Gmail’s sender authentication updates – February 2024

Oct 11, 2023 | Best practice, Email marketing

Gmail is setting clear guidelines that impacts email marketers. In this article we share what you need to do by Feb 2024.

Melaina Gross

Gmail senders authentication update Feb 2024

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 or
  • A work or school account from Google Workspace. These account types don’t end in

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: <>

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 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.

One-click unsubscribe in your email message headers

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.


Article sources:

Read the blog article from Google here

And Gmail’s sender guidelines here

Want some help?

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.

If you would like us to do a quick email health check for you then pop us a mail or set up a short call.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended reading

Accessibility in emailBest practiceEmail marketing
How does a blind person read their email? Seven conditions to consider when designing and creating email newsletters

How does a blind person read their email? Seven conditions to consider when designing and creating email newsletters

Accessibility means making sure everyone can receive and understand your email message regardless of any disabilities or assistive devices they may be using.