From February 2024, Google and Yahoo will require stricter email authentication measures to improve email security and reduce phishing and spam.
Google and Yahoo have announced important changes in email authenication requirements aimed at enhancing email security. Effective from February 2024, if you send more than 5,000 email messages in a day, specific authentication measures are required by Google and Yahoo to reduce phishing and spam risks for their users.
Do you need to take action?
To avoid disruptions to your email delivery, if you send or plan to send over 5,000 emails in a day, you must take action on the requirements detailed below. If you send a lower volume of emails, taking action is not strictly essential but strongly recommended to align with email marketing best practices.
Below is a summary of the key requirements. The good news for Smart Messenger clients is that we have already taken care of most of the new authentication requirements on your behalf. If you need to complete any further steps we will have already emailed or called you with the details.
- DMARC policy: The sender’s domain must have a DMARC policy of at least p=none.
- Reported spam rate: Senders must maintain a spam rate of less than 0.3%.
- *Implementation of SPF + DKIM: Both authentication methods need to be implemented.
- *Sending with an aligned ‘from’ domain: The ‘from’ domain must align with either the SPF or DKIM domains.
- *Valid forward and reverse DNS (FCrDNS): Ensure proper DNS configuration.
- *One-click unsubscribe: Following the RFC 8058 standard for unsubscribe functionality.
*Actions marked with an asterisk (points 3 – 6) have already been handled for Smart Messenger clients and no further action is needed for these.
Actions You Need To Take
1) DMARC Policy
You must ensure your email sender domain has a DMARC policy of at least p=none. You may need support from your IT consultant to implement this. There is more information about DMARC after the steps details below.
Action Steps For Smart Messenger Customers:
- Log into your Smart Messenger account: https://app.101smartmessenger.co.uk/
- Navigate to Templates > Email Profiles, or follow this link: https://app.101smartmessenger.co.uk/templates/email_profiles
- Check the ‘From Email Address’ column for the following:
1. Do the email addresses in this column have an amber DMARC shield icon underneath?
Yes: Contact us for assistance on 01603 858250
No: See point 2 below.
2. Do the email addresses in this column have a green DMARC shield icon underneath?
Yes: If the DMARC shield is green, no action is needed. Go and have a cuppa!
What is DMARC?
DMARC stands for ‘Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance.’ It's an email authentication protocol that helps prevent email phishing and spoofing attacks by providing a way for email senders to declare their email authentication practices and for receivers to enforce those policies.
DMARC may be a new term to you and the sending domain you use could be managed by someone else but if you want to check whether it’s already in place then enter your domain in this DMARC record checker.
If you don’t already have a DMARC record, you or your IT consultant will need to set one up and configure the TXT DNS record on your domain. Please get in touch with us if you need help.
2) Reported Spam Rate
Google and Yahoo require bulk senders to maintain a spam rate below 0.3%. Spam rates are measured internally by these Email Service Providers and this data is not available through your email marketing platform.
- Follow email marketing best practices (see below).
- Monitor FBL Complaints in Smart Messenger’s campaign reports. If complaints are high, your spam rate is likely to be high too, potentially affecting your domain owner reputation.
- Consider registering for Gmail’s Postmaster Tools. This provides detailed insights into your spam rates for campaigns sent to Gmail users.
Email Marketing Best Practice Tips
- Permission-Based Lists: If using ‘consent’ as your legal basis for sending emails to your contacts, ensure you have explicit consent from recipients to send emails.
- Quality Content: To avoid email that fails, provide relevant and valuable content to your audience.
- Avoid Spam Trigger Words: Steer clear of words and phrases that trigger spam filters. For more information, read our blog How do I stop my emails going into spam?.
- Optimise Subject Lines: Craft clear and engaging subject lines without overusing caps or symbols in your message header.
- Segmentation: Target specific audience segments to send tailored content.
- Regularly Clean Lists: Remove inactive or bouncing email addresses from your lists.
- Use A Reliable Email Marketing Platform: Choose a reputable provider, like Smart Messenger, to optimise deliverability.
- Include Unsubscribe Option: Make it easy for recipients to opt out. This is an automatic feature of the Smart Messenger system.
- Authentication: Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify your emails. Smart Messenger has taken care of SPF and DKIM, so you only have to check the DMARC requirement.
- Monitor Metrics: Regularly review analytics to identify and address issues promptly.
The key aim of the new requirements from Google and Yahoo is to enhance inbox security for everyone.
It's important to note that failing to meet these requirements may result in email rejection or filtering. We therefore recommend you implement the requirements now to avoid any disruptions in email delivery.
Should you have any questions or need assistance in meeting these requirements, please don't hesitate to contact us on 01603 858250. We're here to support you through this process.
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