Skip the Spam: Navigating New Email Sending Requirements

Skip the Spam: Navigating New Email Sending Requirements

There are many approaches to modern advertising, with brands increasingly relying on social media and video streaming platforms. However, any serious marketer would be remiss to underestimate the value and importance of email marketing. And yet, inboxes are replete with spamming and errant messages from unfamiliar senders, making it difficult for recipients to rely on credible content when they log-in.

To address this, Google and Yahoo are implementing Sender Requirements to improve the user-experience and encourage time on platform. These moves are part of broader industry-wide privacy initiatives to protect the end user from fraudulent scams and earn their trust in the process.

Impact to Businesses

In order to ensure your emails are hitting your subscribers’ inboxes, implementing these new requirements is essential. Although a variety of sources believe the heavy penalties won’t come from Gmail until April 2024, brands shouldn’t delay updating their settings in case these sources are wrong.

Bulk Senders

It’s reported that these requirements exclusively apply to bulk senders that deliver to at least 5,000 unique inboxes a day. However, like a spam filled inbox, this misinformation cannot be trusted, because all senders that have ever deployed a bulk send to more than 5,000 recipients will be impacted.

Since the new restrictions will apply to most businesses that take email marketing services seriously, we’ve outlined the upcoming Sender Requirements below and provide an explanation about each.

Sender Requirements Checklist:

  • Removing “@gmail” from your sender’s address
  • Setting up a branded sender’s domain
  • Creating a DMARC policy
  • Providing a one-click unsubscribe option

Your From Address

New requirements state that your company’s sending address cannot feature “@gmail” or “@yahoo” within it. Instead, your sending address must be aligned with your root domain, which we’ll discuss below. Essentially, you cannot send emails to subscribers from a sending address that is structured this way: yourbusinesssales@gmail.com, or this way: yourbusinesssales@yahoo.com. Instead, you will be required to use a sending address that is structured this way: email@businessdomain.com.

Branded Sending Domain

Your sender’s domain is directly tied to your sending reputation. Many ESPs have a shared IP that businesses can use until their benchmarks and sender’s reputation increase. However, businesses will no longer be allowed that cushion. Instead, you must set up your domain from the backend before sending out any campaigns. It’s also important to note that using a subdomain in your “from” address is not recommended, as subdomains cannot be configured to receive responses from users.

Creating your own branded sending domain for the first time may require additional list warming in order to be effective. We recommend being patient by taking the time to communicate with smaller subsets of your audiences who are more engaged. By dividing and conquering, senders are able to “warm” their contact list and improve their sender’s reputation, which in turn, increases the probability of landing content in more inboxes.

Creating a DMARC Policy

DMARC policies are the most complicated aspect of new sending requirements for many. This policy signals to email servers, such as Gmail, that their domain is legitimate, essentially preventing the spoofing we see in phishing emails. No more will you see emails that LOOK like a Home Depot ad, but aren’t actually. A DMARC policy generally needs to be put in place by a developer.

One-Click Unsubscribe

An additional requirement will be implementing a one-click unsubscribe option within your emails. The positive news is that you may not be required to take action here, as some email service providers, such as Klaviyo, are automatically implementing these options in the header of all email communications.

Many businesses prefer to bury their unsubscribe option at the bottom of their content to dissuade users from clicking. However, users want snappy experiences. If they have to put in more than a few seconds of effort to unsubscribe, they may take the easier route and use Gmail’s spam report feature. Ultimately, this change may benefit not only users, but businesses as well.

Email Communications Impacted by Non-Compliance

In short, ALL of your email communications are subject to change. Success or failure to implement new requirements does not affect only marketing messages, but any emails sent from your domain to customers and subscribers.

Including but not limited to:

  • Newsletters and product promotions
  • Welcome series emails and abandoned cart reminders
  • Order status updates and account login information

Next Steps

While these requirements may include more heavy lifting than past updates, keep in mind that they’re for the benefit of the end user, protecting them as well as business owners from being targeted by spoofing or phishing. Improved user-experience will work in the favor of all marketing campaigns in the end, helping to build trust, loyalty and enthusiasm.

It’s safe to anticipate similar changes coming down the road, so stay tuned as the digital landscape continues to evolve. The best way to optimize your email marketing account bandwidth is to maintain a relationship with professionals who can keep on top of these updates. If you’re looking for assistance implementing any of the changes or other tactics to improve your sending reputation, reach out to our team today!

Rachel Cahill

Rachel Cahill, Manager of Email Marketing Strategy Operations

Rachel Cahill is a marketing expert focusing on email strategy development and implementation for our clients. With past experience as a copy-writer, she brings a breadth of knowledge from the SEO world into email and SMS client communications. Outside of work, she enjoys literature and theatre.

Logical Position

Logical Position, an Inc. 500 digital agency supporting 5000+ clients across North America. LP is proud to be the reigning recipient of Google’s Lead Generation Premier Partner of the Year award! The award-winning agency offers full-service PPC management, SEO, Paid Social, Amazon and Creative Services for businesses large and small. As a Google Premier Partner, Microsoft Elite Partner & Meta Business Partner LP is in the top 1% of ad spend managed across platforms.

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