Help with Gmail and Yahoo’s new spam rules

In October 2023, two of the most widely used email providers in the world, Gmail and Yahoo, announced updates that will affect email deliverability. You may already be seeing some impact like our client Quingo has. They’ve noticed a downturn in email results and had to act fast to comply. These new spam rules are fairly complex and you might need external support to ensure you’re not caught out. 

So, what are they?

Updated Gmail and Yahoo email deliverability requirements, at a glance
Who? What? When? Where? Why?


Yahoo and AOL (owned by Yahoo)

Are introducing new measures that require bulk email senders to:
  • Authenticate their emails
  • Allow recipients to unsubscribe in one click
  • Honor unsubscribe requests within two days
  • Keep complaints close to 0.0% and not exceed 0.3%
  • Q1 2024: Yahoo’s requirements go into effect February 2024:

    Google and Yahoo will begin implementing new requirements, but not all changes will go into effect at once

  • To reduce spam and unwanted messages
  • To make emails safer, more secure, and more user-friendly
  • To improve the email experience for users
  • New spam rules

    In short, you’ll need to authenticate your emails, make unsubscribes easier, handle unsubs within two days and keep your spam reports down.


    Authenticate your emails

    Google’s authentication requirements: SPF,DKIM, and DMARC

    Yahoo’s authentication requirements: SPF,DKIM, and DMARC

    Add one-click unsubscribe functionality to your emails via the list-subscribe header Honer unsubscription requests with 2days

    Send engaging emails to people who specifically asked for them

    Keep complaints as close to 0.0% as possible

    Let’s dive into each of these areas.

    Email authentication

    Email authentication is how receiving mail servers verify the legitimacy of a message. The new changes mean you may need help to set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Many of the DNS providers like Cloudflare and Microsoft have specific setups to do this. The provided information helps and there are many services which offer DMARC monitoring, so you can see if anyone is impersonating you ​​like Mimecast. But even with the guidance, understanding what to do can still be difficult. If you’ve read the documentation and are still in need of support, please get in touch

    1-click unsubscribes

    Many email providers include links which provide a one-click unsubscribe. They are also now adding unsubscribes in the headers at the top of emails as well. This helps users opt out without going through the whole email and that’s the expectation of these new spam rules – simplicity and convenience. Here’s an example below:

    Talk to us at +44 (0) 207 993 5485 or email [email protected] if you don’t know how to configure this in your email system.

    Two-day unsubscribe

    Unsubscribing data across a whole organisation can take time and effort. Data may be held across many different systems and databases. To help our clients with this, we’ve built applications which can unsubscribe or update content records in many different systems automatically. This ensures that data compliance, GDPR and email rules are all followed. Automation also prevents human error versus assigning this critical job to an agent. If you’re looking to ensure compliance, we’d be happy to show you how we can create these automations.

    Spam thresholds

    Lastly, ActiveCampaign explains, “A spam complaint rate is the number of people who reported email as spam out of the total number of messages you have sent. For example, if you send 5,000 messages and 5 people mark it as spam, your spam rate is 0.1% (5/5,000).” Well, as of now, Google requires brands to keep spam rates reported in the company’s Postmaster Tools below a threshold of 0.10% and to avoid reaching a spam rate of 0.3% or higher. Yahoo will also enforce a maximum spam complaint rate of 0.3%. As the two dominant players in email, you can’t afford to have your sending restricted. 

    We can help you:

    • Understand and implement the new rules
    • Map out what business processes will be impacted
    • Test your current emails
    • Create and roll out a plan to achieve better delivery rates under the new spam rules

    Want to read more on this? Check out our other blog about bulk email sending changes. Otherwise, send us a quick message on LinkedIn or via our website to talk about how we can support you.