The world of digital marketing never stays still for long, and 2024 is shaping up to be a year of significant change when it comes to email sender guidelines and compliance regulations. Starting February 1st, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo will begin enforcing new policies that all companies sending marketing emails must adhere to in order to preserve their reputation and protect their ability to reach recipient inboxes.
For business owners and their email marketers who rely on email outreach to connect with clients, it’s essential to understand these looming adjustments and take proactive steps to follow the new rules. Follows are the email compliance changes starting February 1st, 2024 you need to know about, and smart strategies to preserve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns going forward.
- New Requirements for Marketing Emails
- Understanding Email Authentication and Compliance Protocols
- The New Risks of Surpassing Spam Thresholds
- Strategies for Healthy Email Marketing Beyond 2024
- The Future of Email Marketing Hinges on the Recipient Experience
- KLA can help
New Requirements for Marketing Emails
At the heart of the coming changes is a set of heightened standards that specifically apply to companies sending marketing emails.
Beginning February 1, 2024, companies must make the following changes for their email marketing:
- Use a custom domain for sending marketing emails rather than a shared domain, such as gmail.com, yahoo.com, outlook.com and others
- Authenticate emails using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
- Include easy one-click unsubscribe options on all email campaigns
- Maintain spam complaint rates below 0.3% to preserve deliverability
Understanding Email Authentication and Compliance Protocols
The first step to protect your company’s email authority and deliverability is to familiarize yourself with key email authentication terms and procedures in line with the latest sender guidelines:
- DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): Validates senders using DNS records
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Cryptographic email validation tied to a published public key
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Verifies authorized mail servers
Consistently authenticating emails is becoming the cost of admission to inboxes. When authentication mechanisms like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF are implemented, your contacts have assurance that emails genuinely come from companies they opted in to receive content.
Expert Setup is Key
It is critical that these records be implemented by someone who fully understands what they are doing. Improper configuration can block all emails sent from your domain from reaching the inbox, even emails sent from your personal email account.
The New Risks of Surpassing Spam Thresholds
Google’s updated spam policy mandates that companies maintain spam rates under 0.1%, as reported in their Postmaster Tools, to avoid surpassing a critical 0.3% threshold. Yahoo will be enforcing a maximum spam rate of 0.3%. If you surpass these thresholds, you risk having your emails blocked from being delivered to the inboxes of all users hosted by those services.
This means, all Google users or all Yahoo users could be blocked, not just a single company.
Once you’re blacklisted, climbing out of email jail can be an uphill battle. That’s why staying below defined complaint limits through careful list segmentation and management is now a crucial compliance consideration.
Review your marketing email campaign spam rates for the past 90 days. Are they below the recommended 0.1% or are you at risk?
Strategies for Healthy Email Marketing Beyond 2024
To determine your best response to these changes, you must re-think how you manage email lists and campaigns. Realign your marketing around the following core strategies:
Regularly prune lists to remove inactive subscribers or those not engaging with messages. Sending messages to disengaged people increases complaints.
Before removing subscribers altogether, send a special campaign encouraging re-engagement. This identifies truly interested recipients.
Leverage segmentation so content hits the right note for audiences based on preferences and past behaviors with increased personalization.
As you create content that encourages engagement and is personalized to your target markets, focus on adding new subscribers who want to hear from you. Provide resource download and subscription options to continually add to your list.
Every email must include a clear, simple unsubscribe mechanism, as mandated. Make the unsubscribe option obvious to encourage those who aren’t interested to do so and reduce complaints.
The Future of Email Marketing Hinges on the Recipient Experience
Together, authentication protocols, proactive list management, and an email engagement strategy will keep your company’s email marketing in good standing with the new compliance requirements. Shift your email content to appeal specifically to engaged contacts who genuinely want to receive your communications.
Prioritizing recipient experience through relevance and respecting consent is now paramount. It will increase engagement and avoid complaints. With some adjustments, email can remain a key revenue generation channel to help your business create new opportunities.
KLA can help
If you or your team could use expert guidance in making the required changes or maximizing email marketing in 2024, contact us to schedule a quick consultation or call us at 1-888-302-9685.