It’s hard to believe that 2024 is just around the corner! With the new year, email marketers are facing a wave of new email sender requirements from Google and Yahoo to address spam. 

These regulations, set to take effect in February 2024, are mostly aimed at impacting bulk email senders, particularly those sending 5,000 or more emails per day. However, the changes also extend to transactional emails, so you may be closer to that 5,000 than you think. 

Next year, Google and Yahoo will not only require senders to implement email authentication, but they will also usher in some other significant policy changes surrounding consent and engagement. 

The bottom line: Senders who fail to meet these requirements will see their emails delayed, blocked, or directed to spam. 

Google and Yahoo's New Requirements For Reducing Spam

The good news is these new requirements align with many general email best practices and are designed to ultimately provide your contacts with a better, more secure experience, and reduce unwanted spam.

In any case, as a marketer, you’ll need to be prepared. And if you’re a HubSpot user, today’s post will provide you with a checklist covering how to prepare, plus a look at which changes you need to make inside of HubSpot yourself and which ones it will take care of for you (Hey, thanks HubSpot!).

Your 6-Step Checklist to Get Ready for Google and Yahoo’s Email Sender Requirements

One of the pivotal changes coming in 2024 is focused on enhancing email authentication to prevent messages from bouncing or being labeled as spam.

1. Set Up Your Sending Domain

By using a dedicated sending domain, you’ll get more control over your sender reputation. Plus, connecting your sending domain to HubSpot is a deliverability best practice.

HubSpot’s got your back with this one. When trying to send marketing emails in HubSpot, you’ll see a prompt that alerts you if you’re about to save or send an email without utilizing a connected domain. 

Connecting your email sending domain to HubSpot gives HubSpot permission to send emails on your behalf using DKIM email authentication (more on this below). This ensures your marketing emails will have a lower chance of being marked as spam and will no longer display “via HubSpot “ after the sender information.

But, configuring your Email Sending Domain doesn’t cover all the bases.

Set Up Your Email Sending Domain

2. Configure Three Key Authentication Methods

Google and Yahoo recommend that email marketers ensure their systems are configured to incorporate these three key authentication methods:

  • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail): A method mentioned above that adds a digital signature to emails, ensuring they originate from the claimed sender.

To send marketing emails from your own domain, you can establish a connection between your email sending domain and HubSpot. This connection grants HubSpot authorization to send emails on your behalf, utilizing DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) email authentication. 

HubSpot recommends that users set up DKIM by connecting their email sending domain. 

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): A framework that specifies which IP addresses are authorized to send emails on behalf of a domain.

Your recipients’ email servers employ a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to authenticate the sender’s identity. As an email service provider, HubSpot already maintains an SPF policy, encompassing marketing emails dispatched via our shared servers.

HubSpot recommends adding “HubSpot” to your SPF record.

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): A policy that builds on DKIM and SPF to provide a comprehensive email authentication solution.

DMARC is an email authentication protocol implemented externally to HubSpot. It’s used to safeguard your email domain from unauthorized use. For DMARC validation, you must have one of two domain authentication protocols—DKIM or SPF—configured correctly. 

HubSpot recommends using a DMARC policy.

3. Match Your “From” Address to Your Sending Domain

Your “from” address is what your subscribers will see in their inbox. To be DMARC compliant, the domain in your “from” address must match your sending domain. 

Therefore, HubSpot recommends that you verify that your ‘from addresses’ are actively using your connected sending domain.

4. Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

Another way Google and Yahoo plan to fight spam is by promoting a seamless unsubscription process, requiring marketers to implement one-click unsubscribe options in their emails. 

Again, HubSpot has your back on this change. By default, HubSpot requires unsubscribe links in the footer of every marketing email.

Set Up One-Click Unsubscribe

5. Keep Spam Complaints Low

Quality takes precedence over quantity in the eyes of Google and Yahoo. Adhering to email sender guidelines, marketers are encouraged to maintain a spam rate of 0.1% or less to guarantee successful email delivery to contacts. 

A consistent spam rate of 0.3% or higher may lead to performance issues, including delays, spam filtering problems, or even bounces. 

HubSpot has always stressed the importance of refining email lists, targeting engaged audiences, and avoiding practices that could contribute to higher spam rates. So HubSpotters, keep doing what you’re doing by following best practices.

6. Double Check Campaigns, Workflows, and Transactional Emails

Note: these new sender requirements apply to both marketing and transactional emails. 

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your workflows, active campaigns, and transactional emails to ensure they’re all aligned with the recommendations in this checklist.

Conclusion:

As Google and Yahoo usher in a new era of email-sending requirements, marketers must proactively adapt to ensure their email campaigns and transactional emails remain effective, compliant, and out of the spam folder.

By taking six steps to align with these requirements, marketers not only ensure deliverability but also contribute to a more positive and engaging experience for their readers!