Get Your Domain Ready for Google Yahoo Email Changes for 2024

Google and Yahoo are implementing email domain authentication requirements and spam prevention changes, set to take effect in February 2024.

Google Yahoo Email Changes for 2024

If you're using email marketing via a service such as Active Campaign, ConvertKit, etc, you'll be required to authenticate your email domain to keep reaching your subscriber's inboxes.

Similar to requiring SSL for websites and GDPR, Google and Yahoo are taking the best practices we should have been using all along, and making them mandatory to help them better control spam.

Authentication requires you to login to your domain registrar (the place where you purchased your domain) and set up authentication records. It's a bit technical, but once it's done, it's done and you don't have to mess with it again.

When you're properly set up, your emails will show up as coming from you instead of through your email software provider.

Example of a marketing email from a verified address vs an unverified one.

Validating your email domain proves your emails come from you.

Many business owners still have no idea that these changes are coming and are overwhelmed at the technical tasks needed to comply with these new changes. In this article, you'll learn what these new regulations are, what settings you need to change and how to get help if you need it. It's gonna get a little technical, so grab your tea and strap in. 

Why Are These Email Authentication Changes Happening?

This is a case of a lot of bad actors ruining it for everyone. These changes are happening to make it easier for Google and Yahoo to decrease unwanted spam messages. 

Although it's annoying for many people to figure out the tech, these rules will help you improve your deliverability and build trust and credibility with your own domain instead of relying on your email service provider, which ultimately is a good thing for you. 

What are Google and Yahoo's New Domain Authentication Rules?

No More Marketing from Free Gmail Accounts

In order to send marketing emails through an email service provider like Active Campaign, ConvertKit or MailerLite, you need a paid domain email address. If you've been using a free Gmail address such as yourbusiness@gmail.com, you'll need to upgrade to an address with your domain such as hello@yourbusiness.com through Google Workspace, Microsoft, or another provider.

Your Domain Needs to be Verified

Email providers use digital signature tools called SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify that your emails are coming from you. This keeps bad actors from being able to send spam under your domain name, which can ruin your reputation with senders and cause your emails to land in the spam folder or be blocked altogether. 

Keep Your Spam Complaints Below 0.1%

In order to keep your emails landing in the inbox, Google is enforcing a spam complain threshold of 0.1%. Getting too many complaints means your emails could be blocked from reaching your subscriber's inboxes.

You can minimize spam complaints by having a clear opt-in process (no more importing mass lists of your customers).

Don't just send newsletters - use email as a channel to build relationships with your subscribers and don't just show up when you have something to sell. Think about all the Black Friday emails you got from companies you don't even remember signing up for– don't be that company.

Use segmentation to create more relevant messaging. 

Provide a 1-Click Unsubscribe Process

Some companies force you to 'confirm your request when you click the unsubscribe button but this method will no longer fly under the new rules. Make sure you provide a 1-click unsubscribe process and stop sending messages within 2 days. 

What Do You Need to Do to Authenticate Your Email Domain?

To authenticate your email domain, you'll need to login to your domain registrar–the place where you bought your domain name like Hover, Namecheap or GoDaddy–and add or update your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

A Basic Explanation of SPF, DKIM & DMARC for Regular People

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It's a TXT record you add to your DNS (Domain Name Servers). DNS is the place that tells the internet to serve up your website when people visit yourwebsite.com but it also controls a lot of other things like delivering email sent to your domain. 

Your SPF record authorizes specific servers and apps to send email on your behalf.

Google Workspace

Spambot Spoofer

NOTE: You need to add authentication for ANY app that sends email on your behalf. If your website sends confirmation emails or you use something like Helpscout for customer service, these apps all need an SPF record to vouch for them.

You can only have a single SPF record. If you have more than one, your validation will fail. If you need to validate more than one service, you can add multiple values to a single SPF record. 

Example of an SPF record with multiple values.

What is DKIM?

DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail. It's a way to digitally sign your emails using your domain. It proves you are who you say you are. You can have multiple DKIM records for different services that you use. 

What is DMARC?

DMARC stands for Domain-Based Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. It's a standard that you set for your domain that works alongside SPF and DKIM. You create policies that tell email providers like Google and Yahoo how to handle email that fails the SPF and DKIM checks. 

If you're not sure which apps are sending email on your behalf, you can sign up for a free DMARC digest email through Postmark by Active Campaign.  

Need Help Getting Your Email Domain Authenticated?

Get ready for google and Yahoo email authentication changes for 2024

If this all feels overwhelming and your eyes are glazing over, you can get help! 

I've been helping members of our new Automation Club membership to successfully navigate these new email waters and get their domain authenticated. 

Yes, you can hire someone for $250, $500 or more but the reality is most of this set up is just a process of copy and paste. But you have to know what to copy and where to paste it. 

During our recent workshop, I walked our members through the entire process and helped them adjust their settings and answered questions about different platforms like Mailchimp and Google Workspace. 

You can join Automation Club for just $7/month (for the first 100 members) and get instant access to the workshop replay and the detailed walkthrough videos on how to get authenticated.

THANK YOU! This saved me (or my assistant) a million years of googling for info/solutions from unknown and untrusted sources. My whole year investment in the Digital Automation Club paid off in getting this one question answered!

Automation Club is for business owners who want to automate one new thing per month in their business to increase efficiency, take back their time and improve their client experience. 

We offer monthly live Q&A, strategy and coworking calls. 

Come for the email help, but be warned, you might get hooked on having reliable professional advice about marketing automation and business technology.

I hope to see you inside

About the author 

Kronda Adair

Kronda is the CEO of Karvel Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps mission-driven service-based business owners how to use content to sell so they can automate their marketing and scale without burnout. She loves empowering small business owners to not be intimidated by all this tech stuff. She's often covered in cats.

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