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New Google & Yahoo Bulk Email Rules: What You Need to Know (2024 Update)

Envelope with the word SPAM over it

You may have heard that Google and Yahoo implemented new bulk email rules starting in February 2024.

Some people I've encountered ask, "What is bulk email"?

Bulk email is also known as email marketing. Common tools businesses use are MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot -- and many, many more. Sometimes the email programs are "baked" right into the website software, sometimes it's stand-alone. However it is used, email marketing is a very powerful tool to keep in touch with your customers and prospects -- and to generate sales.

Why are Google & Yahoo Changing the Bulk Email Rules?

Just because they can!!  (Just joking!)

A BIG problem with email is SPAM -- all that email that buries our important communications in JUNK! All that email that we NEVER asked for and don't want. But worse, all those emails that LOOK legitimate, but aren't -- trying to trick us into clicking a link that leads down the road to our accounts being hacked, our identity being stolen, and endless headaches trying to fix it all.

We try spam filters, we try unsubscribing, we use throw-away email accounts, we mark email as spam -- but it's a losing battle. We still face 100s of new emails in our inbox every day -- most of them JUNK!

Google and Yahoo's rule changes are an attempt to make this a bit better.

Who Do the New Google & Yahoo Bulk Email Rules Apply To?

The new rules apply to any business or organization sending bulk email. There has been a lot of talk that they only apply to those sending 5,000 emails a day, but reading Google's "fine print", many of these rules apply to anyone sending bulk email.

This article is not going to get into all the nitty-gritty. You can read the Google announcement and the Yahoo announcement -- and a Google search will turn up many more articles about the change.

Here is a Quick Summary of the New Bulk Email Rules:

  • Email Authentication: This is done by having correct SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication,  Reporting and Conformance) records in your DNS (Domain Name System).

    Phew! That's a lot of letters -- and a lot of English that doesn't sound like English! (Want to know how this all works? Here's a series of four articles to quelch your curiosity.)

    The good news is, all the email systems I've ever come across give you very specific instructions on how to implement this. If eKamria has set up your email marketing program, these steps have been completed for you (SPF and DKIM are not new and are a standard part of what we do for our clients. DMARC is a new requirement, and we've gone back and implemented that for our clients.)

  • One-click Unsubscribe: You need to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your email list. All the third-party email marketing software providers include a way to add an "unsubscribe" link to your emails. Some have long required it -- others leave it up to you to add where you wish. But be sure to add it. Additionally, if your software doesn't remove the unsubscribed emails automatically, you should remove them as soon as possible. The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to do it within 10 days.

  • Spam Thresholds: Keep spam rates reported by your recipients below 0.10% and avoid ever reaching a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. For example, if your list has 1,000 emails on it, that range is 1 - 3!

    (You are unlikely to hit these thresholds if you are being a "good sender" -- only adding customers and contacts interested in your content to your email list, providing good and useful content, making unsubscribing easy.)

    This is where YOU can be kind -- unsubscribe from legitimate business emails rather than marking them as spam. If they are legitimate spam -- go for it!

There you go -- everything you need to know about the new Google and Yahoo bulk email rules. Hopefully, we will all feel a positive impact in our inboxes from these changes.

If you aren't sure if you are set up, or need help, feel free to contact us.

2 comments

  • Hey Ann. I hadn't heard about the change, but it doesn't seem to have affected the amount of spam I still receive on my more popular blog than my business one. Yesterday I got 11 spam emails; Friday I got 21! There's nothing one can do except send them to the spam folder. As for other email, it has dimished a bit, so maybe Google's working wonders; we'll see how it goes as time passes.

    Enjoy your week!

    • Hi Mitch,

      Nice to hear from you. If I'm understanding your comment correctly, this won't change spam comments to your blog or those email notifications, because those emails are sent from your website to notify you of a new comment. Glad to hear you are seeing a reduction of real spam email. I've recently read that they are slowly implementing this, and plan to start rejecting "a percentage" of non-compliant email starting in April.

      I've been very actively unsubscribing and marking unwanted email as spam, and I am noticing a difference.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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