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Act Now to Navigate Google and Yahoo’s 2024 Email Revolution!

In October Google and Yahoo jointly announced upcoming significant changes to security, authentication, and spam protection for their customers, which have enormous implications to the world of Marketing Automation, especially if you send on average more than five thousand emails in a day.

It is critically important that Marketers take notice and action changes. Failing to do so may result in Google or Yahoo blocking your emails, including service communications, order confirmations, password resets, and marketing messages, hindering their delivery to your valued customers.

The changes are wide-reaching and come into force in February 2024, which doesn’t give you much time at all to understand whether you are compliant, and if not, how far away are you, not to mention implementing the changes themselves.

So what exactly is changing?

1. Email Authentication

Aswell as improved account recovery options and automatically enabled 2-step verification for Gmail accounts, Google and Yahoo are going to require senders to authenticate emails in new ways to prevent spoofing, forgery, and unauthorised sending.

Marketers must ensure that their chosen email delivery technologies not only supports but also correctly implements the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication methods. This is crucial for sustaining uninterrupted deliverability and maximising outreach effectiveness.

What is SPF, DKIM & DMARC?

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) – This protocol allows you to specify which IP addresses or domains are authorised to send emails on your behalf.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) – A standard that adds a digital signature to your emails, enabling email providers like Google and Yahoo to verify that an email genuinely originated from you and not an impersonator.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) – This protocol aligns your SPF and DKIM policies and defines how mailbox providers should handle an email that fails an authentication check.

Failing to comply will result in Gmail actively warning users about suspicious activity that could indicate phishing, spoofing, malware links, or unauthorised access attempts, and your essential, legitimate, customer communications run the risk of being included in that inglorious category.

It is simply essential that Marketers ensure they aren’t sending content in formats that could trigger these warnings, and in the worst case, these sends will result in being caught up in Gmail spam filters, which could be a long, painful process to untangle, all the while costing your business significant financial impact and brand reputational damage.

2. One-Click unsubscribes

Google & Yahoo are mandating that customers should not have to go through lengthy processes to unsubscribe from marketing communications, such as clicking through to an opt-out page (for customers operating preference centres this is a very much seen as standard) or triggering a second email that contains the unsubscribe link or process.

The process they are about to start enforcing is that one click should be all it takes to unsubscribe, which is for many organisations going to create a headache of process change and data capture. In addition, they are requiring large senders to process unsubscribes in 48 hours, which is becoming standard for many organisations, especially those operating Customer Data Platforms (CDP) technologies behind the scenes to harmonise and route data where it needs to be, but many organisations may still need to implement some urgent changes in order to comply and ensure delivery of key messages to their customers.

3. Only be sending wanted emails

A clear spam rate threshold is being introduced and enforced to prevent Gmail recipients from being bombarded with unwanted messaging. Google are recommending that email senders closely monitor their domain’s Spam Rate in the Google Postmaster Tools interface.

They require that the spam rates (recipients clicking the “spam” button or emails identified as spam by some of the above requirements not being adhered to) reported in Postmaster Tools must be kept below 0.10% and avoid ever reaching 0.30% or higher. That isn’t much at all really – a max of three in a thousand, or you will hit issues with your emails being labelled as spam, which again can take an uncomfortably long time to reconcile, even after you have remediated the issue.

What do you do next?

Don’t waste any time in obtaining a clear idea of where you stand with regards compliance with 2024-02, it’s not far away at all now.

Don’t waste another moment; let us provide clarity on your current compliance status:

  • Provide a swift Audit for immediate insights and a rapid deployment roadmap.
  • Engage with our Campaign Delivery services for innovative, compliance-driven messaging.
  • Receive proactive Channel Deliverability management through our Application Management service.

Our industry-leading Consultants and Analysts thrive on solving challenges in Marketing Automation and Customer Experience Excellence. Reach out to Purple Square CX today and transform compliance concerns into a success story.

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