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Navigating the 2024 Email Changes: A Guide for Small and Medium Business Owners

MacBook and Email reduced

 

Email marketing has long been a powerful tool for businesses, offering a direct line to customers and clients. However, starting in June 2024, Google and Yahoo are introducing significant changes to their email delivery rules that could impact how your emails reach your audience. If you’re a small or medium business owner who isn’t very technical, these changes might seem daunting, but understanding them is crucial to maintaining effective communication with your customers.

 

Key Changes Coming in June 2024

  1. One-Click Unsubscribe: Google and Yahoo will require marketing emails to include a one-click unsubscribe link, which must process requests within two days. This is aimed at making it easier for users to opt out of mailing lists without marking emails as spam​​.
  2. Spam Complaint Rate Thresholds: Gmail will enforce a spam complaint rate threshold of 0.1%, while Yahoo’s threshold is 0.3%. Exceeding these thresholds can result in your emails being sent to spam folders or being blocked entirely​​.
  3. Email Authentication: Bulk email senders must implement SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) records. These measures help prevent email spoofing and ensure your emails are properly authenticated.

What Are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

Understanding these terms can be challenging if you’re not technical, but they are essential for email deliverability:

  • SPF: SPF allows your email server to specify which IP addresses are allowed to send email from your domain. It helps prevent others from sending unauthorised emails pretending to be from you.
  • DKIM: DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, which helps the recipient’s server verify that the email hasn’t been tampered with during transit and confirms it came from an authorised sender.
  • DMARC: DMARC ties SPF and DKIM together, providing instructions to the recipient’s server on how to handle emails that fail these checks. It also provides reporting on email authentication performance.

How These Changes Affect Your Business

 

If you don’t have SPF, DKIM, or DMARC records set up, you might face several issues:

  1. Increased Spam Filtering: Without proper authentication, your emails are more likely to be marked as spam. This means your newsletters and promotional emails may never reach your customers’ inboxes, reducing the effectiveness of your email campaigns​.
  2. Reduced Deliverability: Emails that fail authentication checks can be blocked outright by email providers like Google and Yahoo. This means a significant portion of your emails may not be delivered at all​​.
  3. Damage to Brand Reputation: Frequent spam complaints and email rejections can damage your sender reputation. Over time, this makes it harder for your emails to reach any inboxes, not just those on Gmail or Yahoo​​.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

 

To avoid these issues and ensure your emails continue to reach your audience, follow these steps:

  1. Set Up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC: Work with your IT Department to set up these records and to ensure they’re compliant. About 90% of businesses we’ve run scans for, have maybe one of the three, for those who have all three, half aren’t compliant.
  2. Monitor Spam Complaint Rates: Regularly check your spam complaint rates through tools provided by Google and Yahoo. Aim to keep these rates below the specified thresholds.
  3. Simplify Unsubscribing: Ensure that your emails include a one-click unsubscribe link and that unsubscribe requests are processed promptly. This helps maintain a clean email list and reduces the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.
  4. Regularly Clean Your Email List: Remove inactive subscribers and ensure that your email list only includes people who have explicitly opted in to receive your communications. This helps improve engagement rates and reduces the risk of spam complaints.

The upcoming changes to email delivery rules by Google and Yahoo are designed to improve user experience and reduce spam. While these changes might require some adjustments to your current email practices and ensuring your email records are compliant, they are also an opportunity to enhance your email marketing effectiveness.

 

By setting up proper email authentication, monitoring your spam complaint rates, and making it easy for users to unsubscribe, you can ensure that your emails continue to reach your audience and that your email marketing remains a valuable tool for your business.

 

You can use the tool below to see how compliant you are with the upcoming changes.

 

If you need assistance in becoming compliant, contact us today.