In February 2024, stricter requirements for reaching Gmail recipients will apply. Gmail is setting clear guidelines for all senders, as well as clear guidelines for bulk senders. “Bulk senders” meaning if you send to 5,000 or more Gmail recipients a day. A Gmail recipient is:
- A personal account that ends in @gmail.com or @googlemail.com.
- A work or school account from Google Workspace. These account types don’t end in @gmail.com.
In other words, if you’re mailing anyone with a Gmail account then this update applies to you.
This isn’t a surprise update as inbox providers like Gmail want to give their users a better experience overall (in other words more control over their inboxes and less SPAM, and malicious emails like spoof mails). Yahoo announced a similar update shortly after Gmail
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Authenticate your email:
If you haven’t done this yet it is now crucial. Set up SPF and DKIM for your domain, and DMARC email authentication for your sending domain if you are a bulk sender. Your DMARC enforcement policy can be set to none. Read more about email authentication.
2. Make it easier to unsubscribe:
You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to stop receiving unwanted messages from a particular email sender. It should take one click. Gmail is requiring that large senders give Gmail recipients the ability to unsubscribe from commercial email in one click, and that they process unsubscription requests within two days. Gmail built these requirements on open standards so that once senders implement them, everyone who uses email benefits.
Neil Kumaran – Group Product Manager, Gmail Security & Trust
Google advises you can do this by ensuring you have list – unsubscribe in your message headers. For example:
- List-Unsubscribe-Post: List-Unsubscribe=One-Click
- List-Unsubscribe: <https://solarmora.com/unsubscribe/example>
But what is a list-unsubscribe header? List-unsubscribe is a native unsubscribe option offered by popular inbox providers like iOS Mail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com to make it easy for users to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. List-unsubscribe isn’t a replacement for having unsubscribe messaging and links in your email. Having both is a way to give your subscribers a positive email experience.
Find out more about unsubscribing from the message header in this article from Litmus
Your email sending platform needs to tell you how to do this on their platform.
3. Ensure you’re sending wanted email:
You’ll need to keep your spam complaint rate under 0.3%. How do you check your spam compliant rate for Gmail recipients? You set up Postmaster Tools! It is Gmail’s free deliverability monitoring tool.
Be aware that since Postmaster Tools doesn’t provide email tools with its feedback loop, you’ll need to monitor it yourself. You’ll be able to see your spam complaints from Gmail account holders and are also able to monitor your domain reputation and delivery errors.
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This is the update in a nutshell. The way we see it, these updates are good for email marketing as an industry as they force better practices and better email delivery if you abide.