How to follow new Google's requirements for senders

Google will implement new requirements for email senders beginning February 1, 2024. Email providers aim to shield their users from spam, recipients desire only relevant emails, you aim to reach their inboxes, and we at Mailarrow want your email campaigns to thrive.

Who do they apply to:

All individuals sending emails to Gmail, Yahoo, and Google Workspace recipients must adhere to the following requirements. Additionally, bulk email senders dispatching over 5,000 emails per day to Gmail recipients will face additional conditions.

What are the new major requirements:

  1. Authenticate your emails through domain records: SPF, DKIM, DMARC, rDNS
  2. Send wanted emails and keep spam rate below 0.3 %
  3. Don’t fake sending from a Gmail address
  4. Make the unsubscribed easy

What you get by following them:

  • Providers see you as a trusted sender.
  • Your deliverability score improves.
  • Your emails are qualified for the primary inbox.
  • Your email engagement raises.

What is the timeframe:

It's important to complete this guide by February 2024. Failing to meet the requirements may result in your emails being marked as spam or not delivered.

1) Configure domain’s technical settings

First, ensure that your technical setup is properly configured for effective email authentication.

Set up SPF and DKIM email authentication

SPF and DKIM are records set up in your domain's DNS settings. Email providers utilize them for authentication, verifying your identity as a sender and confirming that an email is sent from a trusted server.

SPF ensures your email is sent from a server authorized by you. DKIM provides a digital signature to confirm that the email is genuinely sent from your email account.

What you get: A healthy sender domain; enhanced deliverability score; your emails are not flagged as spam by providers.

What to do: To verify your SPF and DKIM, perform a domain health test. If they're not present, establish them in your domain's DNS settings.

Set up rDNS record

rDNS records, also called PTR records, add another layer to email authentication.

When you send emails, providers examine the A record (forward DNS lookup) and compare it with the rDNS record (reverse DNS lookup) to ensure that your sender IP address is linked to your domain.

What you get: additional points for deliverability and email security.

What to do: Ensure your sending domain has a valid rDNS record.

Set up DMARC authentication

This is an additional requirement for bulk senders who send over 5,000 emails daily to Gmail accounts. If you conduct targeted outreach for smaller lead lists, you can skip these steps for bulk senders.

Once SPF and DKIM authentication are in place, you must also add a DMARC policy. This policy guides email receivers on how to handle emails that fail SPF and DKIM checks but appear to be sent from your domain, a situation known as spoofing.

What you get: Protected brand reputation and improved email deliverability score.

What to do: Create a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS settings.

To follow a minimum requirement, set its value to “p=none”.

To prevent email spoofing, set its value to “p=reject” or “p=quarantine”.

For bulk senders: Match your “From” domain with your SPF or DKIM domain

This is a necessary step for thorough DMARC authentication for bulk senders. Its purpose is to confirm that the DKIM and SPF records include the same domain connected to Mailarrow for sending emails.

What to do: Make sure the domain in the “From” field in email account settings matches the domain authenticated in SPF or in DKIM.

2) Keep spam complaint rate below 0.3%

This requirement primarily relates to the individuals you reach out to and the content of your emails. Make sure to maintain a spam complaint rate below the 0.3% limit, as indicated in Google Postmaster. A spam complaint occurs when a recipient deliberately marks your email as spam.

A high spam rate often results from incorrect targeting, such as emailing individuals who aren't a good fit for your offer. If your spam rate exceeds the limit, your emails are more likely to be flagged or blocked by providers.

What to do: The best way to lower your spam rate is to send emails that are relevant, targeted, and personalized.

Track your spam rate using the Google Postmaster tool. It shows your spam rate with Gmail recipients.

Here's a quick checklist to lower your spam rate:

  • Avoid sending generic emails to random prospects. Gather leads based on your ideal customer profile.
  • Send content that is relevant, personalized, and valuable. The more value an email provides, the better it will be received.
  • Provide a straightforward way for recipients to unsubscribe, don't compel them to make spam complaints.
  • Refrain from emailing recipients who show no interest after a few follow-ups. Add such contacts to the "Do-not-email" list.

What you get: plus to email deliverability and sender reputation; improved reply rate and conversions.

3) Don’t impersonate Gmail address in the “From” field

This means that email senders from claiming a Gmail address as their "From" address if they don't own it. For instance, if your sender address is Yahoo, but you display a Gmail address in the "From" field (visible to recipients), your emails might be treated as spam.

Avoid making it appear as if you're sending from a Gmail address, as starting in February, Google will block such senders.

What you get: plus to email delivery rate.

What to do: This requirement is straightforward: always send from your business mailbox and use the same email in the “From” field in your email account settings.

4) Add an easy unsubscribe option

Including an effortless unsubscribe option is essential for all emails. People are less likely to mark your emails as spam if they have an easy way to opt out. If you send emails in bulk, Google will mandate providing recipients with a one-click unsubscribe option.

What you get: lower spam complaint rate; higher sender reputation.

What to do: For all senders, make sure to include a clearly visible unsubscribe link in the email’s body, typically at the end.