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    12/14/2023 |

    Email Marketing Is Going To Get Harder – Google and Yahoo Announce Tighter New Email Guidelines

    Big changes are coming to Gmail and Yahoo Mail. The key takeaway is that businesses will now face stricter guidelines to prevent their emails from being flagged as spam.

    Understanding and adhering to these new requirements is critical to maintain compliance and ensure successful email marketing campaigns.

    To learn more about how to ensure your emails aren’t getting flagged as spam and that your company doesn’t run into email marketing issues, you MUST read this article.

    Who Do These Changes Impact?

    If your business relies on email for sales, customer support or marketing, expect these changes to impact you. Gmail and Yahoo make up more than 25% of the email client market, which translates to over 1 billion users worldwide.

    Here is a breakdown of how the changes are expected to play out on each platform:

    Gmail

    If you rely on email for sales or related practices, be prepared for Gmail’s additional requirements if you send over 5,000 messages daily to Gmail accounts.

     
    Yahoo

    Yahoo plans to add additional requirements for bulk senders but doesn’t clarify a number. It’s best to assume you’ll be impacted and be prepared.

    Both Yahoo and Gmail make it clear that you should only send emails to people who have asked to receive messages from your business. Don’t opt people in automatically without their consent – Gmail reminds users that this goes against the law in certain regions.

    How Should You Comply With These Regulations?

    Google recommends that you verify a recipient’s email address before adding them to your mailing list. Similarly, Yahoo suggests sending an email to new subscribers asking them to confirm their opt-in status. This widely recognized practice is known as double opt-in, where individuals initially express their interest and then confirm their desire to receive emails from your business.

    Both Gmail and Yahoo mandate including one-click unsubscribe options in your emails. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of processing unsubscribe requests within two days. To streamline this process, Gmail and Yahoo have introduced header codes that enable seamless implementation of the one-click unsubscribe feature. 

    You should know that most email service providers, like HubSpot, provide this one-click unsubscribe option for ALL their emails for all clients.

    Additional Requirements To Be Aware Of

    Gmail and Yahoo ultimately want to provide a better email experience cutting spam rates is a key part of that. Gmail states that senders must keep rates reported by its Postmaster Tools service under 0.3%, while Yahoo uses its Complaint Feedback Loop to manage spam.

    Both Gmail and Yahoo offer additional guidance on email authentication methods and policies including:

    • SPF
    • DKIM
    • DMARC

    Square 2 regularly ensures clients are compliant, and we’re working to make sure that our clients are compliant with authentication methods as noted above. HubSpot also provides these practices as part of its platform technology.                                                                       

    The way you structure your sales or marketing emails can have a significant impact on how Gmail and Yahoo clients process them as well as how engaging they are to your audience. Gmail offers tips on using the appropriate formatting techniques to increase the chances of your emails landing in the inbox rather than the spam folder.

    HubSpot also provides user guidelines and in-app tips to help ensure your emails are deliverable and not flagged by any spam filters.

    How Can You Prepare for These Changes?

    To stay ahead of the game, start reviewing and implementing these changes as soon as possible. Gmail has confirmed that the guidelines will take effect on February 1, 2024, while Yahoo plans to roll out changes in the first quarter of 2024. Don’t risk having your emails marked as spam or not getting delivered.

    One of the most important steps that you can take is to build your database with first-party data. This is data you collect from your marketing, as opposed to third-party data that you purchase from a data service like ZoomInfo.

    Once people give you consent to allow you to market to them, all these regulations fall away. Yes, you have to let them unsubscribe, but your risk of being flagged as a spammer should be eliminated.

    Another approach is to lean on phone data to deploy SMS text and calling campaigns. While this won’t run into email regulations, be aware of regulations around calling and texting. Also, phone platforms like Apple are getting more aggressive at allowing their customers to identify texters and callers as spam and report these messages.

    Again, your best bet now and into the future is to earn your prospects’ attention and gain their contact information because you add value, you have highly credible educational content and people are talking about your company.

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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