Google and Yahoo’s new email marketing rules

Google and Yahoo are enforcing some new rules for anyone who sends bulk emails. Each is a little different but you need to understand both. The new rules apply in February 2024. This is crucial for anyone using email marketing to help their ecommerce business (which should be all of you!).

For Google, it refers to personal Gmail accounts specifically.

There’s a few different parts to this – some have been recommended for ages but now it’s an absolute must.

In a nutshell, bulk senders must authenticate outgoing email, avoid sending unwanted email and make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe.

The new limit for Google is 5000 emails sent from the same domain to personal Gmail accounts in a 24 hour period. For Yahoo, they haven’t actually disclosed what the limit it but we could assume it’s a similar number. This includes any transactional emails too – not just marketing emails.

For many, they are unlikely to have 5000 Gmail addresses in their email lists so you can relax a little, but I’d suggest that you still need to be aware of what this means and to put the right rules in place regardless.

There are 3 parts to this in terms of the physical changes you need to make at the domain level. All these are TXT records set at your domain in your DNS settings. You’ll need to add these wherever you host your domain. Consult your domain registrar for details on how to do it.

SPF record

This is a record that prevents spammers from using your domain to send unauthorised emails. I’ve been victim to this myself a few years ago. Adding an SPF record stopped it immediately and protected my domain authority. The emails didn’t come from my domain directly – spammers just used it to deliver junk. It’s a bit like identity theft. They’re just using your name – your domain name.

DKIM record

Different from the SPF above, this record verifies that your domain is the one that is actually sending email.

DMARC record

This one is about telling the email server how it should handle an email that fails authentication (SPF and DKIM). It’s a bit of a catch all. This is the one that many may not have set up and one that you absolutely must set up now.


Individual settings may alter dependent on where you host your domain. I’ve added some links to the some of the most widely used below.

Siteground
Shopify
GoDaddy
Wix
Squarespace
123reg

This part of the rules will be properly enforced from 1st June so you have a bit more time on this one. The rule for Google is that for all promotional and marketing emails it must be a single click unsubscribe. Transactional emails are excluded from this particular requirement.

This single click is required such that clicking a single link in your marketing email will unsubscribe someone. If the user is taken to another screen to confirm their unsubscribe, that’s 2 clicks, not 1, so isn’t compliant with the new rule.

If you’re an Apple user and use Mac Mail (like I do) you may already have seen examples of this where an unsubscribe link is added to the header of the email like the example below.

You’ll see the unsubscribe link right at the very top of your email, below the address and just above the content.

Lots of email marketing solutions are taking care of this one themselves so you shouldn’t have to worry. BUT, you should check it out with your particular provider to ensure this will be in place.

These new rules will be monitored by Google and Yahoo via the spam rate. This rate will show whether you have complied with the new rules. Spam rates should be kept below 0.1% and no higher than 0.3% or you may find you get put in Gmail jail!

You can easily monitor the spam rate yourself using Google’s Postmaster Tools (it’s free). There’s other information you can see to as to the reputation your domain has in Gmail so I’d highly recommend getting it set up.


It’s a pretty simple set of steps to do, but if you’re finding it a little tricky, don’t hesitate to get in touch or come and ask a question in my free Facebook Group – Elite Ecommerce.

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