How We’re Helping Marketers Meet Email Authentication Requirements for 2024

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Published on
Mar 5, 2024
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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We’ll make sure your brand is always prepared for industry changes, so your email deliverability and performance aren’t impacted.

The email inbox can be a crowded space. Among personal messages, newsletters, and marketing emails from our favorite brands, spam messages often find their way to the primary inbox instead of the junk folder.

Email service providers like Google and Yahoo are constantly updating their sender requirements to address this issue and ensure that only legitimate and trusted senders can deliver emails to consumers.

Keeping up with the ever-changing rules for email marketing and understanding exactly what you need to do to comply with them can be challenging. But failing to keep up and make the necessary adjustments can have a negative impact on your email deliverability and performance. 

That's why it's crucial to work with a vendor who not only understands the complexity of these changes, but also provides hands-on guidance and expertise to help you navigate the evolving landscape. 

The latest changes from Google and Yahoo went into effect February 1, 2024 and will start being enforced on April 1. They focus on enhancing email authentication, simplifying the unsubscribe process, and reducing spam. 

Here's what you need to do before then to make sure your messages keep reaching your subscribers, plus how we help the brands we work with stay prepared and compliant.

Requirement #1: Set up DMARC email authentication

Verifying that email senders are who they claim to be is crucial for maintaining email security. To that end, Google and Yahoo are taking steps to increase the level of authentication required for an email to reach the primary inbox. 

If you send more than 5,000 messages per day, you’re now required to have a DMARC policy in place for your root domain. But any brand sending marketing emails should consider this new guideline a best practice, too.

How Attentive helps with DMARC authentication

We've partnered with Red Sift, a leading security vendor, to provide Attentive Email users with a DMARC record that meets the minimum requirements set by Google and Yahoo. Our customers also have the option to select their preferred DMARC provider and set up their own DMARC record instead. 

Additionally, we offer hands-on assistance with DNS (Domain Name System) modifications. 

Why this change is important

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) acts as an extra layer of security for email authentication. It allows senders to indicate whether their emails are protected by SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), or both. At least one of these methods is required to pass DMARC authentication. 

By indicating that your emails are protected, you can make sure that your emails reach their intended destination and establish your sender reputation, which ultimately improves your email deliverability.

DMARC records are also important because they essentially "tell" receiving servers what to do if a message fails the security checks, such as sending it to spam or rejecting it altogether. 

Requirement #2: Use your own domain in the "from" address

As part of these stricter authentication and security measures, all senders are now required to use their own domain in the "From" address of an email. The domain in the "From" address must also be the same as the domain in your SPF or DKIM record.

How Attentive helps you set up DNS records

When you onboard your email program with Attentive, we take care of the technical aspects. We provide you with the required DNS records to make sure your emails are properly authenticated and recognized as trustworthy and legitimate by mailbox providers. 

These DNS records are used to authenticate your emails sent through our platform with DKIM and SPF records that match your "From" domain. 

Why this change is important

This change is happening because too many senders aren't following this practice on their own already, resulting in a lack of proper authentication for their domains. Simply put: When the "From" domain is inconsistent, mailbox providers have a hard time determining if the emails are legitimate or not.

These new protocols will help mailbox providers recognize your emails as genuine and establish your reputation as a trusted sender.

Requirement #3: Implement a one-click unsubscribe process

Previously, mailbox providers had up to 10 days to honor opt-out requests. But now, if you send more than 5,000 messages per day, you must enable a one-click unsubscribe process and honor any opt-out requests within 48 hours.

How Attentive helps you enable easy unsubscription

We’re working diligently to accommodate this change behind the scenes, rolling out an unsubscribe feature that makes it easy for Attentive Email users to honor opt-out requests quickly.  

Why this change is important

We've all been on the receiving end of promotional emails that don’t quite pique our interest, even if we were initially enthusiastic about subscribing to them. When it’s easy to opt out, it feels great to reduce the amount of clutter in our inboxes. But when it's not, it can be frustrating to keep getting those unwanted emails. 

Google and Yahoo have updated their email subscription policies to help prevent that latter scenario from happening as much and improve the overall user experience.

Requirement #4: Keep your spam rates (very) low

Google and Yahoo have set new guidelines that spam rates should be below 0.10% and never exceed 0.30%. Their goal is to reduce the amount of unwanted emails that end up in consumers’ inboxes. 

How Attentive helps you stay under the spam rate threshold

If you're an Attentive Email user, our in-house Email Delivery Operations team will keep a close eye on your email traffic and spam rates to make sure you’re staying within these guidelines (and we’ll work with you to make improvements for better email deliverability, if necessary). 

Why this change is important

Keeping spam rates low creates a better experience for recipients, but it also has secondary benefits for senders and mailbox providers alike. 

Unwanted emails are more likely to be ignored or marked as spam, and the resulting low engagement rates can lead to your emails being filtered into the dreaded spam folder. Not only does this hurt your deliverability, but it’s also costly for mailbox providers to process and store unwanted emails.

Being mindful of the content in and the recipients of your emails can help you send more "wanted" emails to subscribers, which is crucial for keeping spam rates low, enhancing your ability to reach inboxes, and lessening the load on mailbox providers. 

The success of your email marketing program is directly tied to your email deliverability. The good news is that by following these new rules—and partnering with a provider who can guide you in making the required adjustments—you can make sure that your messages consistently reach the primary inbox.

At Attentive, we're committed to supporting our customers in meeting these requirements and optimizing their email programs for success, and we’re experts in deliverability. Learn more about Attentive Email and why it might be right for you today.

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