Major changes to marketing emails you can't afford to ignore

Published 9 November 2023 | Last Updated 20 December 2023

In early October, Google and Yahoo announced major changes to how they handle your marketing emails, and no one's talking about it (yet).

The Clock is Ticking: Key Dates and Players

  • Google: Starting in February 2024
  • Yahoo: Q1 2024

Why you should drop everything and pay attention

  • B2C Impacttwo thirds of consumer-facing email systems are Gmail or Yahoo.
  • B2B Impact: lack of authentication makes it hard for your message to get through strong corporate firewalls
  • The Domino Effect: Once these giants make a move, others will follow.
  • Brand Reputation: Failing to adapt could tarnish your brand's email reputation, leading to a downward spiral of fewer opened emails, lower engagement rates, and less sales.

The why: making email safer

Google and Yahoo are upping their email authentication game to combat phishing, spam, and fraud. This isn't just tech jargon; it's about protecting your brand and your audience.

The alphabet soup of email authentication

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): SPF verifies the sender's identity, preventing email spoofing and boosting deliverability.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM adds a digital signature to emails, ensuring integrity and enhancing trust.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): DMARC combines SPF and DKIM to protect your domain's reputation, instructing email providers on how to handle suspicious emails and providing valuable reporting insights.

Together, these 3 are an imperfect but important part of email authentication.

Who needs to act now

Anyone sending “bulk emails” (basically, anything that’s not transactional emails like receipts or password resets). Marketing messages, newsletters, updates, coupons, and invitations are all examples of bulk emails.

Yes, this really means everyone: solopreneurs, nonprofits, and even educational institutions.

What do you need to do?

  1. Authenticate your email: Verify your sender identity with protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
  2. Allow easy unsubscription: Implement a one-click unsubscribe link in your bulk emails for easy opt-out.
  3. Send emails users want: Keep your spam report rate as close to 0% as possible.

Your Action Plan


If the From: email address in your marketing emails is yourname @, change it now; otherwise, your emails are likely to go straight to spam starting in February.

If you send fewer than 5,000 emails per day:

  • Must do: Confirm that your email marketing platform is handling SPF, DKIM, and one-click unsubscribes properly.
  • Smart move: Set up your own SPF and DKIM on all your email channels (including your CRM and everyday email like Gmail) and consider adding DMARC and Google Postmaster to your toolkit.

If you send more than 5,000 emails per day:

  • Must do: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC with p=none are mandatory. Your email marketing platform will not automatically do this for you; this requires manual setup.
  • Smart move: Upgrade DMARC to p=reject or p=quarantine and keep a close eye on your DMARC and Google Postmaster reports.


How does this specifically affect me?

Take this quiz to get personalized explanation and recommendations right in your inbox.

What happens if I ignore this?

Expect more of your emails to go to spam in Gmail and Yahoo mailboxes, lower engagement, and possible blacklisting.

Is this a one-time setup?

SPF and DKIM are generally a one-time setup. DMARC and Google Postmaster need regular monitoring. Additionally, maintaining list hygiene and other best practices is crucial.

What should my spam complaint rate be?

Keep your spam complaint rates below 0.3% (ideally below 0.1%) to avoid potential issues.

Need help navigating these changes?

Feeling overwhelmed by the technical details? You're not alone. Many business owners are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory with these new email authentication requirements.

But here's the good news: You don't have to tackle this alone.

We can help you:

  • Audit your current email setup to ensure you're ahead of the game.
  • Implement the necessary protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) across all your email channels.
  • Monitor your email performance to keep those spam complaint rates low.

Don't let these changes catch you off guard. With our support, you can continue to reach your audience effectively without interruption.

Ready to secure your email marketing's future?

Take the first step towards email peace of mind. Sign up for our email authentication services today, and let's make sure your emails hit the inbox, not the spam folder.

P.S. Don’t wait - with the rush of holidays coming up, February will be here sooner than you think!

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