In February 2024, Google is rolling out a series of new sender requirements for Gmail. As an email marketer, it's crucial to understand these changes and adapt your settings and strategies accordingly. This blog post will provide a step-by-step guide on how to check if your settings align with current requirements and adhere to new requirements.
First off, let's delve into what these new requirements entail. Google has decided to tighten its regulations to minimize spam and ensure users receive only relevant emails. This move is aimed at enhancing user experience but could significantly impact your email marketing campaigns if you're not prepared.
This protocol helps detect and prevent email spoofing, ensuring your emails aren't flagged as spam. It works by specifying which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. When you set up SPF, you create a DNS (Domain Name System) record that lists the IP addresses or domains of the servers allowed to send emails using your domain name. To update your SPF record for your domain, log in to your domain registrar or hosting provider's control panel. This is where you have access to your domain's DNS settings. Make sure your SPF record includes all mail servers authorized to send email on your behalf.
DKIM is another email authentication technique that adds a digital signature to your email messages. This signature is generated using a private key associated with your domain, and a corresponding public key is published in your DNS records. When you send an email, your email server signs it with the private key, and the recipient's server can use the public key to verify the signature's authenticity.
This helps ensure that your emails are less likely to be marked as spam or phishing attempts, increasing the chances of your messages reaching your recipients' inboxes. It's an essential step for anyone sending emails on behalf of a domain, especially bulk email senders who need to meet Gmail's new sender requirements.
DMARC combines SPF and DKIM protocols and adds a reporting function. This setup allows you to specify how Gmail should handle emails claiming to be from your domain. To meet Google's requirements, set up DMARC email authentication for your sending domain, if you haven't done so already. Your DMARC enforcement policy can be set to none.
As of February 2024, Gmail will take am even stricter stance against emails that claim to be from Gmail but fail DMARC authentication, so also make sure to remove any "gmail" addresses in your "From" header of the email, if it's not genuinely sent from Gmail's servers.
Branded sending domains (also known as dedicated sending domains), are your key to enhancing your sender reputation and boosting your brand's visibility in the inbox while complying with Gmail's new sender requirements. As of February, they are a must for bulk senders who frequently send to Google and Yahoo recipients.
Google uses a sender reputation system to filter potential spam. Maintain a good reputation by sending quality content, respecting opt-outs, and monitoring bounce rates. To meet the new Gmail requirements, keep spam rates below 0.10% and avoid ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. You can use your ESP's deliverability report to keep an eye on this as well as Google's Postmaster Tools.
To ensure a positive interaction with your subscribers and meet Google's requirements, your email campaigns must support a one-click unsubscribe option and prominently feature a visible unsubscribe link within the message body. By prioritizing a hassle-free unsubscribe process, you're not only adhering to best practices but also contributing to a more ethical and effective email marketing strategy. Most reputable ESPs support one-click unsubscribe for Gmail and other email clients.