A person getting an email notificaiton

If you’re anything like us, you probably have more than one email address. Between multiple email inboxes and an increasing number of spam emails, it can feel overwhelming. Email providers, Google and Yahoo, understand that frustration and have recently announced some changes to how your inbox manages spam and potential fraud. As a consumer, that might be great news. For email senders, you may also have questions. We’re here to share what this means, what you might want to consider, and how Marigold can support you, ensuring the beautiful campaigns you send end up where you want them, in the inbox. 

What did Google and Yahoo announce about email inbox protections?

Google and Yahoo announced that as of February 2024, they will begin to enforce new email authentication standards, setting a new standard for unsubscribe or opt-out links. Authentication has been a best practice for email marketers for more than a decade, and unsubscribe links have been a standard legal requirement in email marketing for quite some time. However, with the tighter controls being applied in February 2024, there will also be changes in how Google and Yahoo determine if an email is delivered or rejected. 

At Marigold, we’ve already launched discovery to identify exactly what this means for our customers and partners. In our conversations with industry experts, we expect additional mailbox providers to follow the Google and Yahoo lead, and additional providers will soon be implementing these requirements too.

Before you begin to sweat these new changes, let’s start here: You partner with an email service provider like Marigold so we can support you through changes, ensuring your emails land in your customers’ inboxes. We’re here to share why this news is positive for email deliverability and email visibility, and also what we recommend you do to get ahead of these changes coming in February 2024.

Why are Google and Yahoo making these changes - and who should be paying attention?

When individuals or companies have to constantly evaluate the validity of emails, resources are unnecessarily wasted, good content might be missed, and your infrastructure might be put at risk. Our goal, and we think your goal as well, is to create content to find your people and engage them, but that all starts with landing in the inbox. By increasing the focus on email protections and security, Google and Yahoo are taking powerful steps to keep email a trusted source for communication and commerce. 

Our best advice on who should pay attention to these changes – is everyone! It’s likely you have people in your audience with Gmail and Yahoo email addresses, and even some additional affected domains that are hard to spot – like those using Google Workspace for custom domains like meetmarigold.com. So to be safe, we think everyone should be following along with these new standards.

What is changing and how can you get started?

  1. Google and Yahoo will require all senders to authenticate their emails. 
  2. Recipients must be able to unsubscribe from bulk mailings with ease, and senders must process and honor those unsubscribe requests within two days. 
  3. Google has promised to establish a clear spam threshold of 0.3% in order to maintain access to Google inboxes. 

Every bulk email sender should start understanding how they are aligned with the new requirements and where there may be gaps. At Marigold, we’ve got a whole team examining every part of these new standards to best prepare our customers. We’re also planning a series of webinars to explain what we recommend in detail, planned for November of 2023 and January of 2024. We recommend taking a measured approach and waiting until after your peak season before implementing these changes, so that there is no disruption during this important period.


Email Authentication 

Email providers use a series of authentication methods, including DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail), to confirm anyone sending an email is an authorized sender. Like a digital fingerprint, these methods make it safer to send and receive emails. There may be changes you’ll want to consider in the coming months, and our teams are currently exploring all possible options to make it both easy and safe to send bulk emails. 

Ready to get started? Authenticate your email. All senders are required to verify their sender identity with standard protocols. You must set up both SPF and DKIM and establish DMARC authentication. Need help with this step? We’ve got you covered with upcoming webinars in November.


Unsubscribe with Ease

Recipients must be able to unsubscribe with ease, and senders must process and honor unsubscribe requests within two days. While unsubscribe links have been a legal requirement for over two decades, one-click unsubscribe functionality is a new requirement. Furthermore, CAN-SPAM allows senders a ten-day grace period to process opt-outs. The new standard of two days is substantially shorter and potentially concerning for senders who utilize multiple tools or vendors to send bulk email. 

Ready to get started? Make unsubscribing simple. This means that Marigold will be further enhancing our existing unsubscribe headers to comply with the one-click requirement so the inbox provider can enable simplified unsubscribe capabilities in subscribers’ inboxes. Additionally, your existing unsubscribe link in the body of the message will continue to work.


Avoid Spam 

Google promised to establish a ‘clear spam rate threshold’ of 0.3% that senders must stay below to ensure they maintain access to Gmail inboxes. Yahoo has also indicated they will enforce spam threshold compliance. The good news, this isn’t new. Google and Yahoo have always had a spam rate threshold, and the penalty for violation has always been restricted email delivery. Google warns that it can take time for improvements in spam rates to reflect positively on spam classification. 

Are you ready to get started? Talk to an Expert

With Marigold, we have teams of deliverability specialists that partner with our customers on deliverability best practices for success. If you want to track your own spam rates, start with signing up for Google’s Postmaster Tools at https://postmaster.google.com, review your spam rates, and if your spam rate is consistently below 0.1%, keep doing what you already do. If you aren’t actively maintaining your spam rate below 0.1%, it might be time to start working directly with deliverability experts. Be sure to also look closely at subject lines and personalize your content to keep customers engaged and opening your emails.

How can Marigold help Email Marketers improve their deliverability?

At Marigold, we believe that relationships are built on trust and email marketers should proactively monitor and fine-tune privacy, security, and preferences. Marigold’s deliverability experts work hand-in-hand with our product and engineering teams to ensure our customers can differentiate by building relationships with trust and transparency. If your business or your marketing team requires some additional support as you prepare for the new standards, our team of dedicated deliverability experts is here to help. Contact us to learn more.