes it to their inbox.
By meeting these requirements, your business can continue email operations as usual (even with a potential uptick in unsubscribes). The hope is that it will also force more attention on quality and relevant content, which is always a win for both the customer experience and resulting email ROI.
Learn more about ONELIVE's ecommerce solutions and technology partners.