Starting February 1, all organizations sending bulk emails to Gmail and Yahoo Mail users will be required to follow a new set of sender guidelines to “[keep] email more secure, user friendly and spam-free.”

Email: the new standard best practices

This year, tech giants Google and Yahoo have improved the design of their email platforms to provide a cleaner user experience. But that means that businesses must change the way they send emails. To ensure emails aren’t sent directly to junk folders or labeled as spam, organizations must follow these three new required best practices.

  1. Verify your company is an authentic sender by ensuring you have a DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) established. For those unaware, DKIM “is an email authentication method that uses a digital signature to let the receiver of an email know that the message was sent and authorized by the owner of a domain.”
  2. Streamline the unsubscription process. All organizations will now have to include a single-click unsubscribe option in every email they send which “[directs recipients] to a landing page for the recipient to confirm their opt-out preferences.” They must also ensure that all unsubscribe requests are fulfilled within 48 hours.
  3. Only send desired messages. According to the latest reports, company’s spam complaint rates must now remain below 0.3% if they wish to keep their emails out of the spam folder. 

Dubbed “basic email hygiene” practices by Google, these new requirements aim to decrease the amount of undesired emails for all users. Yahoo’s Senior Director of Product, Marcel Becker, is encouraging all email providers to require these standards from senders, as he recently commented:

“No matter who their email provider is, all users deserve the safest, most secure experience possible… In the interconnected world of email, that takes all of us working together. Yahoo looks forward to working with Google and the rest of the email community to make these common sense, high-impact changes the new industry standard.”