Are you ready for Google & Yahoo’s new email authentication requirements?

Mark Hill
Marketing Automation Consultant


Google and Yahoo recently announced significant changes to their email sender requirements. These changes will take effect in February 2024, and will impact mass email senders (over 5,000 emails per day) – which will include many Marketo users.

The changes don’t introduce any new concepts, but turn best practices into new requirements aimed at enhancing email security and improving user experience.

The recommended changes should be things that all mass email senders are already doing. However, it is highly recommended that you check your systems to avoid your emails being marked as spam or blocked under the new requirements. 

What changes will be made to email authentication requirements?

In summary, the three new requirements for bulk senders are:

  1. Authenticate your email
  2. Allow for one-click unsubscription
  3. Stay under a reported spam threshold

Read on to find out what exactly this means…

1. Authenticate your email

Yahoo’s initial guidance on this topic is:

“To help our users to be more confident about an email’s source, we will require senders to implement stronger email authentication leveraging industry standards such as SPF, DKIM and DMARC.”

Google’s guidelines for bulk senders breaks this down as:

  • Set up SPF and DKIM email authentication for your domain.
  • Ensure that sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records, also referred to as PTR records. 
  • Use a TLS connection for transmitting email. 
  • Set up DMARC email authentication for your sending domain. Your DMARC enforcement policy can be set to none.
  • For direct mail, the domain in the sender’s From: header must be aligned with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain. This is required to pass DMARC alignment.

If you’re in any doubt about your authentication, this is something we have reviewed and implemented for many of our clients in the past and in the lead-up to these changes. Our team is here to help if you need any advice or support in this area.

2. Allow for one-click unsubscription

The guidance from Google and Yahoo states that bulk senders must give recipients the ability to unsubscribe from commercial email in one click. All unsubscription requests must be processed within two days.

They also recommend allowing recipients to review the individual mailing lists they are subscribed to, and allowing them to unsubscribe from individual lists, or all lists at once. This is a great opportunity to review your preference centre, and make sure it’s providing an easy and compliant experience for your users. 

Finally, they suggest automatically unsubscribing recipients who have multiple bounced messages. This is something that can be handled as part of your data hygiene processes.

3. Stay under a reported spam threshold

Both providers are committed to reducing the amount of spam that users receive in their inboxes. They will now be enforcing a clear spam rate threshold that senders must stay under.

For bulk senders, this means keeping spam rates reported in Postmaster Tools below 0.10% and avoiding ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. 

Applying the recommendations in point 1 and 2 are key to helping reduce your spam rate, as well as following recommended sending practices such as sending all messages from the same IP address.

Check out our blog for an overview of more email best practices and actionable tips.

What’s next?

If you’re a bulk sender, it’s essential that you follow the new guidelines as soon as possible. Failing to meet the requirements could result in your emails being marked as spam, or not delivered as expected. This can have a huge knock-on impact on your organisation’s goals. 

We’ve already helped multiple clients to review their set-up and ensure that they are ready for the new requirements. If you need any support with all or part of this job, we can take it off your plate! Click here to book a meeting with the team.

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