Google and Yahoo have introduced a brand new set of email authentication requirements for bulk message senders (those who send > 5000 emails per day), instructing them to deploy email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, enable easy unsubscription and focus on message relevance.
Google has been the pioneer in encouraging, exercising, and enforcing stringent privacy policies when it comes to email transactions and communication, to ensure end-to-end protection of information. The new email authentication requirements are aimed at reducing email fraud and taking a stricter approach towards spam reduction in 2024.
New Gmail Email Authentication Requirements
In their latest announcement, Google notified that starting in the first quarter of 2024, domain owners who send bulk messages to Gmail addresses would be required to authenticate their emails. This in turn would ensure that receivers can easily unsubscribe from receiving emails that do not interest them and maintain a less spammy inbox.
White Gmail’s AI-powered defensive measures that are already integrated into their email systems stop spam, phishing, and other forms of email fraud by 99.9%, – restricting nearly 15 billion undesired emails on a daily basis, they are keen on taking it one step further by making it mandatory for senders sending more than 5000 messages to Gmail inboxes per day to validate their emails.
Yahoo Follows Suit in Establishing Strong Email Authentication
Yahoo isn’t far behind either as they described their key objective to ensure an optimal emailing experience is to ensure receivers only receive messages that might be of interest to them, filtering out the rest.
To meet this objective, Yahoo in their latest announcement declared that in 2024 bulk message senders would be required to authenticate their emails against popular email authentication standards, enable one-click unsubscription options, and send emails that are of value to Yahoo users.
New Email Authentication Requirements for Bulk Email Senders
1. Authenticate Your Emails with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
Both Google and Yahoo have declared that it is required for all bulk senders to implement email authentication protocols SPF, DKIM, and DMARC correctly for all their email domains. This would ensure threat actors can’t impersonate legitimate domain names to send spam messages to their user base.
Sender Policy Framework or SPF will allow bulk email senders to authorize your legitimate senders by allowing only permitted sending domains and IPs to send emails on behalf of their own domain – thereby reducing spam complaints.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) helps protect your email’s content from being altered while in transit by adding digital signatures to message headers.
DMARC binds it all together by aligning messages against SPF and/or DKIM checkpoints and setting up instructions for receiving servers to accept, quarantine, or reject misaligned emails. It helps protect your email messages against phishing attacks, spoofing, business email compromise, and more email-based attacks.
2. Easy One-click Unsubscription
Email users should be able to unsubscribe from receiving emails from a particular sender with just one click! One-click unsubscribe mechanism is another bulk email requirement declared by Google and Yahoo to make it easier for receivers to opt out of receiving messages that do not interest them and maintain a spam-free inbox.
3. Stay Under the 0.3% Spam Rate Threshold
While Google uses several technical measures to block out spam messages from reaching their users, to make the experience even better and more efficient they would be pioneering a clear threshold for spam that needs to be maintained below 0.3% by senders at all times, thereby ensuring that their receivers can further avoid receiving unwanted or potentially malicious messages.
General Email Sender Requirements
While the above-mentioned set of new Google sender requirements has been recently introduced to further reduce spam for users, Google has been urging users to follow safe sender practices for a long time. Here are a few general email sender requirements that were in place before:
- Email Senders must authenticate their emails against SPF and DKIM
- Sending domains and IP addresses must have valid PTR records
- Your message’s spam rate must be below 0.3% (Google recommends using Google Postmaster tools for running your spam rate check)
- Your message format should adhere to the IMF specifications as mentioned under RFC 5322
- Owing Gmail’s adoption of DMARC quarantine policy, impersonating Gmail From: headers can now land you into trouble and reduce your mail delivery rates
- The domain in the sender’s “From:” header must match the domain in either the return-path header (for SPF) or the DKIM signature header
- Forwarded emails must be signed with ARC
Learn more about these requirements in Google’s document.
PowerDMARC Helps You Adhere to These New Requirements
Enabling email authentication protocols requires strong technical knowledge and a deep understanding of the validation process. PowerDMARC is formed by a team of experts that help you activate DMARC, SPF, and DKIM easily for your emails with hosted services that enable monitoring and reporting on a single cloud interface.
We help you take simple and actionable steps:
- Understand email authentication and DMARC policies
- Set up DMARC, SPF, and DKIM
- Check the correctness of your setups with a single click
- Monitor your authentication results and deliverability
- Gain access to a range of other tools for advanced email protection
We also provide 24/7 assistance with a commitment toward customer satisfaction and one-on-one support to ensure a smooth transition to enforced policies without the risk of email deliverability issues. Contact us today to get started!
In addition to this, it is important to enable a one-click unsubscribe header and keep your spam rate to a minimum to ensure that you’re adhering to Google and Yahoo’s latest requirements before 2024.
When do these new requirements come into action?
The new requirements for Google and Yahoo are set to come into action by 1st February 2024.
Whom do these new requirements impact?
Any email sender who sends more than 5,000 emails per day is subject to these latest requirements. However, Google’s general email sender requirements are applicable to all senders whether or not they send bulk messages on a regular basis.
What if I fail to fulfill the requirements?
Failing to fulfill Google and Yahoo’s email security requirements before 1st February 2024 will negatively impact your email’s deliverability rate. Your emails are more likely to end up in your recipient’s spam folder or get discarded outright by their mail server.
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