Review Your Email Systems Before February 1st
Email Deliverability Changes Go Into Effect February 1st
Starting February 1st of this year, Google will be enacting changes meant to reduce spam. Other email providers like Yahoo plan to also increase their email deliverability requirements.
Who Does This Affect?
These changes will effect any business or free email account user currently sending 5,000 or more emails a day.
What Does This Mean?
The full Gmail changes can be found on Google's blog post here.
Brands that don't currently follow safe business email marketing practices, will likely see a large drop-off in email open rates after these new rules go into effect as many of their sent emails end up in their target customers spam folders.
It's important to utilize SPF records for your email sending domain. SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. SPF records keep track of the actual IP address that an email was sent from and ensure that it matches a list of allowed IP's to send emails from that domain. This ensures that a computer that is not associated with your business domain is unable to send emails as though they were associated with your business.
Most DNS registrars will be more than happy to add SPF records for you at no additional cost, but if you run into any trouble, feel free to reach out to us and we will be more than happy to help you get your SPF records in place.
In addition to SPF, you should ensure your domain utilizes DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). These records cryptographically sign your emails to ensure the message is unchanged from the sender to the receiver.
The final DNS record you will want to consider implementing is Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance or DMARC. DMARC passes alongside SPF and DMARC records to ensure both records are present and valid. This record also tells email providers what to do with likely spoofed emails, allowing the company that owns the email domain to be able to track attempts at spoofing their email sending.
Google is requiring that all commercial senders allow recipients to unsubscribe from email lists in a single click. This means if you do not already include an easy unsubscribe link on your emails, you should add one ASAP.
Email List Hygiene
One of the most important factors that Google and other email providers use to try and reduce the rate of spam email users run into, is to track how other customers of theirs handle receiving emails from that sender.
For instance, if Google can see that many users are marking an email you sent them as spam, then the next time a user who has not interacted with your brand receives an email from your sending account, Google may decide to move that email to the spam folder rather than show it to them.
Senders will need to do their best to keep their spam rate to as close as 0.0% as possible. Both Google and Yahoo are setting a maximum spam rate of 0.3%. This means that for every one thousand emails you send, more than three recipients marking your email as spam could result in you passing the maximum spam rate.
Consider Utilizing an Email Marketing Platform
Email Marketing Platforms like Klaviyo, HubSpot and MailChimp help to ensure quality email list hygiene. All of these platforms provide easy one-click unsubscribes, keep track of open-rates and spam complaint rates and automatically remove customers who are clearly not interested in your emails.
If you are interested in using an Email Marketing Platform with your website and business, but are unsure of how to get started, reach out to us and we will be happy to help you out.