How to Adapt to Gmail’s New Regulations

In February 2024, Google is rolling out critical updates, potentially reforming existing email strategies.

Written by Vlad Oleksiienko
Published on Jan. 25, 2024
How to Adapt to Gmail’s New Regulations
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Email has evolved into a critical tool for business-to-business outbound strategies. Industries such as direct-to-consumer, Software as a Service and B2B services heavily rely on email for client outreach, content sharing and forging lasting relationships.

But achieving inbox visibility remains a challenge, especially with Gmail’s prevalent spam issues. This challenge is set to intensify with the upcoming Gmail updates in February 2024, raising concerns among businesses worldwide.

What are gmail’s new requirements for bulk emails?

  • Senders must authenticate their emails to verify their identity.
  • Senders must include an unsubscribe link in each email.
  • Senders must maintain a spam rate below 0.3 percent.

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What Are the Gmail Updates for 2024?

Google’s latest blog post outlines significant enhancements to Gmail’s email security protocols. These changes, aimed at combating spam, phishing and malware will impact bulk senders, or those dispatching over 5,000 messages daily.

The update initially included both personal Gmail and Google Workspace accounts. A subsequent clarification, however, noted that the 5,000 email per day cap applies solely to personal accounts. For emails sent to addresses ending in “@gmail.com” in large volumes, there are new requirements.

 

Email authentication

Senders must authenticate their emails to verify their identity, a move that Google reports has already reduced unauthenticated communications by 75 percent.

 

Easy unsubscribe option

Senders must include a link to unsubscribe in each email, facilitating recipients’ ability to opt out from unknown senders with ease. This measure aims to improve the overall inbox experience and the quality of content users receive.

 

Spam rate threshold

Gmail has set a new limit on the rate of emails that can be flagged as spam before facing consequences. To avoid any issues, senders must maintain a spam rate below 0.3 percent.

 

Adapting to the New Email Landscape

Given these updates, businesses must revise their email strategies. The following advice, explored further in Deliverability Checklist 2024, offers actionable steps for adapting to these changes.

 

Compliance with legal regulations

Familiarize yourself with and always follow the relevant email regulations of your recipients, like the CAN-SPAM Act for the U.S. and General Data Protection Regulation for the E.U.

 

Technical setup

Ensure proper email infrastructure and authentication (Sender Policy Framework, DomainKeys Identified Mail, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance etc.) to maintain the credibility of your domain.

 

Secondary domain for outreach

Consider using a secondary domain for cold outreach to protect your primary domain’s reputation. Balance cold and warm traffic for better deliverability, or catering to both new and existing customers.

 

Building and maintaining sender reputation

Gradually build a positive sender reputation, especially when using a new domain or IP address. Follow a structured approach to increase the volume of your emails while maintaining a low spam rate.

 

Contact list quality

Use exclusively business email addresses and avoid group or personal email addresses. Refrain from using purchased, rented or scraped email lists.

 

Email verification and list hygiene

Regularly check for and remove invalid and inactive email addresses. Also, remove bounced contacts to keep the bounce rate low.

 

Email content considerations

Avoid spam trigger words and unnecessary HTML code, and ensure a healthy text-to-image ratio in your emails.

 

Throttling and sending schedule

Plan your email volume and the delays in outreach to avoid red flags from email service providers like Gmail and Office 365.

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The Upside of Stricter Rules

There are some potential positive outcomes of these stricter email regulations. While these changes certainly pose challenges for marketers, they also bring about a significant advantage: reduced inbox clutter. The stringent rules set by these updates are likely to drastically reduce the volume of unsolicited and spam emails that flood our inboxes daily.

This shift presents a unique opportunity for businesses. With less spam, each email sent has a higher chance of standing out, being noticed and, more importantly, being read by the intended audience.

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