Last month, Google and Yahoo implemented some changes which impact bulk email senders. These updates included improvements to security, privacy and the overall user experience. As these changes will likely impact our Email Hosting customers, we’d like to make sure you’re as up to date as possible with what’s going on. We’ll outline the main updates, who they affect and what those impacts look like. Plus, we’ll give you some top tips on what to do to avoid ending up in the dreaded spam folder.

Who's be affected?

If you’re a business or individual who sends bulk emails (5,000 or more in a day), then you need to know exactly what Google and Yahoo have changed. The reason for these changes is to reduce spam, phishing and impersonation attempts, so emails are filtered out and the right ones get through to the right people. 

Understanding this is important, as you don’t want your emails to get lost, mistaken for spam, or end up in the wrong inbox.

What are the changes?

Here’s an outline of the key updates Google and Yahoo have made and what this means for you. 

Stricter email authentication and authorisation standards

The new policy means there’s stricter email authentication and authorisation processes put in place to prevent security risks. These include:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) – stops spammers from impersonating you using your domain.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) – verifies that the domain owner was the one to send the email.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) – tells receiving servers where to put emails that don’t pass the authentication checks.

You need to have all of these set up with every email you send to make sure you’re following the latest security standards.

Reducing spam, phishing and impersonation attempts

Any spam, phishing or impersonation attempts can be fatal to a businesses reputation, security and trust with its customers. So to help stop this, Google and Yahoo are using their email authentication and authorisation processes to reduce any fraudulent activities, and create a more secure environment for all users.

You also need to make sure your domain or IP has valid forward and reverse DNS records, so that your domain is verified and doesn’t end up in spam. This also helps contribute to reducing phishing and impersonation attempts.

If you’ve got a shared IP, make sure that the address isn’t on any internet blocklist. If it is, it’s much more likely to head straight to the spam folder.

Action for senders

As part of the updates, as a sender you need to review and update your sending practices to comply with the new policies. If you don’t, it may cause disruptions and affect your ability to send emails. 

Make sure your emails are formatted to the Internet Message Format standard and don’t impersonate Gmail From: headers. You also shouldn’t use HTML or CSS to hide content. Not following these tips only adds to your chances of being marked as spam.

If you regularly forward emails, be sure to include an ARC header. This labels your email as forwarded and shows that you were the one who forwarded it.

What else can you do?

If you regularly send emails that recipients aren’t signed up to receive, consider adding the option to subscribe and unsubscribe to your messages. If a recipient doesn’t want your emails, they might report you as spam. If this happens too many times, future messages will automatically end up as spam and your domain’s reputation can be affected. Send reminder emails asking your customers/recipients if they want to subscribe, or include an option at the bottom of any content you send.

Help is on the way!

While it might seem like a lot to take on, support will be available for anyone affected. Whether you’re an individual sender or business, you can get in touch with us to help answer any questions you might have and support you through these changes. Again, these changes only impact bulk email senders who send more than 5,000 emails in a day.

If you’d like to chat to our Support Team, give us a call on 0333 0142 700 or message via live chat. We’re here 24/7 to help.