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Navigating Email Marketing Compliance: Your Epic Guide to New Sender Requirements

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Imagine cruising the digital waves, connecting effortlessly with your audience, and then—bam! You hit the rocky shores of Google and Yahoo's new email marketing compliance policies. A bit overwhelming, right? No worries—I'm here to guide you through these waves. So, wax up your surfboard because we're about to ride this change together! (Yeah, I know, a lot of surf lingo, but hey, we're in SoCal—surf's always on the brain!)


So, why are these new sender requirements a big deal when it comes to email compliance? Well, they're like the "local's secret" that help make sure your emails not only reach your subscribers' inboxes but also have a chance to stand out in the crowd. In this guide, I'm breaking down the nitty-gritty of Google's and Yahoo's new sender requirements to help you master the art of email deliverability.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Email Marketing Compliance

What Are The New Requirements?

Starting Feb 1, 2024, bulk senders (sending >5,000 daily to Gmail users) must:

  • Authenticate emails with SPF and DKIM.

  • Publish a DMARC record for additional security.

  • Keep spam complaint rates low.

Why Are The Tides Changing?

Google and Yahoo are leveling up security to reduce spam and phishing. Be the captain of your ship, not a castaway!

What Should I Do To Comply?

For those >5,000 daily Gmail emails:

  • SPF and DKIM are your pals.

  • DMARC record with a p=none policy.

  • Watch those spam complaints—keep 'em low!

Feeling lost? Don't stress; I've got your back!

Navigating Google's Sender Requirements

When it comes to email marketing compliance, the main goal is to get in the barrel, or in this case, delivered to the inbox. There are two critical elements that will help you land in your subscriber's inbox. First, it's crucial to follow email authentication protocols. A technically sound ESP system signals to email servers that you are legitimate. Second, it's all about your content. Informative, entertaining, and engaging content is the skill that propels you to the lineup, surrounded by friends who enjoy surfing—or in this case, eagerly receiving emails from you. Let's break it down below:

Email Authentication Protocols:

Ever heard of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC? These protocols are the accessories you need to maximize the swells of email marketing. They're like the leash securing your messages, making sure they reach your audience unscathed, just like a skilled surfer navigating the barreling waves. With the new email sender requirements coming into effect in 2024, it's important to make sure you're ESP is compliant. Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know:


  • Authenticate your emails. This means implementing SPF and DKIM records for your domain.

  • Publish a DMARC record. DMARC tells email providers what to do with emails that fail SPF and DKIM authentication checks.

  • Keep your spam complaint rates low. Gmail monitors spam complaint rates for all senders. If your spam complaint rate is too high, your emails may be filtered to spam or even blocked altogether.

Just in case you don't know how to do this... here is a breakdown to help you out:

Implementing SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

What is SPF? SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is like a VIP pass for your emails. It designates authorized servers to send on behalf of your domain, preventing spammers from tarnishing your sender reputation.

How to Implement SPF:
  1. Access Your DNS Settings: Log in to your domain registrar or DNS hosting provider.

  2. Create an SPF Record: Generate a record that lists authorized servers.

  3. Publish the Record: Add the SPF record to your DNS settings.

  4. Regularly Update: Ensure your SPF record is up-to-date as your email infrastructure evolves.

Deploying DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

What is DKIM? DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is your digital signature. It ensures the authenticity of your emails, proving they haven't been altered in transit.

How to Implement DKIM:
  1. Generate a Key Pair: Create a public and private key for your domain.

  2. Configure Your Email Server: Integrate DKIM signing into your email sending process.

  3. Update DNS Records: Publish the public key in your DNS settings.

  4. Test and Monitor: Ensure successful DKIM signing and monitor key performance.

Mastering DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)

What is DMARC? DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, is your command center. It aligns SPF and DKIM, adding an extra layer of security and providing valuable insights.

How to Implement DMARC:
  1. Set Up SPF and DKIM: Ensure both protocols are correctly configured.

  2. Create a DMARC Record: Define your DMARC policy—none, quarantine, or reject.

  3. Publish the Record: Add the DMARC record to your DNS settings.

  4. Gradual Enforcement: Start with a "none" policy, analyze reports, then progress to "quarantine" and "reject."

By mastering these protocols, you're not just sending emails; you're positioning yourself perfectly in the line up to for the next set of secure, authenticated communication. In turn, your subscribers will receive messages knowing they're from you, boosting trust and engagement.

Content Optimization: Riding the Email Marketing Waves:

When it comes to conquering the vast ocean of email marketing, you need to be sure you are crafting stellar content. Content is king when it comes to email marketing, so I want to help you understand the best ways to shape it for a ride that not only captivates your audience but effortlessly dodges those pesky spam filters. Think of it like finding the perfect spot in the line up—the sweet spot where your audience eagerly awaits your next wave.


Navigating the SPAM Break

Surfing the email marketing waves isn't just about riding high; it's about avoiding the wipeouts. Spam filters are like the unpredictable waves; they can catch you off guard if you're not prepared. Crafting content that resonates with your readers is the ultimate maneuver to navigate through the spam breaks and ensure your messages reach the shore of your subscribers' inboxes.

Tips to help you from landing in SPAM (or worst, junk):

  1. Know Your Audience: Understanding your audience is like knowing the rhythm of the waves. Craft content that speaks directly to their needs, desires, and challenges.

  2. Personalization is Key: Personalization is your surfboard's wax, ensuring a smooth ride. Address your subscribers by their names, tailor your content to their preferences, and watch engagement soar.

  3. Compelling Subject Lines: A captivating subject line is like the wave that catches everyone's attention. Craft subject lines that pique curiosity and compel your audience to open your emails.

  4. Visual Appeal: Just like a visually appealing wave, your emails should be easy on the eyes. Incorporate compelling visuals, use a responsive design, and ensure your content looks good on any device.

  5. Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Think of your CTA as the direction to ride the wave. Make it clear, compelling, and irresistible, guiding your subscribers on the desired action.

Avoiding the Rip Currents of Email Marketing

Rip currents in email marketing are akin to losing subscribers due to irrelevant or overly promotional content. By creating content that resonates, you avoid the rip currents that pull your audience away.

How is Yahoo's Sender Requirements Different?

Yahoo's new email sender requirements are similar to Google's, but there are a few key differences. Check 'em out:

  • There is no specific deadline for compliance published with Yahoo. They are however suggesting SPF, DKIM, and DMARC by implemented by the end of next year, 2024.

  • Yahoo does not require senders to implement a DMARC policy of p=reject. Instead, Yahoo recommends that senders start with a DMARC policy of p=none and then gradually increase the enforcement level as they become more comfortable with DMARC.

  • Yahoo is quite stingy with their spam complaint rates. In fact, they don't publicly disclose them at all - it's not until you see a decrease inn email deliverabilitty that you realize you're in deep water.

Overall, Yahoo's new email sender requirements are more chill than Google's, but they are still important to comply with. By implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, senders can improve the security and deliverability of their emails and protect their reputations.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between Google's and Yahoo's new email sender requirements:


Is It Possible to Meet Both Sets of Requirements?

So you want to save time... 😂 Of course you do, you're smart entrepreneur looking for the most impact. So you're asking the question, can you meet both Google's and Yahoo's requirements simultaneously? Spoiler alert: Yes, you can! Here are some quick tips (along with those at the beginning of this article), that can keep your emails flowing, and your customers clicking:

  • Use a reputable email service provider.

  • Keep your email lists clean and up-to-date.

  • Avoid sending spam.

  • Respond to customer complaints promptly.

By following these tips, you can improve the security and deliverability of your emails and protect your reputation.

Can You Afford to Ignore These Changes?

Let's get real: ignoring these changes is like surfing without a board—total wipeout! Statistically speaking, businesses that overlook these new sender requirements often find themselves in treacherous waters. High spam complaint rates, decreased deliverability, and potential email blocking become more than mere possibilities; they become alarming probabilities. If you want to ensure a successful email program, you don't have to do it alone. I've helped engineer email programs that have driven over a million dollars in revenue, increased engagement rates, and grown active segments that keep coming back for more.


Why Paddle Out Alone When You Can Surf With a Pro?

To sum it up, mastering these new sender requirements is your ticket to email success. Embrace the changes, surf the new wave of email, and remember, learning is a journey, not a destination. Implement the activities above, and you'll find yourself catching the waves of email marketing triumph. If you're not sure how to implement the new email sender requirements, don't worry! I can help. I can ensure your ESP is prepared for the upcoming changes, and help refine your email marketing strategy and content - helping you stay focused on what you do best: running your business.

Reach out today and let me help you get compliant with the new email sender requirements. I'd be stoked to help!

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