In October 2023, both Google and Yahoo! simultaneously announced that they intended to enforce their existing bulk sender best practices.
For many years, these best practices have been recommended by both providers for maximum inbox placement. However, currently failing to follow them does not guarantee that messages are diverted to the spam folder or rejected outright. Starting in February 2024 however, senders who fail to follow these best practices may have a much higher chance of their messages not reaching the inbox.
These requirements will affect messages delivered to both the shared domains (gmail.com, googlemail.com, yahoo.com, yahoo.co.uk, aol.com, etc.) and any regular domain that uses Google Workspace, Google’s business email hosting service.
The updated requirements
The required best practices for both providers can be summarized as follows:
- Have DNS set up correctly
- Authenticate messages with SPF and DKIM
- Align (sign) DKIM with the From domain
- Have DMARC policy record on the From domain (does not have to be active, meaning p=none is fine)
- Have a 1-click unsubscribe on marketing messages
- Do not exceed (on average) 0.30% spam/complaint rate
Let’s walk through each of these best practices.
1. Have DNS set up correctly
In many cases, Upland is responsible for the DNS of the domains associated with our ESP products. In some cases, responsibility for the DNS settings is shared between Upland and the client. Upland will monitor the health of the DNS settings and proactively advise clients in advance, should any changes need to be made on their end.
2. Authenticate messages with SPF and DKIM
SPF allows a domain owner to specify what email servers and ESPs can send email on behalf of their domain.
DKIM allows a sender to associate a domain with an email message. All of our email products support both the SPF and DKIM authentication protocols and they are enabled by default.
3. Align (sign) DKIM with the From domain
DKIM alignment means that the From domain in a message must match the DKIM signing domain. When this happens it allows large mailbox providers, such as Google and Yahoo! to identify individual senders, which can help build sending reputation.
This functionality is currently supported on Adestra and PostUp. However, DKIM alignment is not enforced in all cases meaning that not all domains may be set up correctly to comply with this requirement. If you have concerns or are unsure how to check DKIM alignment, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
4. Have DMARC policy record on the From domain
DMARC is an anti-fraud protocol that allows a domain owner to limit who can use their domain in the From field of a message. The new requirements require that a DMARC DNS record be present, but it does not have to be enabled. Many From domains already have a DMARC record.
Upland will automatically create a dormant (not enabled) DMARC record for any active From domain that does not have one and for which we control the DNS. For all other From domains, Upland will monitor the DMARC record status and proactively advise clients in advance, should any changes need to be made on their end.
5. Have a 1-click unsubscribe on marketing messages
Upland supports 1-click functionality. We understand that many Adestra and PostUp clients have complex needs around unsubscribes and preference center integrations. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you require further information, as they have access to platform-specific content.
For general queries on how to add unsubscribe functionality to templates, please open a support request for assistance.
6. Do not exceed (on average) 0.30% spam/complaint rate
The complaint rate reported by Yahoo! is available as a standalone metric on your Adestra and PostUp dashboards. If you are unsure how to locate this information, please open a support request for assistance. The Gmail complaint rate is available via Google Postmaster Tools (GPT), which is a third-party site operated by Google.
Many of our customers already use GPT and are familiar with how to read their reputation metrics. If you would like to know more about how GPT can help you, please speak to your Customer Success Manager and request you be included in the next webinar.
We will be sending further communications before February 2024 with more information, checks you can run yourself, and answering any of your other questions.