• January 19, 2024
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Yahoo! and Google Adopt Email Rules Changes

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Google and Yahoo! are set to start enforcing new rules for senders of bulk email, which is causing great consternation among some sales and marketing professionals.

Enforcement of the new rules will begin Feb. 1, though Yahoo! has said that it will roll out enforcement gradually as it monitors compliance through the first half of the year.

They require bulk senders to maintain a spam rate below 0.1 percent and to avoid ever reaching higher than 0.3 percent, a calculation is based on the percentage of outgoing messages that are later reported as spam by recipients. The rules also require three-factor authentication of emails and the ability for recipients to unsubscribe in one simple click. Email senders will also be required to process unsubscribe requests within two days.

The three-factor email authentication requirements center on the following mechanisms that work together:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF), which helps prevent domain spoofing;
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), which adds a digital signature to outgoing email; and
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), which reports email authentication results and allows domain owners to specify which actions to take when an email fails authentication.

Google has specified that the new rules apply to anyone who sends more than 5,000 email messages to Gmail addresses in one day. And they apply at the domain level, not the individual level, meaning that they encompass all of the emails sent by the organization using the domain, not just a particular person or department.

This, experts say, will require greater coordination between departments, most notably sales and marketing, to ensure that send rates do not exceed the specified thresholds. It could also encourage companies to adopt more of a multichannel approach, adding other marketing and sales outreach channels to the mix.

The new rules should also force domain owners to install greater security measures to prevent illegal spammers, fraudsters, and other bad actors from illegally spoofing their email addresses.

Given that outbound cold email tactics are a cornerstone of effective sales and marketing strategies in today's digital world, these policy changes have naturally raised concerns in the CRM world.

However, Parth Mukherjee, global product executive at sales enablement provider Mindtickle, sees the changes as a catalyst for a new era in sales. The changes, he says, will push teams to use generative artificial intelligence technology, sales training tools, and data analytics to become more knowledgeable about their targets and more pinpointed in their relationship building.

While their reach may be smaller, the impact would be more significant, Mukherjee adds.

Yahoo! and Google have both said that though these new rules are designed to cut back on the amount of spam emails—especially those with fraudulent purposes&mdashthat are sent to their users, but legitimate sales and marketing operations might be affected.

"A key mission of Yahoo! is to deliver messages that consumers want to receive and filter out the messages they don't. The best way to ensure your messages are delivered is to send timely and relevant email to an active and engaged audience," the company said in a recent blog post.

Of the estimated 333 billion email messages sent globally every day, roughly half of them are considered spam, according to many sources.

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